At the 26th Annual SAG Awards, SAG-AFTRA Foundation President Courtney B. Vance announced industry leaders and philanthropists, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, committed to give a $250,000 matching donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation in response to Vance’s call to raise an additional $1.5 million for the national nonprofit.

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation recently launched a campaign to raise an additional $1.5 million dollars to support performing artists. The Katzenbergs were the first major contributors to this effort.

“It used to be that working a decent ‘survival’ job allowed us to pursue our profession,” said Vance. “But today, just being able to afford the basics has become nearly impossible for many actors.”

“Performing artists are the bedrock of our industry,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg who was present at the awards ceremony. “Marilyn and I have spent decades working with artists at all stages of their careers, and we’re incredibly proud to be able to lead this campaign and provide more opportunities for artists to improve their craft while supporting those struggling with healthcare needs or the high cost of housing.”

Vance challenged the 250 nominated actors at the SAG Awards to each donate $1,000 to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation to show the industry that actors support their own, “Our Foundation benefits from the SAG Awards, receiving a major donation, but we need so much more,” added Vance.

“We are grateful for Courtney’s leadership,” said SAG-AFTRA Foundation Executive Director Cyd Wilson. “Through this campaign we can now provide so much more to our community of performing artists who are struggling to keep their heads above water.”

For 34 years, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation has been a vital safety net for all SAG-AFTRA artists, providing emergency financial and health assistance. In addition to its emergency assistance programs, the Foundation provides free educational programs allowing performers to get hands-on training in everything from the auditioning process to money management to keeping current with industry trends and technology.

“Whenever our community has needed help, the Katzenbergs have been there for us,” concluded Vance. “We thank them for recognizing the contributions made by performing artists.”

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