SAG-AFTRA Foundation Gave Out $800,000 In Assistance This Year & $300,000 In Scholarships

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation granted more than $800,000 in emergency financial assistance, Covid assistance, senior financial crisis aid, health assistance and disaster relief this year to members of the union, the foundation’s president, Courtney B. Vance, said in his year-end fireside chat. He also reported that the Foundation awarded another $300,000 in higher education scholarships to 106 SAG-AFTRA members and their dependents.

“We couldn’t have done any of this without the generosity of our donors,” he said, “so on behalf of the Foundation I thank you for continued support of our community in times of need. As has always been true, if you need help, please ask. And if you can help, please give.”

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See his fireside chat here:

“As the industry is back up and running and productions are in full swing, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation continues to be hard at work serving as the vital safety net and free educational resource for our community of 160,000 SAG-AFTRA artists nationwide,” Vance said.

Sharing some of the Foundation’s “big wins” this year, he said:

“Our dedicated programming staff produced a grand total of more than 5,500 free educational programs that were attended by over 31,000 SAG-AFTRA participants.

“A mental health series was produced by The Business program, designed to be a resource of health, hope, and healing. That can be accessed on our YouTube channel, along with several recent panels featuring agents and industry leaders to serve you both personally and professionally.

“As self-tape auditions have become the new norm, our virtual on-camera lab recorded nearly 4,000 auditions, helping many to secure jobs. We will continue to offer this free service online, as well as re-open our in-person labs in the coming year. Not only did our voiceover labs host more than 170 free VO workshops online, but our engineers helped to set up hundreds of home recording studios for voiceover artists, allowing them to record their auditions and jobs from home.

“And in 2022, we received over 830,000 views for all our recorded Conversations and The Business programs. So, subscribe to our YouTube Channel to access this treasure trove of professional advice, strategies, tech tips and inspiration for actors and performers of all kinds.

“Our global children’s literacy initiative, Storyline Online, introduced eight new read-alouds featuring SAG-AFTRA artists Sutton Foster, Rosario Dawson, Joel McHale, Isabella Gomez, Lea Michele, Seth Meyers, Terry Crews and Connie Britton. We thank all of these great storytellers for volunteering their time and talent to help us advance children’s literacy worldwide.”

Storyline Online, he noted, has surpassed 900 million views since it was begun over 20 years ago. “And 2023 looks to be the year we may just hit 1 billion views,” he said.

In closing, Vance said: “I want to remind you that our Foundation relies on the generosity of SAG-AFTRA members to keep our work strong and vital. During this time of giving, consider making a donation to support our Foundation and your family of fellow performers. We thank you for keeping us in mind, and we wish you the happiest of holiday seasons. May you and your loved ones be met with peace and good will.”

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