PEOPLE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) will once again co-host the official SAG Awards gala, held immediately following the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 in Los Angeles.
Tony Schubert of Event Eleven will design and produce the Gala for the seventh consecutive year.
The SAG Awards gala has been a cornerstone of the PEOPLE/EIF/SAG relationship for nearly two decades. On this special night, the three organizations come together to salute the charitable efforts of actors in their communities and to make an annual donation to the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. PEOPLE and EIF have collaborated on a variety of causes for more than a decade. Together, they have reached hundreds of millions of people with messaging that helps facilitate change.
“PEOPLE has celebrated the philanthropic efforts of Hollywood for 40 years. This year, we have added a special weekly section called ‘Why I Care,’ which showcases personal stories from celebrities giving back,” says Jess Cagle, Editorial Director for PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly. “We are proud to partner once again with EIF to support the SAG Foundation and their important initiatives in the entertainment community.”
“The support and commitment of actors is essential to the work we do at the Entertainment Industry Foundation,” says EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen. "By volunteering their time to raise awareness and funds for our initiatives, actors play an invaluable role in EIF’s ability to positively affect health, education and social issues. We are incredibly grateful for their generosity, and for PEOPLE and the SAG Foundation’s continued commitment to charitable causes.
The $1 million gift from PEOPLE and EIF supports three SAG Foundation programs over the course of 2014-2016: Storyline Online a video-based children’s literacy website; the Catastrophic Healthcare Fund; and the Dales Scholarship Program.
In 2014, the donation also helped to build and open the SAG Foundation’s new state-of-the-art voiceover lab in the Actors Center in New York. The EIF Voiceover Lab of the SAG Foundation opened on May 27, 2014 and already, there are close to 100 voiceover workshops offered to nearly 1000 union voice actors. In 2015, the number of workshops and actors served at the EIF Voiceover Lab will at least double.
“The grant for the building of the EIF/People Voiceover Lab has expanded the possibilities and career support to our over 30,000 Union voiceover artists on the East Coast, providing them access to state-of-the art facilities and professional services, enabling them to advance their talents, experience and careers,” says Cyd Wilson, Executive Director, SAG Foundation.
“Storyline Online has also grown exponentially thanks to the funding,” continues Wilson, “Even with a small library of books on video, we are receiving over 4.3 million hits a month, many of those viewers are teachers sharing with entire classrooms not only in the U.S., but in over 200 countries around the world, translating into multiple millions of children who have the opportunity to experience talented storytellers that engage and inspire them to read. I believe this is one of the most profound and impactful reading programs available at the simple click of a button.”
The SAG Foundation’s Catastrophic Health Fund provides financial grants to eligible SAG-AFTRA performs and their dependents who suffer from life-threatening illness or injury. Like all SAG Foundation assistance programs, the Catastrophic Health Fund application process is completely confidential. Since the SAG Foundation never receives SAG-AFTRA dues or initiation fees to fund any of its programs, the Catastrophic Health Fund is made possible by gifts and grants from generous supporters like the EIF and People Magazine.
Created in 1973 in honor of the Screen Actors Guild’s longtime Executive Secretary John L. Dale, the SAG Foundation’s John L. Dales Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $6 million in scholarships to 1,730 SAG-AFTRA performers and their dependents. John L. Dales Scholarships are granted annually for study at accredited and licensed universities, colleges, junior colleges, adult specialty schools and trade/vocational schools. The number of scholarships and monies awarded are determined by a committee of the SAG Foundation and is also made possible through gifts and grants from generous donors and sponsors, including EIF and People Magazine.