TKTS by TDF booth in Times Square (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)
TDF, the nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone, has been serving the performing arts community in New York City and beyond for 50 years. TDF opened its doors in June of 1968 and has since accomplished its mission of sustaining live theater and dance by engaging and cultivating a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance.
Through a variety of program and initiatives, TDF expands audiences, cultivates communities and supports the theatre-makers. TDF will launch its 50thAnniversary year at its June 18 gala at Gotham Hall honoring Tony Kushner and present its first Founders Award to James Lapine.
“The overarching goal of TDF, then and now, is to ensure that everyone has a right to attend performing arts events,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director. “Breaking down barriers, whether they be physical, financial or developmental has been key to our mission as witnessed by the programs we’ve developed over the years. Looking forward, we are working to expand our reach more deeply into communities throughout New York City and beyond, to help people experience what we feel is the right of anyone raised in a city where there is a ‘theatre district.”
While TDF (formerly known as Theatre Development Fund) is perhaps best known for administering the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths, the organization has been dedicated to bringing the arts to everyone. It does this by:
Expanding Access: For people who would love to experience the performing arts but think it’s not for them, TDF removes barriers—distance, cultural, physical, financial, age and opportunity. It does this through its membership program, TKTS by TDF Discount Booths, Accessibility membership, TDF Autism-Friendly Performances and, in partnership with The Broadway League, the Theatre Access NYC website.
Cultivating Communities: By reinforcing the spread of live theatre and dance beyond Broadway in neighborhoods and schools all over the five boroughs of New York City. TDF engages, educates and encourages people to make the performing arts a vital part of their lives; creating not just more audiences, but more diverse ones. This is accomplished through TDF’s School Programs, TDF Community Engagement Programs and through TDF’s publications TDF Stages and PxP.
Supporting the Theatre Makers: TDF actively enables the creators, players and storytellers, offering and integrating our extensive research insights. We support producers, working to expand their audience and to strengthen their knowledge base. This is accomplished through TDF Training and Professional Development Programs, the TDF Costume Collection Programs, TDF Accessibility Grants and TDF’s National Audience Research.
TDF does all of this to sustain a world of live performance that’s healthy, vibrant, essential, relevant, and inspirational. TDF’s accomplishments in the past 50 years are impressive. When TDF first opened its doors with a grant to purchase tickets to give to students so they could attend their first Broadway show, little did anyone dream that TDF’s name would grow to encompass so much activity.