The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund has distributed more than $4 million in direct financial assistance to some 4,000 SAG-AFTRA members in urgent need, with hundreds of applications still being reviewed. In his seventh “fireside chat,” Foundation president Courtney B. Vance noted today that “it’s still taking approximately three weeks to receive assistance, so please hang in there and be patient.”
See his latest “fireside chat” here:
Grants typically are for $1,000 to help pay for basic living expenses, such as food, housing and health care. “With over 100,000 actors out of work, our Disaster Relief Fund will need multiple millions of dollars to help those in need, so every dollar counts,” the Foundation states on its website. “The SAG-AFTRA Foundation operates solely on grants and donations and many of the industry’s top earners are supporting the Foundation.” The Relief Fund is administered by the Actors Fund.
Offering words of encouragement, Vance urged members to “Use what you know. Don’t worry about what you don’t know,” quoting the late-great casting director Michael Shurtleff. “It is solid advice,” he said. “But given that we live in a time of great uncertainty – When are things going to open up? When will I be able to go back into public? When will the jobs return? – that does not mean we are powerless. I encourage you to use what you know as performers, as people, as members of your community, and utilize your personal toolbox to make the world a better place for yourself and for others around you.”