With Broadway currently shutdown until at least June, one of New York’s most prominent fixtures of the Great White Way is struggling to maintain its operations. The Theatre Development Fund, the non-profit organization behind New York’s popular TKTS discount ticket booths, is launching an ambitious fundraising campaign to survive the shutdown.
The effort, dubbed “Lifeline Campaign: Protect Today, Rebuild Tomorrow,” is aiming to raise $500,000 by the end of June given the abrupt loss of revenue stream the Theatre Development Fund would have otherwise earned if Broadway was not forced to shutter last month.
“We earn 85% of our revenue to fund our services – including our Accessibility, Education and Community Engagement programs – from the per-ticket service charge from the TKTS booths, and handling fees from our TDF membership program,” Executive Director Victoria Bailey said in a statement obtained by Deadline. “We have launched this fundraising campaign to help TDF weather this difficult time as we develop new ways to work with our constituents digitally, and plan for the major work ahead when theatres reopen and need audiences.”
The non-profit has already issued layoffs to temporary and part-time staff following the shutdown, with other employees taking pay cuts to keep up operational costs. Now, theatergoers are asked to donate to the Lifeline Campaign to keep TDF running.
“At some point, the theatres WILL reopen. To rebound from this devastating crisis, we will need the performing arts to lift us, revive us and allow us to once again connect with our fellow theatre lovers,” Bailey said in a letter addressing the Broadway community last month. “All the theatres—from the largest Broadway house to the smallest Off-Off black box—will be clamoring for audiences. When that time comes, TDF will be there to provide access to the performing arts for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. We’ve been around for 52 years and we intend to carry on.”