The Michael Jackson Estate has announced that it is donating $300,000 to the coronavirus response efforts to help three communities that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The three organizations that the estate is giving money to are Broadway Cares, Three Square Food Bank (Southern Nevada’s largest hunger-relief organization), and MusiCares. Each organization will each receive a donation of $100,000.
“This virus strikes at the heart of the communities we are close to. We learned today that the legendary Manu Dibango, (“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin”) passed away from the virus. Other performers and support staff in music and on Broadway are sick or have been left without work and are facing an uncertain future. And in Las Vegas, which has been so welcoming to Michael Jackson, the entire city has been shut down leaving thousands of workers and their families devastated and without an income,” said John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson in a written statement. “Michael‘s spirit of generosity and helping others during his lifetime is legendary. These donations are inspired by him.”
Since Jackson loved attending performances on Broadway in New York, the Estate is answering the challenge made by more than 20 Broadway producers who have offered to match up to $1 million in donations. That more than doubles the impact of contributions to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. The Estate is also currently involved in production on MJ the Musical with its partner Lia Vollack Productions.
“With every passing day that theaters remain dark, entertainment and performing arts professionals face unprecedented and immediate challenges,” said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “This incredibly generous donation from the Michael Jackson Estate will help ensure those onstage, backstage, and behind the scenes get lifesaving health care, emergency financial assistance, and counseling during and after this crisis.”
The Estate‘s donation will provide 300,000 meals to the needy in Las Vegas, and to also assist in maintaining the supplies of Three Square Food Bank, the largest food bank in Southern Nevada. “Before the pandemic, one in eight Southern Nevadans lived in a food-insecure household, and that number will increase exponentially with the displacement of thousands of workers in our community. Thank you to the Estate of Michael Jackson for stepping up to help children, families, veterans, and senior citizens who may need help now more than ever,” said Michelle Beck, its chief development officer.
“MusiCares is very grateful for the outpouring of generosity we’ve seen from many in the music industry to grow the COVID-19 Relief Fund,” said Steve Boom, MusiCares chair. “The challenges that our industry is facing right now are enormous. It is contributions such as these that will help our community survive in this unprecedented time of tremendous need.”