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  • Broadway fixture Donnie Kehr has set up a grant program for unemployed Broadway workers (Photo: Nina Wurtzel)

    Broadway fixture Donnie Kehr has set up a grant program for unemployed Broadway workers (Photo: Nina Wurtzel)

    Broadway journeyman actor Donnie Kehr (Jersey Boys; AIDA; The Who’s TOMMY; Billy Elliot) and company have come up with a new plan to support the estimated 99 percent of Broadway-employees who remain unemployed in the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “From the Broadway ushers; to publicists, managers, stage-hands, make-up artists and the performers … it’s a dire situation, Kehr says.

    “This program will provide immediate financial assistance to those in our Community affected by the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent cancellation of hundreds of Broadway Shows, Concerts and Live Events.”

    He’s known for starting the PATH fund in 1993 to help support and mentor up and coming Broadway talent by utilizing the talents of Broadway’s best performers.

    He also produces, along with PATH’s Cori Gardner, the annual Rockers On Broadway event, where the Broadway stars come to “rock out.”

    The event has honored for their contributions to Broadway, such luminaries as Pete Townshend, Micky Dolenz, Debbie Gibson, legendary air-personality Bruce Morrow and Frankie Valli.

    “With practically everyone we work with struggling through this crisis, we felt it was only fitting for us to give back to those who have given so much of their time and talent to us over the years,” adds Gardner.

    The PATH Fund, Inc. has made an initial $2,500 donation to kick off this grant program and will provide $100, $250 and $500 grants to qualifying members to cover lost income and assist with essential expenses.

    A special committee of industry professionals has been established to oversee the approval of applications and distribution of funds which will begin later this month.

    Applications for the first round of grants closed Aug. 21.

    ”We encourage members of our community to not only apply for a grant but to consider making a small donation and share the campaign to social media” says Kehr.

    ”If every person within the Broadway community was to make a small donation, say $5, that would give us almost half a million dollars to award” explains Michael T. Clarkston, Grant Committee Chair.

    “Our hope is to be able to raise enough funds to give always grants every month while our community remains shut down” said Clarkston.

    To make a donation or to apply for The PATH Fund’s Community Relief Grant Program visit the fund online.

    The PATH Fund, Inc. is 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting arts education.

    It supports pre-professional training organizations with scholarship and program funding.

    Additional support to New York City’s thriving arts community is provided by presenting live music events and working with aspiring writers to develop new works of music and theater.

    “In times of great need, we allied ourselves and supported notable causes including Disaster Relief, Racial Injustice and now the Coronavirus Pandemic,” says Kehr.