After years of doing fundraisers and volunteering for a myriad of non-profit organizations, husbands Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley decided in 2015 to form their own 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Through creative means, they wanted to directly help one of the most vulnerable populations in our society—children. Thus, Your Kids, Our Kids was born.
Even though the initial focus was intended to be only children, it became clear by the end of 2016 that the number of people at risk in the United States had increased greatly and the net had widened immensely.
James and Seth decided to do what they have always done when a crisis arises: gather their friends and put on a show! They wanted to benefit a wide array of non-profit organizations serving a diverse audience but all having a similar focus: fighting for civil and human rights for all Americans. And, so, on January 20, 2017, the first edition of Concert for America premiered at The Town Hall in New York City, with the intent of going around the country every month for the foreseeable future with the same mission: to raise money and infuse our fellow Americans with hope and inspiration and the desire to become more active citizens.
Our federal ID number is 47-5299128.
Seth moved to New York in 1988 and started volunteering for God’s Love We Deliver, which brings meals to people with AIDS all across the city. He is decidedly not skilled at cooking and soon decided his talents could be better used elsewhere. At a holiday party in 1992, he connected with Hearts and Voices, an organization that brings live weekly performances to hospitalized people with AIDS. He started volunteering for them and has been a mainstay at many hospitals since 1992: Rivington House, Roosevelt Island Hospital, the prison ward at St. Clare’s Hospital and since 2005, he’s been playing the piano/booking singers at the Cardinal Cooke AIDS ward. Broadway folks love volunteering to sing and Seth’s patients have been serenaded by the likes of Audra MacDonald, Tituss Burgess and Betty Buckley! In 1998, Seth was asked to write the opening number for The Easter Bonnet Competition, which is the big spring fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He did that for many years and then began hosting the Gypsy Of The Year Competition, which is the BC/EFA fall fundraiser (and resulted in him sharing a dressing room with Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman!).
In 2001, he produced and conducted DREAMGIRLS starring Heather Headley, Audra McDonald and Lillias White, the first fall concert for the Actors Fund of America, which was recorded on Nonesuch records and raised almost $1 million for the Fund. He then did Funny Girl with Idina Menzel and Jane Krakowski, Chess with Adam Pascal and Josh Groban, Hair with Jennifer Hudson (Ghostlight Records, Grammy nomination), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Terrence Mann and Jennifer Hudson and On The Twentieth Century with Marin Mazzie and Kathleen Turner. He also starred opposite Sutton Foster in The Actors Fund production of They’re Playing Our Song and hosted and played piano for an array of divas for their 2007 Nothing Like A Dame: Betty Buckley, Stephanie J. Block, Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara and Bebe Neuwirth.
He is the afternoon Broadway host on SiriusXM Radio and recently co-wrote and co-starred in Disaster! on Broadway, which was co-produced by his husband, James. He was also a co-producer on the Broadway for Orlando recording of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and Voices for the Voiceless, he and his husband’s annual foster care event on Broadway.
As a writer, he was nominated for three Emmy awards for comedy writing on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and is the author of “My Awesome Awful Popularity Plan” and “The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek” (published by Random House), a young adult series about a teenaged gay kid named Justin Goldblatt, who’s obsessed with theater and sports a Jewfro.
He, James and their daughter Juli have three rescue animals running rampant in their apartment: doggies Mandy and Bagel and kitty Romeo. Shout out to Animal Care Center in New York City!
In 2015, after devastating cuts were imposed on the only two foster care organizations working with older children and youth in New York City, James conceived and co-produced Voices for the Voiceless on Broadway starring Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Megan Hilty, Antwone Fisher, Charlene Tilton, Caroline Rhea, Darren Criss, Alec Mapa, Kate Shindle, and Eden Espinosa. It shined a spotlight on foster care in a unique and entertaining way, combining celebrity, music, and everyday people sharing their stories. The concert raised $500,000 for You Gotta Believe! and the Council on Adoptable Children.
The following year, the concert returned to Broadway, starring Chita Rivera, Rosie Perez, Stephanie Mills, Gloria Gaynor, Liz Callaway, and Sherri Saum, among many others.
In the wake of the massacre in Orlando at the Pulse Nightclub in June of 2016, James conceived the idea of the Broadway community uniting to sing “What the World Needs Now is Love” in the style of “We Are the World,” with all of the monies raised going to the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida. The result, two days later, was Broadway for Orlando, a group of singers that included, among many others, Sara Bareilles, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Gloria Estefan. It charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 and was featured on NBC’s “Maya and Marty” the day after its release. To date, it has sold over 50,000 copies and raised over $100,000 for the Orlando LGBT community.
The following month, James co-produced, From Broadway with Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando, with proceeds going to the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, Hope and Help Center of Central Florida and Zebra Coalition. It starred Chita Rivera, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Darren Criss, Wilson Cruz, and Norbert Leo Butz, among many others.
As a writer, he wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway play, Unbroken Circle, starring Eve Plumb and Tony nominees Anika Larsen and Jennifer Simard. He also wrote Art and Science, a comedy-drama dealing with the generational differences between two gay men. It starred Tony nominees Tony Sheldon and John Tartaglia.
James was also proud to be one of the lead producers last year on Broadway of his husband’s musical, Disaster!
James and Seth are the proud recipients of the 2016 National Leadership Award from the LGBTQ Task Force for their work on Broadway for Orlando’s What the World Needs Now is Love.