A message from Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell | Actors Fund

A message from Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell

November 22, 2016 | Services & Programs

From the Opening Remarks by Brian Stokes Mitchell, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Actors Fund, at our Board's November 17 meeting.

“’May you live in interesting times’. This ancient saying has been considered by some to be a curse.  It can also be viewed as a blessing - especially so for those of us who pursue a career in the Arts.

Challenging situations and challenging times are an artist’s best fuel, an artist’s best inspiration.

We are presently living within the strong reverberations of a political season that did little to help these United States feel united. This is the time for the difficult work. This is the time for the challenging and healing work of artists and the arts.

Members of the arts community are incredibly diverse. We are male and female…black and white…rich and poor…gay and straight…city-dwellers and country-dwellers…Democrats and Republicans…Christians and Muslims and Jews and Atheists…

What the disparate members of the arts community have in common is that we strive to see the world through new and different eyes. To be observant of our connections and our disconnections, our unity and division as individuals and as a larger collective.

It is probably safe to say that most artists on the path also share a conscious attention to not lose that fragile partner that is often the first casualty of our perceived division:  Our empathy.”

At the same meeting, Joe Benincasa, CEO of The Actors Fund, expressed concerns about the possible impact on our services for our performing arts and entertainment community.

“While it is still too early to know what will happen to those we help to secure health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, or how many more people will need subsidized health care at our new Health Center, we are committed to making sure that we address their needs. We are concerned that reductions in Medicaid and Medicare funding might adversely affect the operation of our nursing home and assisted living facility, or that possible changes to the Tax Code may dampen incentives to develop affordable, supportive and special needs housing. We are working to understand these possible impacts and will issue an assessment early in January.  Throughout today's meeting we'll be talking about the possible impact of these changes.”