At Entertainment Community Fund’s annual meeting (formerly The Actors Fund), the national human services organization for everyone in performing arts and entertainment welcomed five new members to its Board of Trustees and re-elected Tony Award-winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell as Chair, his nineteenth term of serving in this role. Mitchell, an actor, and singer, is known for his powerful baritone voice has been a central leading man, on Broadway, since the 1990s and won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 2000 for his performance in Kiss Me, Kate.

The new trustees will support the Entertainment Community Fund’s mission to continue to deliver and expand services nationwide:

·         Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator for SAG-AFTRA

·         Elliot Greene, Chief Operating Officer of the Shubert Organization

·         Sharon Karmazin, producer and philanthropist

·         Tyler Perry, award-winning writer, director, producer, producer and actor, and founder of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta

·         Alvin Vincent, Jr., Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association

“We’re thrilled to welcome Duncan, Elliot, Sharon, Tyler, and Alvin as the first people joining our Board under our new name of the Entertainment Community Fund,” said Joseph Benincasa, President and CEO of the Fund. “And with Stokes reelected to lead as Chair, the life-changing work we’ve done for 140 years will continue to help the performing arts and entertainment community.”

In May 2022, the Entertainment Community Fund formally announced its organization’s new name to better reflect the broad scope of industry professionals they help. The Entertainment Community Fund is the only organization with reach from coast to coast. It is committed to helping people who work in entertainment and the performing arts. The organization provides holistic support to individuals with unique hardships. For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the entire performing arts and entertainment industry in March of 2020, the Entertainment Community Fund was there to help.

In 2020 and 2021, the organization served more than 60,000 individuals through a wide range of programs and services focusing on health and wellness, career and life, and financial wellness (a 68% increase over the preceding two non-pandemic years). Since March 2020, the Fund has distributed more than $26.8 million in emergency financial assistance to 17,900 individuals.

Brian Stokes Mitchell–Chairman of the Board of the Entertainment Community Fund (Contributed Photo)

“It’s an honor to continue to serve as Chair of the Board of the Fund,” said Brian Stokes Mitchell. “I look forward to working with Duncan, Elliot, Sharon, Tyler, Alvin, and the rest of our Board and Councils to support performing arts and entertainment professionals throughout the country.”

The Board also created a new award, the Medal of Distinction, to recognize people in the performing arts and entertainment community who merit recognition for lives devoted to helping their colleagues. Among the recipients are John Bowab and Marty Wiviott. John is a director of television and stage and a producer with a 50-year career. Marty has been a professional stage manager, producer, and executive for more than 60 years. 

The Board of the Entertainment Community Fund establishes policies for administering the programs and services of the organization, which has served the community since 1882. For a complete listing of the Board, councils, and committees of the Entertainment Community Fund, visit

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