The Fred Ebb Foundation (Mitchell Bernard, Trustee) has announced that its 2016 donation to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will total $1.675 million dollars, bringing the foundation’s total contribution to BC/EFA to $13.325 million since it began twelve years ago. The foundation, which is funded by royalties from the late award-winning lyricist Fred Ebb’s vast catalogue of work, makes an annual donation to BC/EFA.
“Fred Ebb’s brilliant legacy – created with the extraordinary John Kander – has allowed BC/EFA to increase and expand its support for The Actors Fund to more than $5.6 million in 2016 alone. This amazing gift allows us to extend support to the Artists Health Insurance Resource Center and the Fund’s Addiction and Recovery Services, nurtures our longtime commitment to the HIV/AIDS Initiative while increasing support for the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, the Dancers’ Resource and more,” said BC/EFA’s executive director Tom Viola.
“Throughout the country right now, many of the most vulnerable are concerned, even scared about their rights, access to social services and personal safety,” Viola continued. “Fred, your gift to BC/EFA and the community will make a profound difference in the lives of thousands of your colleagues and co-workers, friends and loved ones in the business. Your ‘razzle-dazzle’ shines forever bright.”
The Fred Ebb Foundation, in association with the Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) also presents an annual award, named for Mr. Ebb, to aspiring musical theatre songwriters. The Fred Ebb Award recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting, by a songwriter or songwriting team that has not yet achieved significant commercial success. The award is meant to encourage and support aspiring songwriters to create new works for the musical theatre, and includes a $60,000 award. This year’s award was presented to Thomas Mizer and Curtis Moore.
“Receiving the Fred Ebb Award is an overwhelming honor, particularly because Mr. Ebb and his longtime partner John Kander have always been idols of ours—consummate songwriters who stretched the boundaries of what theater music can do. It really does inspire us to work harder and live up to their example,” said Mizer and Moore.
“The amazing thing about getting this award is that it purposefully shines a light on music theater writers who have yet to have that big commercial hit. Hopefully, people will hear about it and check out our work,” the writing team shared. “That’s a huge gift in itself when so many writers are simply struggling to be heard. Our musical, Triangle, premiered in California last summer and we’re looking right now at how we can bring it to New York. Getting this award could be the tipping point that brings this piece to a wider audience.”
Past winners include John Bucchino (2005), Steve Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman (2006), Peter Mills (2007), Adam Gwon (2008), Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich (2009), Douglas J. Cohen (2010), Jeff Blumenkrantz (2011), Sam Willmott (2012), Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond (2013), Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen (2014), and Stacey Luftig and Phillip Palmer (2015).
The 2016 Selection Committee is comprised of: Foundation Trustee Mitchell S. Bernard; actress Andréa Burns; lyricist, writer and composer Sheldon Harnick; music director David Loud; and theatre producer Arthur Whitelaw.