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Press Contact:
Rick Miramontez / Alana Karpoff
rick@omdkc.com / alana@omdkc.com
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New York, NY (February 13, 2019) – The Actors Fund, the national human services organization for everyone in performing arts and entertainment, will hold its Annual Gala on Monday, April 29, 2019. The evening will celebrate Tony Award®-winning playwright and actor Harvey Fierstein; Chairman & CEO of the John Gore Organization and Tony Award-winning producer and acclaimed director John Gore; International President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and International labor leader and community advocate Matthew D. Loeb; and Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress, singer and dancer Rita Moreno and present to them The Actors Fund’s Medal of Honor.

The event begins at 6PM with cocktails, followed by dinner at 7PM and a tribute at the New York Marriott Marquis (1535 Broadway). The evening will include special tribute performances by guests to be announced and is a celebration of everyone who works in performing arts and entertainment coming together to support services that foster stability and resiliency and provide a safety net over the lifespan of members this community.

“Harvey, John, Matthew and Rita are legends in our community,” said Brian Stokes Mitchell, Chairman of The Actors Fund. “They are rightfully due this highest honor from The Actors Fund, both for their dedication to performing arts and entertainment and for the leadership they provide in guiding the way for the next generation of artists and arts workers.”

Tickets to the benefit begin at $1,500 and include reception, dinner and entertainment. For tables and sponsorships, call 212.627.1000 or email actorsfund@resevt.com. For more information and updates, visit actorsfund.org/Gala2019.

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services.


HARVEY FIERSTEIN is the Tony Award winning author of Torch Song Trilogy and La Cage Aux Folles. His other theater writing includes Kinky Boots (Tony nominated), Newsies (Tony nominated), Casa Valentina (Tony nominated), A Catered Affair (12 Drama Desk nominations), Safe Sex, Spookhouse, and Legs Diamond among others. He wrote the teleplays of “Hairspray Live” and “The Wiz Live” both for NBC.  For HBO he’s written “On Tidy Endings” (Ace Award), “The Sissy Duckling” (Humanitas Award) and “Common Ground”.  He’s written political editorials for The NY Times, Huffington Post, TV Guide and PBS as well as authoring the beloved children’s book The Sissy Duckling. Beginning his acting career in Andy Warhol’s Pork at LaMama ETC, Mr. Fierstein is also well known for his theater performances in Torch Song Trilogy (Tony Award), Hairspray (Tony Award), Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage Aux Folles, Gently Down the StreamA Catered Affair as well as film performances including Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence DayMulan, and Bullets Over Broadway. TV audiences know him from shows like “The Good Wife”, “Nurse Jackie”, “Cheers” (Emmy nomination), “HAIRSPRAY LIVE!” and recognize his voice from appearances on “BoJack Horseman”, “Family Guy”, “The Simpsons”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Sesame Street” and from his narration of the Academy Award-winning documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk.

JOHN GORE has won 13 Tonys, an Olivier and an Emmy Award. He is a British producer who is Chairman, C.E.O. and sole owner of the John Gore Organization family of companies. These include Broadway Across America, Broadway.com, The Broadway Channel, BroadwayBox.com and Group Sales Box Office. The company produces shows on Broadway, in London’s West End, Japan, China and presents in 45 cities across North America. Presentations include The Phantom of the Opera, Disney’s The Lion KingWicked, The Book of Mormon and Hamilton. Recent U.S. productions include Anastasia; The Band’s Visit; BeautifulChicagoDear Evan HansenHello, Dolly!Kinky Boots; Mean Girls; School of Rock and Waitress. As a film producer, his work includes the film “Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story” (2010 Emmy Award nomination) and, the television special, WCBS-TV’s “At The Tony’s with Imogen Lloyd Webber” (2018 NY Emmy Award).  He directed the only stage adaptations of Batman and Star Trek and produced the record breaking Thunderbirds FAB, which at the age of 26 made him the youngest ever successful West End producer. He followed this with the hit Wallace & Gromit on stage at Sadler’s Wells.  His show investments include the original London productions of Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and Hamilton. A committed philanthropist, John and his companies provide support to a diverse array of more than 60 organizations spanning virtually every conceivable sector of not-for-profit theater work. Among its recent educational support, JGO partnered with the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History to underwrite Hamilton’s education programs as well as providing funding for the Arthur Miller Theater Education Program, Columbia University’s T-Fellowship Program, and the American Theatre Wing’s Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative. In 2017, John partnered with Scarlett Johansson to organize a one-night-only, all-star benefit reading of Our Town featuring Johansson, Robert Downey Jr. and the cast of the Avengers, raising $500,000 for the Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund.

