SOCIAL SERVICES AND EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE | Entertainment Community Fund

SOCIAL SERVICES AND EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Our free and confidential social service programs address a wide array of challenges faced by people in performing arts and entertainment. Our professional social workers offer support, counseling and practical help. If you would like to speak with a social worker, please complete our application or contact an office nearest to you.

New York – Eastern Region
eastern@entertainmentcommunity.org
917.281.5919
Chicago – Central Region
central@entertainmentcommunity.org
312.372.0989
Los Angeles - Western Region
western@entertainmentcommunity.org
323.330.2455

HOW TO APPLY FOR EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Emergency financial assistance is available for people who are unable to pay their immediate basic living expenses (housing, food, utility bills or health care). If you can cover your expenses for the next few months, we ask that you wait to apply.

Once we receive your application, a social services team member will get in touch within 10 business days to assess eligibility, discuss your particular situation and financial need, help develop a plan of action and, if helpful, connect you to community resources.

This assistance can help towards the cost of immediate basic living expenses such as housing, food, utility bills or health care.

THREE STEPS TO APPLY

1. CONFIRM YOUR FINANCIAL NEED

Emergency financial assistance is available for people who are unable to pay their immediate basic living expenses (housing, food, utility bills or health care). If you can cover your expenses for the next few months, we ask you wait to apply.

2. REVIEW YOUR ELIGIBILITY

The Entertainment Community Fund manages the disbursement of several funds. Please read the requirements below for all unions, guilds and/or employers that apply to you. Union and non-union workers may apply directly to the Entertainment Community Fund. 

3. PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTATION

Before you start to fill out the online application, please collect and digitize all of the required documentation.

Entertainment Community Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

Eligibility for financial assistance varies by program. Overall eligibility for financial assistance is based on:

  • Documentation of three years of professional performing arts and entertainment earnings out of the last six years.
  • The three years of earnings must be a minimum of $6,500 in each of the three years.

OR

  • A minimum of 20 years of industry-paid employment with at least 10 years of industry earnings of $5,000 per year.

OR

  • Professionals whose primary career is as a dancer must document earnings from dance of $2,000 per year, three years out of the last seven years.

OR

  • Comedians whose primary earnings are through live performance must document earnings from comedic work of $2,000 per year for three years out of the last six years.

Required documentation:

  • Documentation of industry earnings: Accepted forms of earnings documentation include Union Pension and Health statements, W-2, 1099 forms or pay stubs.
  • Current checking, savings and investment statements, including name, address, transaction and balance totals.
  • Most recent federal income tax return—first two pages only (1040 form).
  • Bills for which you are seeking assistance including applicant name and address.
  • If applicable, documentation of your illness, injury or disability.
American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

  • Current members in good standing or on honorary withdrawal. Confirmation of current membership including start and end date. Email membership@musicalartists.org and put ‘Proof of Membership in subject line for confirmation letter.
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address, transactions and balance totals.
  • Bills for which you are seeking assistance including applicant name and address.
  • If applicable, documentation of your illness, injury or disability.
  • To determine your eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
Casting Society Cares

Eligibility and documentation:

  • Documentation of financial need.
  • Current, active member of Casting Society. A PDF of membership card must be obtained online:
    • Login to www.castingsociety.com → My Account → Billing & Membership → Print Your Membership Card (PDF)
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address, transactions and balance totals.
  • Most recent Federal Income Tax Return—first two pages only (1040 form).
  • Bills for which you are seeking assistance including name and address.
  • For international members only: to apply, please email eastern@entertainmentcommunity.org
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
Greater Orlando Performing Arts Relief (GOPAR)

GOPAR provides emergency financial assistance to individuals throughout Greater Orlando who derive income from the performing arts and/or theme park entertainment sectors. 

Eligibility and Documentation

Eligibility

  • Documentation of financial need.
  • Current resident of one of the following Florida counties: Lake, Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Osceola, Brevard or Polk.
  • Documentation of two years of eligible Performing arts and Entertainment earnings out of the last five years. Both documented years of earnings must be a minimum of $6,500 per year. OR
    • A minimum of 20 years of industry-paid employment with at least 10 years of industry earnings of $5,000 per year. OR
    • Professionals whose primary career is as a dancer must document earnings from dance of $2,000 per year, two years out of the last five years. OR
    • Comedians whose primary earnings are through live performance must document earnings from comedic work of $2,000 per year for three years out of the last seven. 
  • Eligible income must be from employment in the performing arts and/or theme park entertainment sector in the greater Orlando area.

