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TDF Awarded $88,000 for the New Season of the TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program, Which Sends NYC Veterans to Shows on Broadway and Beyond

Date: Oct 23, 2023


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Participating productions include & Juliet, A Beautiful Noise, Back to the Future: The Musical, Cirque du Soleil: 'Twas the Night Before..., Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, Hell's Kitchen, Kimberly Akimbo, MJ, Purlie Victorious, Shucked, Some Like It Hot, Spamalot, Titanique

October 23, 2023, New York, NYTDF, the not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone, is pleased to announce the 2023-24 season of our TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program. TDF recently received an $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 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.

"We continue to give thanks for the support provided by the NYC Council and its Committee on Veterans. We’re proud that through this program thousands of NYC veterans and their families get to experience the best that Broadway and Off Broadway have to offer at no cost to them," says Deeksha Gaur, TDF’s Executive Director. "We hear from our veteran community how these opportunities not only support community and connection, but healing."

Lisa Carling, Director of TDF Accessibility Programs, adds, "Each year, more and more shows are excited to welcome NYC veterans to their theatres and we are honored to be the conduit to make that happen. We cannot overstate the gratitude we have for the city’s veterans and their service."

So far for the 2023-24 season, 13 shows on Broadway and beyond have committed to providing discount tickets to TDF for distribution to veterans group at no cost to the organizations or participants. Program participants will see Back to the Future: The Musical (10/24/23); Shucked (10/31/23); MJ (11/2/23); A Beautiful Noise (11/9/23); Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes (11/17/23); Some Like It Hot (12/5/23); Kimberly Akimbo (12/6/23); Titanique (12/10/23); Hell’s Kitchen (12/19/23); Cirque du Soleil: ‘Twas the Night Before… (12/23/23); Purlie Victorious (1/3/24); & Juliet (2/6/24) and Spamalot (2/27/24) with more to come.

For the 2023-24 season, TDF is collaborating with the following organizations who serve or include veterans:

New Organizations: American Legion Benjamin Moore Post 1946; American Legion Park Slope; Brooklyn Vet Center; Drexel Hamilton; Fort Hamilton Army Base; NYS Department of Labor (Bronx Career Center); United In Sisterhood; Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3427

Returning Organizations: ACP (American Corporate Partners); America Works; Bank of America; Black Veterans For Social Justice (BVSJ); Blue Star Families; Bronx Vet Center; Con Ed Veterans, Inc.; CUNY Office of Veterans Affairs; FDNY HQ; Harlem United; Help USA; Hope for the Warriors; Housing Plus; James J Peters VA Medical Center; Lehman College; Manhattan Vet Center; Mission Continues; MTA Veteran Employee Resource Group; New York State Division of Veterans' Services; NY Army National Guard Service Member and Family Readiness Resource Center; NYC Department of Sanitation; NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME); Poetic Theater Production; Sage Veterans; Samaritan Daytop Village; Samuel H Young American Legion Post #602; Staten Island Vet Center; SVA; Transport Workers Union of Greater New York Local 100 Veterans Committee; VA NY Harbor Healthcare System-Bkyln Campus; Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 72; Wounded Warrior Project.

Quotes from those who have participated in the program:

I am so fortunate to be able to see shows through the TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program. As an aging veteran of the Korean War, it is impossible for me to afford to buy a ticket for a Broadway show. This program allows me to get out and see fun shows like Jaja's African Hair Braiding and to socialize with younger veterans. Thank you so much for this wonderful program that shows appreciation for us older veterans who may have felt forgotten for our service.” -Don Eisenberg, served during the Korean War 1950-1954

“As a female Air Force veteran, I'm honored to be a part of the TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program. This experience is financially unattainable for many veterans. It's a pleasure to be surrounded by my fellow veterans and enjoy spectacular performances at the same time. As one who suffers from PTSD, not service related, it's a great feeling to be able to go out and be accommodated. Speaking for all veterans, thank you TDF for the opportunity to enjoy Broadway.” -Valerie Wayman

“TDF’s Veterans Theatregoing Program has provided the veterans that I serve with an opportunity to reconnect with their community in a way that many of them are unfamiliar with or think is unattainable. The fact that we can attend a Broadway show as a group, with the veterans’ loved ones, makes it a great first step in getting back out there. As a result of this partnership, I now hear from veterans that use their complimentary TDF memberships to attend additional events independently. I continue to be grateful for the TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program and the opportunities they generously provide for our veteran heroes.” -Lydia Cotter, Recreation Therapist at VA NY Harbor Healthcare System – Brooklyn Campus

“SAGEVets appreciates how generous TDF has been to us through the years. Thanks to the Veterans Theatregoing Program, SAGE’s LGBTQ+ veterans over age 50 can see amazing Broadway and Off-Broadway shows they may not have had the opportunity to experience.” -Arnold Lewis, SAGEVets Program Coordinator

ABOUT TDF: 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 (which recently celebrated 50 years in Times Square) and the TDF Membership Program; TDF Accessibility Programs (including open captioning, audio description, Autism Friendly Performances and the Veterans Theatregoing Program); School programs (serving more than 10,000 New York City students annually) and Community programs (serving 18,000 people in the tristate area); as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs. 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/Threads: @tdfnyc.

The TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program is made possible by the New York City Council and Council Member Robert F. Holden, Chair of the Committee on Veterans in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs, and is also supported by Con Edison.