The Theatre Development Fund, the not-for-profit organization with services including the hugely popular TKTS discount ticket booths in Times Square and other New York City locations, is launching a fundraising drive to “sustain critical operations” during and after the COVID-19 Broadway shutdown.
TDF’s “Lifeline Campaign: Protect Today, Rebuild Tomorrow” has set a goal of $500,000 in donations by June 30. The closure of all performance venues, the organization says, has eliminated TDF’s primary streams of revenue and threatens its ability to operate its programs.
TDF’s Executive Director Victoria Bailey said the organization “relies on theatre and dance performances and the venues they perform in for our livelihood,” and that the pandemic has “seriously affected” the organization’s finances.
“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,” Bailey said “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 cultural sector will play a vital role in rebuilding New York City,” Bailey said, “and TDF is committed to being there to support the effort in every way we can.”
Over the past 52 years, TDF’s stated mission is to make theater and the performing arts widely accessible, including to students, individuals with physical or developmental disabilities, veterans, people with limited financial means, among others. The organization says more than two million people a year “enjoy theatre, dance and music because of TDF.”
The organization’s primary income, and highest profile, comes from the TKTS discount booths, where, until the March 12 shutdown hit, tourists and New Yorkers alike would line up for available day-of tickets to Broadway and Off Broadway shows at steep discounts.