The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, the national human services organization supporting the needs of those working in the entertainment and performing arts industry.
Coordinating free flu shot sessions in New York City and cities throughout the country for members of the performing arts community.
In New York City, the program provides free flu shots for Broadway, Off-Broadway and other local performing arts-based organizations in their theaters, offices and at The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts, located within the Entertainment Community Fund offices in Times Square. Flu shots to members of the performing arts community in New York City are completely free of charge, regardless of insurance, thanks to annual funding for the Entertainment Community Fund from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Over the weekend, flu shots were administered to the cast and crew of the Broadway revival of Into the Woods at the St. James Theatre. The Medical Director and a nurse practitioner from The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts visited the company backstage at the theater, allowing cast members Stephanie J. Block, Gavin Creel, Andy Karl, and more to receive their vaccines immediately following the matinee performance.
The Fund is also coordinating free flu shots for National Tours on the road in several other states, including California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts and Maryland, as well as Washington D.C.
These shots are administered by CVS or RiteAid (depending on the city), and generously funded by the John Gore Organization. In addition to flu shots, the Entertainment Community Fund’s is also offering COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for National Touring companies on the road.
Over 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year due to flu-related complications. The entertainment community in particular is often more vulnerable to illnesses like the flu and COVID-19 due to working in high-exposure, close-contact environments. By coordinating flu shots for professionals in the performing arts industry, the Entertainment Community Fund aims to increase accessibility to flu shots for an especially at-risk community, and call attention to the importance of taking steps to protect one’s health through receiving yearly flu shots.
The Entertainment Community Fund has worked to address and support the specific needs of entertainment professionals by offering a broad spectrum of programs, workshops, support groups, online resources and emergency financial assistance since its founding in 1882. The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts, a program of the Entertainment Community Fund and Mount Sinai Doctors, offers primary and specialty care, expedited referrals to physicians within the Mount Sinai Health System, extended hours that are sensitive to entertainment industry work schedules, and continuity of care for those who experience regular changes in health insurance coverage.
By visiting theaters and performing arts offices in New York City, The Friedman Health Center has already administered over 780 flu shots to the local performing arts community and will come to several more Broadway shows and theater organizations throughout the fall season including Hamilton, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, and many more. On October 27-28 and November 10-11, free flu shots (for both the insured and uninsured) will also be available to individuals within the performing arts and entertainment community at The Friedman Health Center, located at the Entertainment Community Fund’s New York City office in Times Square at 729 7th Ave on the 12th floor. Appointments are required and can be booked online here: entertainmentcommunity.org/flushot2022.
“As always, we are incredibly grateful to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for their unwavering support to ensure the performing arts community stays healthy and well, especially as we head into cold and flu season,” said Brian Stokes Mitchell, Chair of the Board of the Entertainment Community Fund. “And for those in our industry who are on the road, bringing live theater to patrons across the country at the sacrifice of being away from their hometowns and doctors, we’re proud to be able to take care of them as well thanks to the generosity of the John Gore Organization and partnerships with CVS and RiteAid.”
For more information on the Friedman Health Center and its services, please visit entertainmentcommunity.org/HealthCenter. For more information on the Entertainment Community Fund’s Health and Wellness offerings, visit entertainmentcommunity.org/AHIRC.
The Entertainment Community Fund
The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, is a national human services organization that addresses the unique needs of people who work in performing arts and entertainment with services focused on health and wellness, career and life, and housing. Since 1882, the Fund has sought to ensure stability, encourage resiliency and be a safety net for those who shape our country’s cultural vibrancy. Learn more at entertainmentcommunity.org.
Photo credit: 1-2) The Entertainment Community Fund.