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The Actors Fund Has Distributed over $10 Million of Financial Assistance

Stage Directions • Industry NewsTheatre Buzz • May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020—The Actors Fund announced today that, as of May 13, 2020, it has distributed a record-breaking amount, over ten million dollars ($10,500,000.00) in just eight weeks to help provide emergency financial assistance for those in need due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This emergency financial aid is helping the most vulnerable members of the performing arts and entertainment communities, as well as those facing financial hardship, by providing assistance for basic living expenses including essential medications, housing costs, food, and utilities.

(For context: in eight weeks, The Fund has distributed more than five times the funds normally provided in one year for people in need in the performing arts and entertainment community.)

Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tony Award winner and Chairman of the Board of The Actors Fund, said, “Looking at a number – even one as large as ten million – doesn’t begin tell the whole story. In an instant, our friends and supporters, people like Rosie O’Donnell, Seth Rudetsky & James Wesley, and others, began dreaming of entirely new fundraising models that would prove to be nothing short of lifesaving. In all my years working with The Fund, I’ve never been so moved, so inspired, or so grateful.”

Joseph Benincasa, President and CEO of The Actors Fund, added, “The kind of collaboration and generosity we’ve seen over the past two months from our entertainment industry union and guild partners, including SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity, and the IATSE, as well as thousands of individual donors, has been nothing short of staggering. It is an unbelievable honor to be able to do so much good for so many people, thanks to the unprecedented level of support we continue to receive. It’s also important to note that this is by no means a victory lap. In the coming months, we anticipate helping our entertainment industry colleagues navigate issues such as union health insurance, the new COVID-economy, mental health support, addiction and recovery resources, affordable housing, securing government resources, and more. The level of need is overwhelming, and our work has only just begun.”

As the situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, The Actors Fund has transitioned to online and phone-based services, which remain available for everyone in the performing arts and entertainment community. These services include: Artists Health Insurance Resource Center, The Career Center, Housing Resources, Addiction & Recovery, HIV/AIDS and Senior Services, Counseling and Emergency Financial Assistance, as well as The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.

Further information from The Actors Fund: www.actorsfund.org

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