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TDF awarded $88,000 for the new season of the TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program, which sends NYC veterans to Broadway shows and beyond

Date: Sep 22, 2022


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TDF, the not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone, is pleased to announce the launch of the 2022-23 season of our TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program. TDF recently received a $88,000 grant to support this initiative, thanks to the New York City Council and Robert F. Holden, Chair of the Committee on Veterans, as well as the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the NYC Council led by Speaker Adrienne E. Adams

Through this singular program, veterans and their families attend shows on Broadway and beyond for free alongside their peers. TDF partners exclusively with NYC veterans' organizations to distribute a limited number of tickets to productions at no cost to their constituents. Post-performance talkbacks are frequently scheduled, and complimentary TDF Memberships are provided to participating veterans so they can continue their theatregoing at greatly reduced cost. TDF founded this program with support from the New York City Council in 2017.

"Thanks to the support provided by the NYC Council and its Committee on Veterans, we have been able to send thousands of NYC veterans and their families to the best that Broadway has to offer at no cost to them for the past five seasons," says Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director. "We cannot overstate the gratitude we have for the city’s veterans and their service." Lisa Carling, Director of TDF Accessibility Programs, adds, "As this program grows, so does the generosity of the Broadway shows that welcome veterans into their theatres. Vets tell us that there is nothing as exciting as the shared experience of live performance with their fellow veterans and family members."

Quotes from veterans who have participated in the TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program:

A Navy veteran who was part of a group from Samaritan Daytop Village says, "These shows that we have had the privilege of attending have been instrumental in teaching us how to reintegrate into civilian life and provided much-needed stress relief. I am not just speaking for myself when I say that all of us appreciate the feeling we get when we are thanked for our service with more than words.”

After attending a performance of Broadway's Come From Away, another veteran wrote to TDF about how the program helps with PTSD. “One of the greatest difficulties to overcome is being able to be in large crowds or confined spaces—many of us have great difficulty with anxiety. But it feels safer to attempt to do that while accompanied by other veterans who have the same mental health issues. I hope this helps you appreciate how meaningful the donation of theatre tickets is to veterans. It’s not just a relaxing night of entertainment. It becomes part of our lengthy healing process.”

For this 2022-23 season, TDF is partnering with the following organizations who serve or include veterans (with more to follow): 

New Organizations: America Works, Bank of America, Blue Star Families, HELP USA, Hope For The Warriors, The Mission Continues, New York City Department of Sanitation, Poetic Theater Productions, RBC Employee Resource Groups, School of Visual Arts and Staten Island Vet Center 

Returning Organizations(those who have participated in the program previously) : Black Veterans for Social Justice, Con Edison Vets, CUNY Office of Veterans Affairs, HousingPlus, James J. Peters Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (two departments), Lehman College, NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner, SAGEVets, Samaritan Daytop Village, Samuel H. Young American Legion Post 602, VA New York Harbor Healthcare Brooklyn VA Medical Center and Wounded Warrior Project

To date for this season, 12 shows on Broadway and beyond have committed to providing low-cost tickets to TDF for distribution to veterans group at no cost to participants. Program participants will see 1776 on Saturday, October 1 at 2 p.m., SIX on Wednesday, October 5 at 7 p.m., Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Tuesday, October 11 at 7 p.m., Cost of Living on Wednesday, October 19 at 7 p.m., Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Sunday, October 30 at 2 p.m., Beetlejuice on Sunday, November 6 at 2 p.m., Topdog/Underdog  on Wednesday, November 9 at 7 p.m., Christmas Spectacular Starring The  Radio City Rockettes on Monday, November 28 and Tuesday, November 29 at 8 p.m., Kinky Boots on Saturday, December 3 at 2 p.m. and Wednesday, December 7 at 7 p.m., Aladdin on Sunday, January 8, 2023 at 6:30 p.m., The Book of Mormon on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 7 p.m. and The Lion King on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at 7 p.m.

Founded in 1968, TDF (formerly known as Theatre Development Fund) is a not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. We fulfill our mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts.  

We are known for our theatregoing programs, including the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths and TDF Membership program; Accessibility programs (including open captioned, audio described, Autism Friendly Performances as well as TDF’s Veterans Theatregoing Program), Education & Community Engagement programs (serving more than 12,000 New York City students annually and thousands of underserved individuals), as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs. During the COVID-19 theatre shutdown, we continued to serve our constituents by creating virtual adaptations of our programs via Zoom and other streaming platforms. TDF envisions a world where the transformative experience of attending live theatre and dance is essential, relevant, accessible and inspirational. To learn more about TDF, go to Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @tdfnyc.