TDF, the not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone, is launchng the second season of its TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program. Thanks to NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Chair of the Committee on Veterans Councilman Chaim Deutsch, through New York City Council funding, TDF has been provided with a $100,000 grant to help New York City veterans attend Broadway shows, and share the experience with others from their community.
The program provides admission, at no cost, to former servicemen and women who have served in any branch of the armed forces and live in one of the five boroughs of New York City. TDF partners exclusively with veteran group organizations in the city who distribute a limited number of free tickets to Broadway shows to their constituents. Post-performance talkbacks are planned, when possible, and complimentary TDF Memberships are provided to participating veterans so they can continue their theatergoing at greatly reduced costs.
For this second season, TDF is currently partnering with the following veteran’s groups and organizations with more to follow: American Legion NYPD Post 460, Blue Star Families, Borden Avenue Veterans Residence, Bronx Vet Center, Columbia University Veterans, CUNY, Easter Seals, Fordham University Vets, Fountain House, NYMetroVets, NY Troopers Marine Corp Association, NYU Veterans, SAGEVets, Samaritan Village, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 72 and Wounded Warrior Project.
To date, 12 shows have committed to providing tickets for our city’s veterans at low cost for this program. They are: Summer: The Donna Summer Musical on Tuesday, November 6 at 7pm; The Play That Goes Wrong on Thursday, November 8 at 7pm, Head Over Heels on Tuesday, November 13 at 7pm; Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Sunday, November 25 at 3pm; Aladdin, Wednesday, November 28 at 7pm; The Band’s Visit on Wednesday, December 5 at 7pm; Wicked, Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 7pm; Frozen, January 29, 30, 2019 at 7pm; The Book of Mormon, Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 7pm; Waitress, February date TBA; Once On This Island, Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 7pm; The Phantom of the Opera, Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 2pm; and Aladdin on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 7pm.
“Providing all New Yorkers with access to our city’s unparalleled cultural scene is a priority for this Council, and that of course includes veterans of our armed forces,” said NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “The TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program serves those who have served our country through the bright lights of Broadway, and I am proud to have worked with Veterans Committee Chair Deutsch and our Council colleagues to help make that service possible for another year.”
“As Chairman of the NYC Council’s Veteran’s Committee, it was extremely important to me to ensure funding for programs that provide cultural experiences for our city’s veterans,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch, Chairman of the Veteran’s Committee. “TDF does phenomenal work bringing veteran New Yorkers to see the best Broadway can offer. After the shows, veteran groups provide an opportunity for the participants to discuss their common experiences with fellow veterans. I look forward to continuing to work with TDF as they offer programs for veterans across our city.”
“We launched this program last year and it proved to be a great success,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s executive director. “We’re thankful to Councilman Chaim Deutsch and NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson for giving us the opportunity to continue serve this wonderful group of New Yorkers, which helps solidify our ongoing commitment to make sure that everyone in New York City has access to the performing arts.”
“Response from the theatre community has been amazing with so many shows welcoming veterans and giving them a chance to enjoy the magic of live theatre with a Broadway show!” said Lisa Carling, director of TDF Accessibility Programs.
After the first year of the program, Lisa Beatha, the University Director of Veterans Affairs/CUNY wrote: “The experience of Broadway is one of the best gifts our community has ever experienced. The theatre was ideal for CUNY Veterans to interact and socialize outside of a traditional classroom gathering. Due to this program, some of our veterans experienced Broadway for the first time. Once again, thank you on behalf of CUNY Veterans who attended.”
TDF, currently celebrating its 50th year, is a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. Founded in 1968, TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging and cultivating a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. TDF fulfills its mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts. Best known for its theatregoing programs (including the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths and TDF Membership Programs), TDF’s accessibility (including open captioned, audio described and autism-friendly performances), school (serving over 10,000 New York City students annually), community engagement and information programs — as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs — have introduced millions of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone. 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: www.tdf.org and follow TDF on FB, Instagram and Twitter: @TDFNYC.