The SAG-AFTRA Foundation has passed the $5 million mark in financial assistance to the union’s members during the pandemic. “In three months’ time, we’ve given over $5.1 million in emergency aid to thousands of our fellow performers, and counting,” Foundation president Courtney B. Vance said in the latest of his fireside chats. “This is a positive response to a very unfortunate situation.”
Applications for assistance take about a week to process, he said, “So if you’ve applied, know that help is on the way.” Urging those who are able to donate to do so, he also issued a challenge to industry members to give him feedback on their goals during and after the pandemic.
Watch Vance’s 12th COVID-19 “fireside chat” above. Here’s what he had to say tonight:
“I hope this finds you in good health, and you’re feeling energized and encouraged, as many businesses continue to re-open and some good news is spreading within our own industry. As I discussed last week, California Governor Newsom has given the green light for California productions to resume as long as safety protocols are followed. While this is certainly not an overnight fix, it does signify that there is light to be found at the end of the tunnel.
“As I said in last week’s fireside chat, we’re in a storm right now. We have been here before. This one is real. And like the others, is going to require all of us to take a deep breath and refresh our memory about what we can do when we come together as a nation for us to come out of this storm and see better days.
“And I think what may also help us, is speaking and vocalizing about some of those better days; some of those things you want to see take form. Much like a Vision Board, I think we can all benefit by setting goals, creating milestones, and keeping our eyes focused on one or more prizes. So I want to offer our community a challenge: tell me something positive you’re striving for; looking forward to.
“For those out of work, it might be getting back to work, and landing a role. For those who have been sick, it might be bringing your body back to speed so you can do the things you like such as singing, or dancing, or performing like you used to. For those taking to the streets and committing to action within your communities, maybe it’s outlining some of the areas where the system can better support all peoples, not just a select few. Or perhaps it’s something entirely different, unique.
“I want to encourage all of us to let our goals be heard so that they can become a reality, and I want to personally hear about them so I can share them in next week’s fireside chat. For I believe in the power of positive thinking, and I believe in our community supporting each other through this period. It may be the one thing that allows us to realize that we truly rise or fall together.
“We’ve been dealt a mighty blow, but I know we can and will see better days. I look forward to hearing about what that is going to be for all of you…for all of us.
“Until next week; stay safe; stay connected. And if you’re feeling sick or symptomatic…stay home.”