Required Documents

  • Documentation of Industry Earnings: Accepted forms of earnings documentation include Union Pension and Health statements, W-2, 1099 forms, signed contracts or pay stubs.
  • Current checking, savings and investment statements, including name, address, transaction and balance totals.
  • Most recent federal income tax return—first two pages only (1040 form).
  • Bills for which you are seeking assistance including applicant name and address.
  • Housing expense—lease or mortgage including name and address.
  • If applicable, documentation of your illness, injury or disability.
Hunter Brown Emergency Assistance Fund

The Hunter Brown Emergency Assistance Fund offers emergency financial assistance to current or former employees of Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Eligibility and documentation:

  • An applicant must experience a verifiable financial hardship due to natural disaster or unforeseen personal crisis.
  • Documentation of current or former employee status working with Oregon Shakespeare Festival during the past seven seasons, full-time or contract. Verification of employment and history status must be included in application. Request letter by emailing HumanResources@osfashland.org. Please include your name, email, address and phone number.
  • Current checking and savings statement, including name, address, transactions and balance totals.
  • Most recent federal income tax return—first two pages only (1040 form).
  • Lease, mortgage/maintenance and bills for which you are seeking assistance, with your name and address.
  • If applicable, documentation of your illness, injury or disability.
  • If applicable, documents that confirm FEMA certification for disaster related events or other applicable materials.
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
IATSE Local 161 Hardship Relief Fund

Eligibility

  • A current member in good standing for a minimum of the last two years
  • If not currently in good standing, member may contact the union to apply for an exception
  • Documentation of financial need

Required Documentation

  • Verification letter of eligibility from union. Please contact: Germaine Marino, Administrative Assistant, at Germaine@local161.org. Include your name, email address and phone number.
  • Current complete checking, savings and investment bank statements, including name, address, transactions and balance totals
  • Bills for which assistance is requested including applicant name and address
  • Most recent 1040 form from Federal Income Tax Return
  • Housing expense—lease, mortgage/maintenance, including name and address
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund
IATSE Local 476 Chicago Studio Mechanics Hardship Relief Fund

Eligibility

  • A current member in good standing for two out of the last three years (eight quarters out of the last twelve quarters)
  • Documentation of financial need

Required Documentation

  • Current IATSE Local 476 verification of eligibility letter
    • To request verification letter, send an email to lindab@iatse476.org. Please include your name, email address and phone number.
  • Current complete checking, savings and investment account bank statements, including name, address, transactions and balance totals
  • Bills for which assistance is requested that include applicant name and address
  • Most recent 1040 form from Federal Income Tax Return
  • Housing expense—lease, mortgage/maintenance, including name and address
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund
IATSE Local 600 Hardship Fund

IASTE Local 600 provides assistance through two Funds for those experiencing a lack of work. Members are eligible for only one Local 600 Hardship Fund at any given time.

Lack of work due to work stoppage

Eligibility:

  • A member in good standing as of January 1, 2023. Verification of membership status must be included in the application. Request a letter by emailing accounting@icg600.com. Please include your name, email address and phone number.
  • Documented need.

Required Documentation:

  • Most recent checking and savings bank statements, including name, address, transactions and balance totals.
  • Most recent federal income tax return—first two pages only (1040).
  • Bills for which you seek assistance, including the applicant’s name and address.
  • Housing expense—lease, mortgage/maintenance, including your name and address.
  • To determine your eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see the criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.

Lack of work due to illness or injury

Eligibility:

A member must experience a verifiable financial hardship and experience either:

  • An extreme catastrophic injury or illness which prevents that member from performing covered work for at least six months.
  • A severe workplace injury while engaging in Local 600 covered work which prevents that member from performing covered work.
  • A manmade or natural disaster which prevents that member from performing covered work.
  • Have at least $25,000 of covered earnings over the previous five years.
  • A member in good standing for at least two continuous years at the onset of the qualifying illness. Verification of membership status must be included in the application. Request letter by emailing accounting@icg600.com. Please include your name, email, address and phone number.

