Two organizations, each with a long history of helping dancers, will merge, to better serve us all. By the end of this year, Career Transition For Dancers' operations will move into The Actors Fund's offices in Manhattan, L.A. and Chicago.
This is great news. Since you may be more familiar with CTFD—which holds its 30th-anniversary gala tonight at NY City Center—let me first explain what the Actors Fund is.
The Actors Fund, founded in 1882, has a fascinating history protecting actors and performers, a species that was discriminated against after actor John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln. For 133 years, The Actors Fund has helped everyone who works in the entertainment industry: actors, dancers, singers, designers, writers, sound technicians, administrators, directors, film editors and stagehands.
Bebe Neuwirth photo @ Matthew Karas
The Tony Award-winning Bebe Neuwirth, a trustee of the Actors Fund, says, “In working together, both organizations will be better positioned to help more dancers across the country to thrive during all phases of their careers."
A few years ago Neuwirth (who wrote a wonderful “Why I Dance") started an excellent program within the Actors Fund called the Dancers' Resource. It helps dancers deal with the physical, emotional and financial fallout from injuries. It just so happens that the coordinator of the Dancers' Resource is former ABT dancer Amy Wilder, who used CTFD services to find her new profession of social work.
Shirley MacLaine, photo courtesy CTFD
Happily, for everyone in attendance, the slinky, subtle Neuwirth will perform in “All That Jazz" at the CTFD gala tonight. The Rolex Dance Award Honoree is Shirley MacLaine, and performers include the fabulous Jason Samuels Smith (a 2009 Dance Magazine Awardee) and dancers from American Ballet Theatre, Jazz Roots Dance Company, National Dance Institute and Parsons Dance. For tickets, click here.