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The Broadway League
729 Seventh Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BROADWAY TO DIM ITS LIGHTS AT 8 PM IN HONOR OF ACTIVIST RODGER McFARLANE
May 19, 2009
The Broadway League mourns the loss of Rodger McFarlane, the founding executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and a pioneer in the fight for gay and lesbian civil rights and the HIV/AIDS movements. He passed away in New Mexico on Friday.
Broadway marquees will be dimmed on Tuesday, May 19th for one minute at exactly 8:00pm in tribute to Mr. McFarlane.
“Rodger McFarlane was a hero to many for his work as a visionary AIDS and gay rights activist, both in the Broadway community and beyond,” said Broadway League Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin. “A brilliant strategist, he coordinated our community’s response to the tragedy of AIDS during the first days of the epidemic, and continued to provide leadership and inspiration in the years since.”
From 1989 to 1994, Mr. McFarlane was executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA), transforming it into one of America's most successful and influential AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. Under his leadership at BC/EFA, annual revenue increased from less than $1 million to more than $5 million, while also leveraging an additional $40 million annually through strategic alliances with other funders and corporate partnerships. BC/EFA received 1993 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre during Mr. McFarlane’s tenure.
A passionate, wisecracking southerner, Mr. McFarlane was a legend in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and HIV/AIDS movements. He was the first paid executive director of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and a founding member of ACT-UP. Most recently he was the executive director of the Gill Foundation. He was the author of several books, and, in 1993, he co-produced the Pulitzer Prize-nominated production of Larry Kramer’s The Destiny of Me, the sequel to The Normal Heart.