The holidays are here, and as we gather with our loved ones, it’s time to reflect on the year that’s passed and contemplate what lies ahead. It’s been a challenging year in many ways for our nation, but thanks to your generous support, The Actors Fund continues, stronger than ever.
Whether it’s our quick and compassionate response to disasters like the recent hurricanes and California wildfires, or new beginnings, like the openings of The Shubert Pavilion at The Actors Fund Home, a facility that will provide world class rehabilitative care, and The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts, our brand new primary care facility in the heart of Times Square, The Actors Fund continues to anticipate and provide for our community’s most urgent needs.
Together, we’re building on the foundation of our mission, by not only providing a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan, but also providing services that will foster stability and resiliency and allow our community to thrive at all stages of their careers.
For instance, The Actors Fund has greatly expanded its services for senior and retired performing arts and entertainment professionals in the past five years to meet growing demands for service. The caseload for our Senior Care Program has more than doubled in the past ten years. In response, we’ve increased our social services that help senior performing arts professionals, their families and caregivers including financial assistance, senior housing and case management services. In addition to hiring additional social work staff in New York and Los Angeles to help with crisis management and long-term case management, we have developed an activities program to help keep seniors engaged and active.
In January, The Actors Fund will open The Waldman Living Room, a new senior center for elderly and retired arts professionals housed in our Dorothy Ross Friedman Residence on West 57th Street in Manhattan. The Waldman Living Room will provide a dedicated home for our activities programming and a home base for seniors in our community to congregate and participate in a variety of creative activities as well as health and wellness programming to address the practical concerns of aging in New York City.
Our investment into increasing services for the senior members of our creative community has resulted in almost 1,700 senior and retired performing arts and entertainment professionals served in 2016, and we’re likely to see that number increase in years to come.
Our activities programming extends to Los Angeles, too. With the support of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, The Actors Fund started an activities program at our Palm View residence in West Hollywood last year that has helped build community and provide creative outlets for residents and our larger HIV/AIDS Initiative caseload.
Our work would not be possible without an engaged Board as well as the efforts of our top notch staff and volunteers.
In addition, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS continues to be our steadfast partner, assuring help is there in these uncertain times.
Your support is part of a grand tradition of caring for our entertainment and performing arts community. Thank you for helping to assure that the show will go on, and on.
Joseph P. Benincasa, President & CEO