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Press Release - Campaign 2009


For immediate release
DATE: June 22, 2009
CONTACT: Ina Clark, 212.221.7300 ext. 176,

Funding effort will strengthen programs and increase access for those in need

(New York, NY) – The Board of Trustees of The Actors Fund – and Campaign co-chairs Annette Bening, Kevin McCollum and Jonathan Tisch – today announced a Campaign to raise $12.5 million to increase the reach of The Actors Fund’s human services programs in this time of increased and evolving needs.

The Actors Fund, founded in 1882 to provide essential services that respond to the unique situations of those who work in performing arts and entertainment, supports the critical needs of those who sacrifice to have a career in the arts, most of whom do not enjoy the basic living necessities that most Americans have, including health insurance, pensions and affordable housing. Actors, for example, have a median income of just $23,400 – far below the US average of $30,100 – and the median income for musicians, singers and dancers is even lower. And just 15% of actors have full time employment, compared to 70% of the US labor force. In 2008 The Fund gave direct assistance to 10,987 people in 46 states through two-dozen specific programs, as well as thousands more through online support.

The vulnerable population of both performers and those who work behind the scenes in the many disciplines that comprise the performing arts and entertainment community urgently requires the services provided by The Actors Fund – and the need is increasing significantly.

The Campaign will allow The Fund to:


  • Strengthen the ability to respond to evolving social and emergency financial needs.
  • Increase access to health care and insurance services.
  • Offer more affordable, supportive and senior housing opportunities.
  • Expand employment and training programs that keep people employed while they work on their craft.

“This is a collaborative effort,” says Actors Fund President and noted actor/singer Brian Stokes Mitchell. “Together, we can ensure that those who work in performing arts and entertainment can sustain their careers – and our culture – while caring for themselves and their families. In these times, they have never needed us more.” Adds Fund Executive Director Joe Benincasa, “We must ensure that those who dedicate themselves to these professions have the support they need to continue their creative work.”

In addition to the inspiring leadership of actress Annette Bening, theatrical producer Kevin McCollum and executive Jonathan Tisch, the Campaign boasts the commitment of a long list of arts leaders and performers who recognize the crucial need for expanded services for their colleagues and fellow workers. They include Alec Baldwin, Stockard Channing, Marcia Gay Harden, Angela Lansbury, Bebe Neuwirth, Mike Nichols, Rocco Landesman, Lynn Redgrave, Geoffrey Rush, Liz Smith, Jerry Stiller, Scott Rudin and many more.

The Campaign has attracted $7.1 million in commitments to-date, including the support of many organizations and individuals who deeply believe in the role of the performing arts and entertainment community in both defining our society and driving our economy.

For more information, please call the Campaign office at 212.221.7300 ext. 129, e-mail to or visit The Fund’s website at

THE ACTORS FUND is a national human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment. The Fund – which supports those on stage and on screen and everyone behind the scenes who works in theatre, film, TV, music, dance, radio and opera – is a safety net, providing social services and emergency assistance, health services and health insurance information, employment and training programs and housing support for those who are in need, crisis or transition. Learn more about all of The Actors Fund’s services and programs at
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