The Actors Fund, the 140-year-old national human services organization for everyone in performing arts and entertainment, announced at its Annual Gala yesterday that, effective immediately, they have changed their name to Entertainment Community Fund, in order to better reflect the broad scope of industry professionals they help.
Tony Award-winning actor and Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell made the announcement at the Fund’s Annual Gala held in both Los Angeles at Paramount Pictures and New York City at the Marriott Marquis. The evening, which was simulcasted from both coasts, raised a record-breaking $1.7 million for the longstanding organization, which will celebrate its milestone 140th anniversary in June.
“It’s a new name and a new look, with the same mission,” said Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell. “We recognize the dedication of technicians, camera operators, stagehands, writers, musicians, stage managers, actors and thousands more who work in film, television, radio, music, theater, dance and opera. They all contribute to our country’s cultural vibrancy. We value them. We support them. And the Fund is here for all of them.”
The first Entertainment Community Fund Medals of Honor were presented to Emmy Award-winning actor and activist Uzo Aduba; President and CEO of Paramount Global Bob Bakish; Academy Award, Tony Award and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Mercedes Ruehl; and Chairman and CEO of The Shubert Organization Robert E. Wankel.
In attendance to present throughout the evening were, in New York, Hugh Jackman, Sutton Foster, Alex Newell, Kenny Leon, and Harris Yulin, and in Los Angeles, LL Cool J, Amanda Kloots, Edmund Donovan and Brian Robbins, President & Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Pictures & Nickelodeon.
Performances included, in New York, Joaquina Kalukango, star of Paradise Square; Samantha Williams, who recently starred in Caroline, or Change; members of Broadway’s Company (Bobby Conte, Claybourne Elder, and Manu Narayan) and Broadway’s original company of SIX (Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Abby Mueller, Brittney Mack, Samantha Pauly, and Anna Uzele); and in Los Angeles, Olivier Award-winning actress Amber Riley and singer-songwriter and guitarist Gaby Moreno.
The Entertainment Community Fund has been the only organization, with reach from coast to coast, committed to helping all of those who work in entertainment and the performing arts, in every aspect over their lifespan and throughout the entire course of their careers. The organization provides holistic support to assist members of the entertainment community with the unique hardships of working in the industry and lift them up when crises hit–like when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the entire performing arts and entertainment industry in March of 2020.
The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on workers in the entertainment industry. Amid these dire conditions, the Fund scaled up its operations to fulfill its mission of fostering stability and resilience. In 2020 and 2021, the organization served more than 60,000 individuals through a wide range of programs and services focusing on health and wellness, career and life, and financial wellness (a 68% increase over the preceding two non-pandemic years). Since March of 2020, the Fund has distributed more than $26.8 million in emergency financial assistance to some 17,900 individuals.
Last updated and effective as of January 14, 2019
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