Famed trumpeter and co-founder of A&M Records, Herb Alpert, has donated $250,000 to the Herb Alpert Foundation amid the ongoing strikes in Hollywood.
The donation — plus a matching gift bringing the total to $500,000 — was announced Wednesday by the organization, formerly known as The Actors Fund. “When artists are in need, it is important that society provides support,” Alpert said in a statement. “The reason is simple: our society is poorer if artists cannot share their work with us. I hope our matching grant to the Entertainment Community Fund will continue to inspire others to support our artists in need.”
The donation comes as major donations continue to pour in during the historic double strike, with the WGA picking up AMPTP studios since May and SAG-AFTRA outside studios since July. Recent donors to the Community Fund include Seth MacFarlane, who donated $1 million directly to the Fund, and Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw’s $1.5 million donation, which was split between the Fund and the Emergency Financial Assistance Program of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.
The Katie McGrath and JJ Abrams Family Foundation, Stacey Abrams, Tom Bergeron, Rachel Bloom, Rosanne Cash, Suzanne Collins and Cap Pryor, Minnie Driver, Vince Gilligan, Lynn Nottage, Michelle Pfeiffer and David E. Kelley, Daniel Radcliffe, Shonda Rhimes, and Chandra Wilson are among the other Hollywood names who have donated to the Fund since May.
With AMPTP’s counters slowly picking up since their return to the WGA in August, and negotiations with SAG-AFTRA yet to resume since their work stoppage began on July 14, food insecurity has increased among the two unions’ 175,000 members . threats to housing. Donations to the Entertainment Community Fund have helped address the impact of the stalled AMPTP negotiations and union work stoppage on both guild members and other Hollywood workers, including TV and film crews, affected by the paused productions.
“The Herb Alpert Foundation is thrilled to provide vital funding to support the industry’s talented writers, actors and dedicated professionals during this challenging work stoppage period,” Rona Sebastian, president of the Herb Alpert Foundation, said in her own statement. “Now more than ever, it is critical to stand together and support those whose creative contributions shape our world. Together, we can ensure industry professionals, including those in the Los Angeles community, have the resources they need during this crucial time.”
Since May 1, the Community Fund has raised more than $9.1 million from more than 10,500 donors to support film and television workers. As of September 8, the Fund has distributed more than $6.5 million to more than 3,100 film and television workers.
“The Entertainment Community Fund is so grateful for the Herb Alpert Foundation’s generous donation and for inspiring others to continue donating to the Fund at such an important time,” said Board Chair Annette Bening. “These gifts will immediately help film and television workers, and so many in our industry who are still struggling to recover from the pandemic.”
This month, mega-producers Greg Berlanti and Ryan Murphy both announced pledges of $500,000 to those who worked on their companies’ projects, with Berlanti also donating an additional $150,000 each to the Entertainment Community Fund and the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Fellow producer Paul Feig also donated $100,000 to the MPTF Community Care Fund in September.