The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, held its first annual meeting since changing its name in May.
Brian Stokes Mitchell was re-elected chairman of the fund. This marks the Tony winner’s 19th term in the role.
Five new directors – Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, Elliot Greene, Sharon Karmazin, Tyler Perry and Alvin Vincent Jr. – were elected to the board. These individuals will work together to support and execute the Fund’s mission, which includes expanding services nationwide.
Crabtree-Ireland is the National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator for SAG-AFTRA. Greene is the chief operating officer of the Shubert organization. Karmazin is a producer and philanthropist. Perry is an award-winning screenwriter, director, producer, actor, and the founder of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. Vincent is the current executive director of the Actors’ Equity Association.
“We are thrilled to welcome Duncan, Elliot, Sharon, Tyler and Alvin as the first people to join our Board of Directors under our new name Entertainment Community Fund,” said Joseph Benincasa, President and CEO of Funds. “And with Stokes re-elected as President, the life-changing work we have done for 140 years will continue to help the performing arts and entertainment community.”
“It is an honor to continue to chair the Fund’s Board of Directors,” said Mitchell. “I look forward to working with Duncan, Elliot, Sharon, Tyler, Alvin and the rest of our board and councils to support performing arts and entertainment professionals across the country.”
In addition to the elections, the Fund’s Board of Directors announced the creation of a new prize. The Medal of Distinction honors individuals in the arts and entertainment community who have dedicated their lives to helping their peers.
John Bowab and Marty Wiviott were announced as the first two recipients. Bowab had a career spanning over 50 years as a director and producer, while Wiviott was a manager, producer and executive for over 60 years. The two worked together to present a series of well-received concerts in the lobby of the Pantages Theater in California.
Since 1882, the Fund has worked to support life in the arts by providing stability for entertainment professionals. By offering programs including emergency financial assistance, workshops, support groups, mental health resources and more, the Fund continues to help make life in the arts more sustainable.