Spoiler: The Actors Fund is for everyone in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance. That’s singers, dancers, musicians, directors, playwrights, camera operators, press agents, producers, and more! The mission is simple: to foster stability and resiliency, and provide a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. And to do that, they offer a wide variety of services. Here are nine you might not have known about!
1. The Fund's social service programs address challenges faced by people who work in the performing arts and entertainment. Professional social workers offer counseling and support groups, education, emergency financial assistance and practical help around a broad spectrum of issues including HIV/AIDS, women’s health, disability support, senior services, addiction and recovery, and sexual harassment.
2. A workforce development program supports performing arts and entertainment professionals in developing additional streams of income to balance the episodic nature of work in the industry. Through career counseling, education and training, job development, and entrepreneurship services, the Fund's Career Center helps people identify their interests and strengths and leverage their industry skills into opportunities that connect to their overall purpose.
3. Financial Wellness services educate and empower people to live financially healthy and stable lives through education and support around credit and debt, savings, investing and financial planning, and help people explore and address behaviors around money. And with the Looking Ahead program (established in partnership with SAG-AFTRA and offered in both New York as well as California), services are available to help professional young performers and their families navigate the challenges of working in the entertainment industry.
4. In the heart of Times Square is the Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts, run in partnership with The Actors Fund and Mount Sinai Doctors. The Friedman offers an excellent team of general practitioners, as well as specialists in dermatology, physical therapy, podiatry and more to come, all to keep the performing arts community healthy. It also offers people who work in entertainment help in understanding and enrolling in health insurance programs and private plans.
5. A membership to The Actors Fund offers fantastic benefits and access to the performing arts, including access to house seats, tickets that are typically reserved for special guests, family, and friends of the producers, cast, and crew. You’ll see amazing theater and help people to boot. That’s a win-win!
6. In 2018 the Fund provided nearly $2 million and helped 17,352 people with emergency financial assistance to help prevent eviction, cover health insurance premiums and pay electric, gas, and other essential living expenses.
7. Housing is a critical concern, and The Actors Fund works to increase access to affordable housing with three affordable housing residences that are home to 652 people (The Dorothy Ross Friedman Residence in Manhattan, The Schermerhorn in Downtown Brooklyn, and The Palm View in West Hollywood). And The Actors Fund Home in Englewood, New Jersey, was home to 251 people in 2018. In addition, the Housing Resource Center provides affordable housing seminars, as well as an online Housing Bulletin Board.
8. The Actors Fund Home in Englewood, New Jersey, offers assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care services to people in performing arts and entertainment, as well as their immediate family members. Their newest level of care offers short-stay rehabilitation services—all with the goal of a safe return home after a hospital stay. The Shubert Pavilion, named in thanks to a generous lead gift from The Shubert Organization, is available to everyone and accepts Medicare, as well as other insurance and private pay options.
9. Engraving a brick at The Actors Fund Home is a wonderful way to remember a loved one or to honor a special person in your life. It creates a lasting legacy and will help to support the programs and services of The Actors Fund. Your dedicated commemorative brick will be placed at the entrance to The Actors Fund Home—engraved with the name of someone you wish to honor or remember.