How The Actor’s Fund Became the Leisure Local community Fund – The Hollywood Reporter

How The Actor’s Fund Became the Leisure Local community Fund – The Hollywood Reporter

The Actor’s Fund is now the Enjoyment Community Fund, the 140-12 months-previous corporation declared through its bicoastal annual gala event Monday night.

Fund chairman and Tony-winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell presented the news for the duration of the simulcast ceremony and fundraising event, which raised a report-breaking $1.7 million for the longstanding firm. A host of industry friends had been in attendance in Los Angeles at Paramount Pics and in New York at the Marriott Marquis for the announcement, such as Hugh Jackman, Sutton Foster, Alex Newell, LL Interesting J, Chandra Wilson, Amanda Kloots, Kenny Leon, Harris Yulin, Edmund Donovan and Paramount CEO Brian Robbins.

“It’s a new identify and a new appear, with the identical mission,” Mitchell explained to the crowds. “We recognize the perseverance of technicians, digicam operators, stagehands, writers, musicians, stage managers, actors and 1000’s much more who function in film, tv, radio, new music, theater, dance and opera. They all contribute to our country’s cultural vibrancy. We price them. We guidance them. And the fund is here for all of them.”

The title change arrives a thirty day period in advance of the Fund’s 140th anniversary this June. “Since 1882, the information has always been that we aid absolutely everyone in the executing arts and amusement local community,” Fund president and CEO Joseph Benincasa informed The Hollywood Reporter forward of Monday’s announcement. “Who all those people today were being is a little various than it is currently, but the expression ‘actor,’ when the firm was founded, utilized to absolutely everyone working in clearly show company. So there’s generally been this discussion.”

Benincasa stated the current branding change — which includes its very first-ever emblem (a coronary heart shaped by spotlights) — truly started 15 several years in the past with an before and smaller sized rebranding effort and hard work that produced the Fund’s to start with tag line, “for every person in amusement.” But in the a long time considering that, the organization felt that even that however didn’t pretty clarify how broadly the nonprofit defines amusement market worker and just how many men and women its housing, health care and emergency economic help programs essentially supports.

So around five years back, the Fund formally surveyed “the overall undertaking arts and leisure community,” Benincasa claimed, like customers of the unions and guilds as properly as staff members of the studios and theaters. “What came back to us loud and distinct is that our identify must say who we are, who we assist, have a tagline and introduce our initial-at any time brand,” he explained.

The organization carried that effort out and was gearing up for the announcement of its latest rebrand when the pandemic strike. The Fund was compelled to cancel a stay occasion wherever they were being heading to make the announcement in advance of remaining promptly swept up in the requires of supporting customers of the leisure marketplace amid many manufacturing shutdowns, like some 100,000 individuals on Broadway who had been out of get the job done and lacking healthcare for approximately two a long time.

“During the pandemic, we realized that folks didn’t know they could flip to us for aid. So we had to do a large amount of promotion and a large amount of publicity close to that to enable people today know that the Actors Fund was below to help them by way of,” Benincasa advised THR. “The pandemic shown to us is that this decision was warranted.”

Over and above Monday’s announcement, the Enjoyment Local community Fund will be making use of its promotion campaign, “most of which has been donated,” Benincasa said, to unfold the phrase and motivate additional folks in the field — from crew to entertainment trade push — to convert to the group for support. It options to do this with the assistance of the unions, guilds, theaters and studios and its star-studded board associates.

That features actress Annette Bening, showrunner Greg Berlanti, previous head of Writers Guild West Chris Keyser and The Great Struggle producer Brooke Kennedy. (Keyser and Kennedy have been also in demand of creating the organization’s a few-moment video clip announcement for the title change, which showcased Stokes and other significant Fund names.)

Hunting ahead, the Fund president claims the organization wants to “triple the range of individuals we help” above the upcoming 3 a long time and hopes that this rebrand will enable the nonprofit attain that intention.

“We don’t beat our chests. We don’t talk about ourselves much too considerably,” Benincasa states about the Fund’s board, volunteers and employees. “But we do speak about what we do and how we enable. We want persons to know they can turn to us.”

“During the pandemic, we assisted 68,000 folks and presented $27 million in direct economic help,” he ongoing. “We want to make certain that anyone understands that our organization can assist them at some level in their lives or through their life.”