Ebb, the lyricist known for musicals such as “Cabaret” and “Chicago,” died in 2004. The foundation was set up the following year following terms Ebb left in his will, including instructions for an annual contribution to Broadway Cares. Since the initial $300,000 contribution in 2005, the foundation has become the largest single donor in Broadway Cares history, with $24.8 million gifted to date.
The $2.6 million dollar gift is overseen by Ebb’s nephew Mitchell S. Bernard.
“Fred and Mitch give us the means and ability to respond with strength and reach those struggling in our theater community as well as in communities across the nation in the hope that a brighter tomorrow belongs to us all,” said Tom Viola, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS executive director. “That Fred’s legacy — this astounding gift — comes to Broadway Cares in the midst of this most critical moment is extraordinarily moving. It deeply underscores something we’ve said for a long time: what we do together makes a difference.”
Bernard noted that the foundation’s income has been hit because Broadway venues were shuttered for so much of 2020 and this year.
“But for the same reason, this is a time of enormous need within the theater community with so many people unable for so long to work and keep insurance, even as their medical and other needs increased,” he said. “That makes me especially glad to make this contribution from the Ebb Foundation.
Broadway Cares sent $1.5 million of the foundation’s donation to the Actors Fund, which supports people in the entertainment and performing arts industries particularly through partnerships with the Friedman Health Center, the Artists Health Insurance Resource Center and the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.