The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, held its first yearly meeting since changing its name back in May.
Brian Stokes Mitchell was reelected as chair of the fund. This marks the Tony winner’s 19th term in the role.
Five new trustees — 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 writer, director, producer, actor and the founder of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. Vincent is the current executive director of Actors’ Equity Association.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Duncan, Elliot, Sharon, Tyler and Alvin as the first people joining our board under our new name of the Entertainment Community Fund,” said Joseph Benincasa, president and CEO of the Fund. “And with Stokes reelected to lead as chair, the life-changing work we’ve done for 140 years will continue to help the performing arts and entertainment community.”
“It’s an honor to continue to serve as chair of the board of the Fund,” 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 throughout the country.”
In addition to the elections, the Fund’s board announced the creation of a new award. The Medal of Distinction recognizes people in the arts and entertainment community who have devoted their lives to helping their peers.
John Bowab and Marty Wiviott were announced as the first two recipients. Bowab has enjoyed a 50+ year career as a director and producer, while Wiviott has been a stage manager, producer and executive for more than 60 years. The two worked together to present a well-received series of concerts in the lobby of the Pantages Theatre in California.
Since 1882, the Fund has worked to support life in the arts by providing stability to 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.