For immediate release
DATE: July 30, 2009
CONTACT: Ina Clark, 212.221.7300 ext. 176,
New Health Care Reform-Focused Website for Artists Launches Today
(New York, NY) –The Actors Fund’s Health Insurance Resource Center (HIRC), in partnership with The Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) and Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), launched today a national artists’ health care reform website, Artists United for Health Care ().
As attention to health care reform takes center stage nationally, the Artists United for Health Care site brings attention to the critical place of artists in the reform debate. Because a high percentage of those who work in the arts – a group totaling more than 2 million American citizens – don’t receive health insurance benefits through employers and are twice as likely to be uninsured as the general population, the dire need for reform must focus on solutions that go further than employer-provided benefits. In order to keep the arts in America healthy and thriving, all artists must have access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance and care.
The website’s goal is to enable artists to get directly involved in advocating for meaningful and real reform through sending letters to their Congressional representatives and by joining with other participating organizations who are working hard to effect change.
The Artists United for Health Care site:
“Artists are one of the most uninsured groups in this country, and we now have a real opportunity to change that,” says Jim Brown, The Actors Fund’s Director of Health Services. “This is the time for us – and for all Americans – to demand universal health care coverage as a right.”
THE HEALTH INSURANCE RESOURCE CENTER (HIRC), a program of The Actors Fund, was created in 1998 with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts to help people in entertainment and the arts find affordable health care coverage and reduce the number of uninsured artists. HIRC includes in-person counseling in New York and Los Angeles, national telephone support, an internet resource database () with over a half-million visitors each year and over 100 Getting and Keeping Health Insurance workshops held at arts, cultural and human services organizations throughout the country. For more information call 800.221.7303 or visit .
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 www.actorsfund.org.
Since its inception in 2003, LEVERAGING INVESTMENTS FOR CREATIVITY (LINC) has strived to improved access to affordable spaces and health care for individual artists in the United States. This focus represents an essential piece of LINC’s larger goal of improving artists’ ability to make work, build social capital and contribute to democratic values and positive community outcomes.
THE CENTER FOR CULTURAL INNOVATION (CCI), founded in 2001, promotes knowledge sharing, networking and the financial independence of individual artists by providing business-related training, grants and loans, and incubating innovative programs for the field.
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