Required Documentation:

  • Most recent checking and savings bank statements, including name, address, transactions and balance totals.
  • Most recent federal income tax return—first two pages only (1040).
  • Bills for which you seek assistance, including the applicant’s name and address.
  • Housing expense—lease, mortgage/maintenance, including your name and address.
  • Documents that confirm injury or illness such as physician’s note or workers compensation application, if applicable.
  • Documents that confirm FEMA certifications for disaster-related applications.
  • To determine your eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see the criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
IATSE Local 700 Hardship Relief Fund

Eligibility

  • A current member in good standing for a minimum of two consecutive dues-quarter periods. Verification of membership status must be included in the application. Request a letter by emailing MemberAssistanceFund@editorsguild.com. Please include your name, email address and phone number.
  • Documentation of financial need

Required Documentation

  • Verification letter of eligibility from Local 700
  • Current complete checking, savings and investment bank statements, including name, address, transactions and balance totals.
  • Bills for which assistance is requested, including applicant name and address.
  • Most recent 1040 form from Federal Income Tax Return
  • Housing expense—lease, mortgage/maintenance, including name and address.
  • Medical or natural disaster documentation if applicable.
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see the criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
IATSE Local 798

Eligibility and documentation:

  • Current Membership with verification of membership status provided by the Union. To request membership verification, send an email to: gschwartz@local798.net and copy SecretaryTreasurer@local798.net.  Please include your name, email address and phone number.
  • Most recent complete checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Bills for which assistance is requested including applicant name and address.
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
IATSE Local USA 829

Eligibility

  • Be an active Member in good standing 
  • Documented need

Required Documentation

  • Current membership card
    • Active Members in good standing: Download your Work Card in your Member Portal. You can download your digital card in the Member Portal > Landing Page > Download My Work Card. 
    •  If you’re unable to connect to your portal or download a current work card, please contact Mike Smith mikes@usa829.org or Assistant to the Financial Secretary Ruksana Chopdat ruksanac@usa829.org. They will help you and provide a membership verification letter to include with the application.  
  • Most recent complete checking and savings bank statement, including name, address, transactions and balance totals
  • Bills for which assistance is requested, including applicant name and address
  • Housing expense—lease, mortgage/maintenance, including name and address
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund
Jujamcyn Theatre Assistance Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

  • A regular team member in good standing for 6 months (this can be non-consecutive) within the last 12 months. OR
  • A substitute team member is eligible if you have worked part-time or full-time in good standing within each of the last 12 months.
  • Current complete checking, savings and investment statements, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Bills for which you are seeking assistance including applicant name and address.
  • If applicable, documentation of your illness, injury or disability.
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
Tips On Making Your Applications Process Easier

Prepare all documents prior to filling out the online application. Applicants will be required to upload all documents at the end of the online application.

If any documents are not already available electronically, here are some suggested steps to create a digital file.

  1. Search the app store for Evernote Scannable and download it to your phone. This is a free app. There are other similar apps that are available to create electronic files. Please use what works for you.
  2. Open the app and scan documents to create PDF files.
  3. You will need to create PDF files for each of these categories:
    1. 1 file including three years out of the last seven years of entertainment industry earnings.
    2. 1 file for last month’s full checking and savings bank statement.
    3. 1 file for current tax return (first two pages only; 1040 form)
    4. 1 file for current bills such as lease, rent, mortgage or maintenance statement.
    5. 1 file for union card(s) or proof of membership status, if applicable.
    6. 1 file for documentation of illness, injury or disability if applicable

To apply, the Fund now requires that you have an account on the Entertainment Community Fund's new Client Portal.

If you have already created a Fund Client Portal account, please sign in to access and complete the Financial Assistance Application.

If you have previously received services from the Fund, a Fund Portal account has already been created for you. To activate this account, please reset your password and complete your profile. You will then be able to access the Financial Assistance Application.

If you are new to the Fund, please create an account by completing the profile information required in the Client Portal. Once you complete your profile, you will be able to access the Financial Assistance Application.

Apply for assistance

Only complete applications can be processed. Please submit all requested documents so that we can assist you as quickly as possible.

Questions? Contact an office nearest to you:

Eastern Region
eastern@entertainmentcommunity.org
917.281.5919

Central Region
central@entertainmentcommunity.org
312.372.0989

Western Region
western@entertainmentcommunity.org
323.330.2455