On Sunday evening, just prior to Netflix’s first and historic YouTube live stream of the 29th Annual SAG Awards, SAG-AFTRA Foundation President and award-winning actor Courtney B. Vance announced the Foundation will be breaking ground next month on the Meryl Streep Center for Performing Artists in Los Angeles.
The Meryl Streep Center for Performing Artists will be a 15,000 square foot, world-class facility located on the Penthouse Level of the SAG-AFTRA Building at 5757 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. Named in honor of Actors’ Council member and decades-long supporter of the Foundation, actor Meryl Streep, the Center will serve as an educational hub and creative home for all 160,000 SAG-AFTRA artists.
“Meryl Streep is a leader in our industry like few others,” Vance shared with the evening’s nominees and guests. “And when she heard about our plans, she was proud to allow us to honor her in this way. Her steadfast commitment to strengthening the work of the Foundation has always inspired me deeply.”
Upon learning about the Foundation’s vision for naming their new project, Meryl Streep stated, “I am greatly honored to be the recipient of this very generous and rewarding accolade. I believe in the work of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, and the impact it makes in the lives of thousands of artists. This new center will help our community thrive in many profound and practical ways, and I’m looking forward to seeing it completed.”
The Center will include a state-of-the-art screening room with the latest technology, voiceover recording sound booths, on-camera recording studio, tech labs, an editing bay, instructional classrooms and more.
Vance’s second major announcement of the evening was introducing the crown jewel of the Center – the Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson Screening Room – a 100-seat intimate screening room and educational space featuring the latest in digital technology and cutting-edge sound. Like the center itself, the screening room is named in honor of two major champions of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who have stepped up throughout their careers to support their fellow performing artists when in need, and Hanks has served on the Foundation’s Actors’ Council for many years. In fact, Tom was one of the Council’s founding members, along with George Clooney and Helen Mirren.
“It’s been a real joy to serve on the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Actors’ Council for many years now. I’m grateful our community has this Foundation to turn to for help when it’s needed most,” said Tom Hanks. “That said, I equally praise the robust educational programming the Foundation offers to the membership free of charge. Rita and I are greatly honored by the naming of this beautiful, new screening room, and we cannot wait to see it filled with actors sharing their work, and learning from one another.”
“We love being a part of the Foundation family, and we are very humbled to have been chosen to receive this honor,” said Rita Wilson. “The role the Foundation plays in bringing our community together, especially what they accomplished during COVID, is phenomenal, and that will only continue with the building of this new home in Los Angeles. We are thrilled to be a part of it.”
The Meryl Streep Center for Performing Artists and Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson Screening Room will house all of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation programs under one roof, and will open in early 2024.