MATTHEW D. LOEB has served as International President since July 31, 2008, when he was unanimously elected by the IATSE General Executive Board. President Loeb was re-elected at the 66th Quadrennial Convention in Orlando in July 2009, re-elected at the IATSE’s 67th Quadrennial Convention held in Boston in 2013 and recently re-elected to his third full term as President of the IATSE at the 68th Quadrennial in Hollywood, Florida July 17 – July 21, 2017. President Loeb has been a member of the United Scenic Artists Local 829 since 1989, a member of Local 52 since 1996 and is a Charter Member of Local 491 (established in 1994). He became an International Representative in June of 1994. Mr. Loeb was also the IATSE’s first Director of Motion Picture and Television Production, appointed to that position upon the restructuring of the Alliance and the establishment of departments. He was elected by the General Executive Board to the position of International Vice President in February of 2002 and at the 65th Convention in 2005. In addition, he served as Chairman of the East Coast Council for better than 14 years. President Loeb holds a Bachelor of Science degree with concentration in labor studies achieved from the State University of New York’s Empire State College in February 2008. President Loeb is credited with devising and implementing an aggressive organizing and bargaining strategy in the area of motion picture and television production. The policies laid the foundation for obtaining more than a thousand term agreements, the chartering of numerous new locals and the addition of thousands of new members, providing them with contract protections and health and retirement benefits for the first time. President Loeb serves as the Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the IATSE National Benefit Funds (comprised of pension, health, annuity, 401k and vacation plans) and is a Director on the Board of the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans. Mr. Loeb also serves and supports a number of industry entities that benefit IATSE members and their families, and the communities in which they live and work. He is Chairman of the Richard F. Walsh / Alfred W. Di Tolla / Harold P. Spivak Foundation which sponsors academic scholarships for the children of IATSE members, a member of the Board of Trustees of The Actors Fund, an Advisory Board member of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and sits on the Members-at-Large Executive Committee, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture and Television Fund. In addition to the day-to-day imperatives of organizing, bargaining and servicing the membership, President Loeb believes that activism and involvement in the political arena is an essential component in the overall plan to best represent IATSE members. He believes that supporting legislation and the politicians who make workers’ rights a priority and, specifically, the interests of workers in entertainment and related industries, is paramount in providing security to IATSE families. Mr. Loeb holds the position of IATSE Political Action Committee Chairman. Through the IATSE’s Political Action Committee, President Loeb launched the PAC’s “Stand Up, Fight Back” campaign which is focused on increasing financial contributions to the IATSE-PAC which will allow for greater participation by the IATSE in the political arena, an area that Loeb believes the Union must continue to grow to further protect the best interests of the membership. On August 5, 2008, President Loeb was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council and was reelected at the 2009, 2013 and 2017 AFL-CIO Conventions.

On the International front, Loeb serves on the World Executive Board of UNI Global Union and in 2018 he was unanimously elected President of UNI’s Media and Entertainment Industry (MEI) sector. He also holds a seat on UNI MEI’s World Executive Committee and on December 9, 2010 he was elected as a Vice President of PANARTES, the sector’s regional branch for the Americas. Because of his belief in providing educational opportunities for the leadership of the IATSE and its local unions, in 2009 President Loeb established the IATSE’s Education Department and established programs such as LEAP, the Officer’s Institute, and established the first Training Trust for members of the union. On January 15, 2013, President Loeb was unanimously elected to serve on the board of trustees of Museum of the Moving Image. Based in Astoria, NY, the Museum of the Moving Image “advances the public understanding and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media.”

President Loeb is dedicated to continuing to grow and strengthen the IATSE by staying abreast of technological changes, shifts in the labor market and industry trends. It is his belief that the IATSE must remain aggressive and evolve with industrial changes, stressing inclusive organizing policies, skilled and effective leadership and membership participation. He leads from the position that organizing is the lifeblood of the Union. Maintaining the IATSE’s position as the preeminent labor organization in its traditional crafts is contingent upon representing workers throughout the industry, with a unified and potent voice.

RITA MORENO has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: the Oscar, the Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy. Her countless credits span more than six decades, beginning with her Broadway debut at age 13. Moreno has starred on Broadway; London’s West End; appeared in more than 40 feature films, and countless television shows; has performed in numerous regional theaters including her one woman show, Life Without Makeup at the Berkeley Rep. Rita currently stars in the widely popular Latino remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time on Netflix. Just recently, she signed on to be an Executive Producer in the Steven Spielberg remake of West Side Story, a film that she also will co-star in.  When she is not shooting a TV show or film, she can be found on the road performing concerts and doing lectures.  Moreno has received the Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture. She was honored by her peers as the 50th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award and prior to that she served as the Grand Marshall of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. That same year she released her ‘first ever’ all Spanish language album, Una Vez Más, produced by good friend, Emilio Estefan. She has also added New York Times Bestselling Author to her list of accomplishments with her first book, Rita Moreno: A Memoir published by Celebra Books. Rita was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

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