UPDATED with AFM relief fund: SAG-AFTRA, the WGA and the American Federation of Musicians have joined IATSE in offering financial relief to its members affected by the California wildfires. The actor and writer unions are directing its members to contact welfare funds established for emergencies like the ones facing many of their members across the state.
Details on the SAG-AFTRA, WGA and AFM programs are below.
Meanwhile, IATSE said earlier this afternoon that “the unprecedented wildfires currently scorching California are now the deadliest and most destructive in the state’s history. Our hearts go out to the affected California communities, and we thank the firefighters, first responders, and volunteers for their continued efforts.”
Assistance will be provided to members affected by the fires through the Richard Walsh/Alfred Di Tolla/Harold Spivak Foundation. Walsh and Di Tolla are former IATSE presidents, and Spivak was the union’s general counsel for more than 50 years.
IATSE members in need of assistance should submit a written request to their local unions, which will then forward those requests to the Foundation for review by its trustees. IATSE is also asking members not directly affected by the fires to donate to the Foundation to help pay for shelter, food, clothing, and other necessities needed “to help our affected IATSE sisters and brothers get through this difficult time.”
Checks should be made payable to the “Walsh/Di Tolla/Spivak Foundation” and mailed to:
The Walsh/Di Tolla/Spivak Foundation c/o IATSE
207 W. 25th St., 4th Fl.
New York, NY 10001
Additional emergency financial assistance and natural disaster resources for affected entertainment or performing arts workers are available through the Actors Fund. Visit actorsfund.org/wildfires to contact The Actors Fund for support, or to donate to those in need.
Here are the statements from WGA and SAG-AFTRA to their members affected by the California wildfires:
“We know that guild members have lost their homes, or have been forced to flee them,” the WGA said tonight in a communique with its members. “The devastation is overwhelming and the ongoing threats to human life are all too real. As a union we stand together in times of challenge to help and support one another. This is clearly one of those times..
“Two important avenues of assistance are available to those of you affected by the fires. First, there is the Writers Guild of America West Good and Welfare Emergency Assistance Fund administered by The Motion Picture & Television Fund. Members who are experiencing acute financial distress may contact MPTF Community Social Services.”
Guild leaders also noted that The Actors Fund is mobilizing its resources to assist all those in the entertainment industry – including writers – caught in the grip of this disaster. “The Fund may be able to provide emergency financial assistance and referrals to other resources.”
SAG-AFTRA has a similar message for its members, saying that “In times like these, we are not just SAG-AFTRA members, we are family.” Like the WGA, SAG-AFTRA has also partnered with The Actors Fund to administer the relief efforts on the ground “ensuring all SAG-AFTRA members receive the help they need.”
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation and the SAG-AFTRA Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund also have a Disaster Relief Fund to provide urgent financial support to SAG-AFTRA members and families affected by the California wildfires.
The WGA West’s leaders – president David A. Goodman, vice president Marjorie David and secretary-treasurer Aaron Mendelsohn – closed their missive saying: “Let us not forget to thank our brave firefighters and first responders who find themselves still in the midst of the battle against these blazes that have caused so much destruction.”
The American Federation of Musicians also is offering assistance to its members affected by the California wildfires. Musicians can apply for disaster relief through the Local 47 Relief Fund and the Music Fund of Los Angeles.