Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg have committed a $250,000 matching donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, President Courtney B. Vance announced Sunday evening at the 26th Annual SAG Awards.
The foundation recently launched a campaign to raise $1.5 million 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,” Vance told the assembled actors. “But today, just being able to afford the basics has become nearly impossible for many actors.”
Katzenberg, the co-founder of DreamWorks Animation who once ran Walt Disney Studios, said he was proud to be able to lead the campaign.
“Performing artists are the bedrock of our industry,” Katzenberg said in a statement. “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 to each donate $1,000 to show their support of their peers.
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation provides emergency financial and health assistance, as well as free educational programs for help with everything from auditioning to money management.
“Whenever our community has needed help, the Katzenbergs have been there for us,” Vance said.
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