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TDF Supports Greater Inclusivity for New York State’s Theatres; Announces the Recipients of its FY 2024 TAP Plus Grants

Date: Jan 10, 2024


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Through a 25-year partnership with NYSCA, 28 organizations throughout New York State will receive a total of $135,000 to provide captioned programming to their constituents.

New York, NY, January 10, 2024 – On any given day throughout the State of New York, cultural institutions (theatre companies, museums, festivals) offer programming that provides limited access to patrons with mild to severe hearing loss. To further its mission to make the arts more accessible for all, TDF, a nonprofit service organization, in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), administers TAP Plus. Founded in 1999, TAP Plus awards grants of up to $5,000 for open captioning (OC) and closed captioning (CC) services to eligible cultural organizations throughout New York State. Any institution that currently receives NYSCA funding is eligible to apply for a TAP Plus grant.

This year, 28 organizations throughout New York State will receive a total of $135,000 to provide this critical access, thus building a more inclusive theatrical ecosystem for all audiences.

“Removing physical and invisible barriers to attendance is at the heart of TDF’s mission and purpose. This 25-year partnership with NYSCA allows us to share resources with our larger community and to make theatre even more inclusive for audience members with mild to severe hearing loss,” said Deeksha Gaur, TDF’s Executive Director. “What’s exciting is that this year, 14 of the organizations will be first-time recipients of TAP Plus grants.”

“Making arts and culture accessible to all is central to NYSCA’s mission and the TAP Plus grant program is an outstanding reflection of that objective,” added Katherine Nicholls, Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts. “For 25 years, our work with TDF has allowed NYSCA grantees to offer open and closed captioned performances to audiences across New York State. On behalf of staff and Council, I congratulate this year’s grant recipients and share their excitement to make the arts and culture available to everyone.”

“Fiasco Theater is thrilled to receive a TAP Plus grant for open captioning for Pericles (February 8-March 24) in partnership with Classic Stage Company this winter,” said Jessie Austrian, Fiasco Theater’s Co-Artistic Director and Cofounder. “This grant allows us to make our work even more welcoming to folks in the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. The open captioned performance will be offered along with an ASL-interpreted performance, as well as available closed captioning.”

"HVSF is honored to continue receiving support from TDF and NYSCA through the TAP Plus grant program to present open captioned performances of all productions in our rotating repertory season,” said Davis McCallum, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s Artistic Director. “Since 2021, sustained support from the TAP Plus program has helped us accommodate audiences with audio accessibility needs and more fully welcome all audiences to enjoy the magic of open-air performance. Thank you, TDF and NYSCA!"

“It’s thrilling to see that so many of the recipients are Off-Broadway theatres,” said Casey York, President of The Off-Broadway League. “We thank TDF and NYSCA for making it possible for so many of our member theatres to increase their accessibility services and welcome more theatregoers from the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities to our productions. Partnerships like the TAP Plus grants are vitally important as we work to build a more inclusive Off-Broadway ecosystem."

The organizations awarded this year are:

(* indicates first-time TAP Plus grant recipient)

* Atlantic Theater Company: $5,000 for OC, New York County

   BRIC: $5,000 for CC, Kings County

   Brooklyn Academy of Music: $5,000 for OC, Kings County

* The Curiosity Cabinet: $5,000 for OC, Kings County

* Educational Alliance (14Y Theater): $5,000 for OC, New York County

   EPIC Players: $5,000 for OC, Kings County

* Fiasco Theater: $5,000 for OC, New York County

   Geva Theatre Center: $5,000 for OC, Monroe County

   Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival: $5,000 for OC, Putnam County

* Kyoung’s Pacific Beat: $5,000 for OC, Kings County

* La MaMa: $4,000 for OC, New York County

   MCC Theater: $5,000 for OC, New York County

* National Dance Institute: $5,000 for ASL, New York County

* The New Group: $5000 for OC, New York County

   New York Theatre Barn: $5,000 for OC, New York County

* New York Theatre Workshop: $5,000 for OC, New York County

* Perelman Performing Arts Center: $5,000 for OC, New York County

* Pipeline Theatre Company: $1,000 for OC, Kings County

   Playwrights Horizons: $5,000 for CC, New York County

   The Public Theater: $5,000 for CC, New York County

   Second Stage Theater: $5,000 for OC, New York County

* SheNYC Arts: $5,000 for OC, New York County

   Signature Theatre: $5,000 for OC, New York County

   Symphony Space: $5,000 for CC, New York County

   Syracuse Stage: $5,000 for OC, Onondaga County

   Theater Breaking Through Barriers: $5,000 for OC, New York County

   Theatre for a New Audience: $5,000 for OC, Kings County

* University Settlement Society of New York: $5,000 for OC, New York County

TAP Plus helps this underserved constituency enjoy the unique cultural experiences provided by these organizations. For more information, go to

ABOUT TDF ACCESSIBILITY PROGRAMS: TDF Accessibility Programs make theatregoing possible for people with physical disabilities as well as individuals on the autism spectrum. The full range of services includes Autism Friendly Performances of Broadway productions; accessible seating for individuals with mobility disabilities; and open captioned, American Sign Language-interpreted and audio described performances of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows for theatregoers who are hard of hearing or Deaf, are blind or have low vision. TDF has also trained theatres in the US and abroad in setting up open captioning programs and autism-friendly shows and offers an educational enrichment program for students who are hard of hearing, Deaf, blind or have low vision. TDF collaborated with The Broadway League to develop the website TheatreAccess.NYC, the official site for accessibility information for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

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 celebrated 50 years in Times Square in 2023) 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.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS (NYSCA): The mission of the New York State Council on the Arts is to foster and advance the full breadth of New York State’s arts, culture and creativity for all. To support the ongoing recovery of the arts across New York State, the Council on the Arts will award $127 million in FY 2024. The Council on the Arts further advances New York's creative culture by convening leaders in the field and providing organizational and professional development opportunities and informational resources. Created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960 and continued with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the Council is an agency that is part of the Executive Branch. For more information on NYSCA, please visit, and follow NYSCA's Facebook page, X @NYSCArts and Instagram @NYSCouncilontheArts.