Exclusive updates for our Champions
In fall 2021, TDF welcomed NYC veterans back to the theatre through our Veterans Theatregoing Program, which was launched in December 2017 in partnership with New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich, then Chair of the Committee on Veterans. Old friends reconnected and enjoyed multiple Broadway shows, including Hadestown and Lackawanna Blues, as a community.
TDF partners exclusively with local veterans organizations to distribute a limited number of tickets to Broadway shows at no cost to their constituents. Post-performance talkbacks are often included, and complimentary TDF memberships are provided to participants so they can continue their theatregoing at greatly reduced cost.
For the current Broadway season, TDF is partnering with veterans groups and organizations such as American Corporate Partners, Black Veterans for Social Justice, CUNY, Harlem United, Harlem Vet Center, Lehman College, James J. Peters Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner, NYC Veterans Advisory Board, NYU Tandon Future Labs, Queens Veterans Court, SAGEVets, Samuel H. Young American Legion Post, Samaritan Daytop Village, the Brooklyn Campus of the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Veterans of Con Edison and Wounded Warrior Project.
Ninety-six-year-old World War II US Navy veteran Arthur Grabiner recently attended a performance of Hadestown with his son, Douglas, and aide, Angela, through TDF's Veterans Theatregoing Program. In the video below, he talks about how much it means to see theatre with his fellow veterans.
Arthur Grabiner is a World War II Combat Veteran. He proudly served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Laurens APA153 in World War II's Pacific Theatre, launching amphibious assaults/invasions and combating Japanese kamikaze suicide aircraft attacks during the Battle of Okinawa and the Invasion of Lingayen Gulf on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.
Mr. Grabiner attained the rank of Yeoman Second Class and earned these honors: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal 2 Stars, Philippine Liberation Ribbon 1 Star, Philippines Presidential Unit Citation, American Campaign Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) and a World War II Victory Medal. Mr. Grabiner has devoted himself to educating students about the sacrifices of Americans who valiantly served in the US Armed Forces during World War II. He has visited elementary, high school and university students in New York City, Long Island, Hawaii, Guam and Saipan, describing his personal experiences as an 18-, 19-, 20-year-old sailor serving in the Pacific Theatre of War—vivid, firsthand details not found in any history textbook. Furthermore, Mr. Grabiner enthusiastically shares the enduring lessons he learned about courage, perseverance, honor, freedom and patriotism while fighting for and defending the United States of America during World War II. In recognition of his service in the US Navy during World War II and steadfast commitment to educating and inspiring students, Mr. Grabiner was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the New York State Capitol in Albany in May 2019.
Top image: Participants in the TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program at Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.
Updates from TDF for our Champions. Thank you for playing a pivotal role in our mission to make art accessible to all.