The Entertainment Community Fund has announced the appointment of actress Annette Bening as its new chair of the board. She succeeds Brian Stokes Mitchell, who has served as chair since 2004. According to a press release, the fund’s board of directors “establishes policies for the management of programs and services provided by the organization.”
The Fund is a national human services organization dedicated to meeting the needs of arts and entertainment professionals, providing assistance with health and wellness, financial assistance, housing and more.
Benin’s cooperation with the Fund goes back more than a decade. She joined the Board in 2010 and was appointed Vice Chair in 2016. She and Mitchell have worked together on several fund projects, including the Friedman Pavilion at Actors Fund Home, which opened in 2019. The new facility marks the completion of a major renovation and expansion of Home, which provides care to seniors in the industry.
“After more than 10 years as a trustee, I am proud to begin this new chapter as the next Chairman of the Board of the Entertainment Community Fund; I have always said that the Fund is not just words, they are deeds,” Bening said in said in a statement. “I have always been in awe of the Fund and the amount of work that has been done to provide compassionate, understanding and timely support to the entertainment industry. Congratulations to my dear friend Stokes on such an incredible tenure and I cannot wait to Look at what we can achieve together in the years to come.”
Mitchell will continue to serve the Fund as part of the newly formed Leadership Council, which was established on June 15. The committee is comprised of past trustees, Foundation Medal of Honor recipients and volunteer representatives. Mitchell will serve as council chair as it works to advance the organization’s mission across the country.
In his nearly 20 years as Chairman, Mitchell has led the Fund through milestones and challenges, including the highs and lows of the COVID-19 pandemic, The organization officially changed its name The Entertainment Community Fund and the recent “Ragtime” benefit concert, which raised more than $1 million for the fund and its programming.
“Where do I begin to reflect on my experience as IMF Chair? Certainty,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Thanks to all the amazing people at the foundation, I know our community will continue to have a safety net of support when they need it. As a friend of mine – and a former high school classmate of mine! – Annette as Chair, I know Both the board and the fund are in excellent hands.”
“It is a gift to have such an inspiring individual as part of the Entertainment Community Fund family serving on our board, councils and committees,” Fund President and CEO Joe Benincasa said in a statement. “Annette and Stokes embody a strong commitment not only to the Fund, but to the people we help every day across the country and across the industry. They bring out the best in all of us and the colleagues who work with them.” It has been a privilege to work with Stokes for the past 19 years, and I am honored to seek new heights of service to support the arts in life with Annette as Chair.”