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Pre-Grammy Awards Party Benefiting Toys for Tots in Hollywood

January 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Awards, Events, Featured, FEATURES

David Harrison Levi Pre-Grammy and Birthday Celebration 2011The line to the Highlands Night Club was long, from the entrance to the venue to the electric stairs. Lots of actors, actress, publicists, agents, managers, recording artists and media representatives watched history unveil at David Harrison Levi’s Pre-Grammy and Birthday Celebration to raise Cancer Awareness and benefit Toys for Tots.

“The evening was filled with Love, Fun & Excitement. David did a very Honorable thing by sharing his birthday with both Toys for Tots & Breast Cancer Awareness. Everyone there seemed really happy to come together as a Community to celebrate this ‘Joyful’ occasion.” Said Tish “Tha Dish” Roberts, Actress.

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Lots of things were happening inside the highland. Many of those who wanted to get their picture taken and be interviewed walked to the patio on 3 red carpets ready to be set up, and others went to get ready for the stage performance. There was so much happening that it was hard to catch all the movements, so we will highlight some of them. David Harrison Levi opened the night by welcoming everyone and introducing recording artists to perform, while others made a line for the red carpet.


“I am honored that somebody feels the need to publicly acknowledge my efforts in supporting this great city in any way I can. Change always bothers somebody but I can’t let that stop me in my goal in helping stop run-away film productions and businesses.” Said Tony Boldi, Honorary Mayor of Hollywood. He continue “Parking is also a huge problem for the tax paying and voting citizens as well as many other issues I have openly discussed. I know it’s a long road but have the support of many and feel the need to say something with or without a title…hope this helps shed some light on the issue.”

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Per Mr. Harrison, over 2100 people attended to celebrate his event at the Highlands, including over 80 media outlets representatives. The event was held from 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM at The Highlands Nightclub on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd 4TH Floor Hollywood, CA 90028.

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Some of the celebrities and personalities who attended the event were: Actress Tish Roberts from (“Stand In”, NBC’S hit T.V. show “Community”, “Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior”, “True Blood” and “Lie To Me” with Tim Roth) with producer /DJ Trevi, Actress Thushari Jayasekera (play role as Pinky on NBC’s Outsourced TV Show), John Carvalho, Ph.D. (Advocate for the LGBT Arts, Music and Entertainment Scene; HRC Political Action Committee; CSUDH Senator), Maria Amor (EXOTIFIT), Ernesto J. Higuera (Executive , “Gay Los Angeles”), Michael Westman (Executive , “Gay Los Angeles”), German Angel (CEO, World Video Television), Tony Boldi (Honorary Mayor of Hollywood, California), Kris Searle (Grammy Nominee Considered International Recording Artist and Four Time Los Angeles Music Award Winner), Pepper MaShay (International DIVA), Willie Ames (Los Angeles Music Award Winning Recording Artist), Rob EC (Electropop Recording Artist and Member of the Recording Academy), Michael Donahue (Movie Director), Tom Tangen (Movie Producer/Actor), Trey McCurley (Actor), Eric Rowland (Recording Artist), Justin Chase (Recording Artist), Lui Attanasi (Recording Artist), Ivan Strada (Recording Artist), Charles Anthony (Co-Producer WeHo Knights Television; Recording Artist), Collen Henderson (West Hollywood Real Estate Agent), Murray Swanby (Events Host for Planet Salon), Scotty Aspen (Fox Television), Chad Evans, Ryan Pasquelatto, Jeffrey Paine (West Hollywood Real Estate Agent), Tyrone Power (celebrity-cocoon movies), Carla Power, Ray M. Quiroga (Producer/Actor), Norma A. G. Quiroga , Michael Quiroga, Steven Woo (Co-producer, Motion Picture “The Extra”), Jimmy Dux (Model), Yessica Hernandez (Singer), Marielena Castaneda (Actress), Lucino Ortiz (Assistant to Model), Ladd Jackson, Ian Shapiro, Jon Roo, Mirella Orduno (Actress), Fernando Gonzalez (Financial Investor for movies), Miriam Ayala Cesena (Actress), Rebeca Lopez (Artist), Fernando Trujillo (Artist), Travis Jourdain (Celebrity Photographer), Jeff Knight (Celebrity Photographer), Eric Ronald Kandell (Fashion Model), Patty McCall (author of Unmasking the Pain Within, Actress/Producer), Dr. Mark Valinsky (Actor/Producer/Photographer), Stephanie Weaver (Film distributor), Justin Keisel, Stuart Guest (Recording Artist), Andre Agazaryan (Actor) and many more.

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“The Grammy Awards Pre-Party at The Highlands-Kodak Theater was a success by any standard. In the words of Actor Michael Quiroga, ‘it was a great introduction to Hollywood culture!’ Indeed, security informed me on the night of the event that an incredible 2,132 people attended, which is a significant number given that most were Hollywood celebrities, political dignitaries, and entertainment industry professionals. Members of the Screen Actors Guild and Lions Club attended, as did a wealth of actors, recording artists (including members of the Grammys), movie directors and producers. The performances by DIVA Pepper MaShay and Ditch were excellent, and the “Sydney Collection” fashion show was stunning and well orchestrated by Parris Harris. I want to congratulate Tony Boldi for receiving the Honorary Mayorship of Hollywood and David Harrison Levi for putting on such an exciting, marquee red carpet event. I also want to give a special thanks to the West Hollywood LGBT community that came out in droves to attend. Finally, a special shout out is deserved for Steven Escobar and Diversity News Magazine, German Angel and World Video Television, Hollywood Broker TV, AK Photography, Celebrity Photographer Travis Jourdain, and Ernesto J. Higuera and Michael Westman, whose photographs and media coverage made the event come alive!” Said Dr. John Carvalho (Advocate for the LGBT Arts, Music and Entertainment Scene in West Hollywood, HRC PAC, CSUDH Senator).

“I believe tonight’s event at the Highlands is an excellent way that up and coming artists in the entertainment industry can meet advanced professionals and collaborate on projects that will promote and enhance their careers. The economy has hit the nation hard, and it is events like these that help to reenergize the entertainment industry and further the lives of younger artists. In addition, David Levi is promoting breast cancer awareness, which is a worthy cause we can all agree to support.” Dr. Carvalho concluded.

Event organizers reported that they were able to collect about 600 toys & canned food items for the USMC Toys For Tots & the Los Angeles Mission. 

Photos Courtesy and (C) 2011 by Celebrity Photographer Gisele Reibeiro from PartyBy5.com & PrPhotos.com and Francois Palais for Diversity News Publications. (C) 2011 By Diversity News Publications. For Licensing please email diversitynewspublications@hotmail.com All Rights Are Reserved.
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Editor’s Note: Story was proofread by Linda Krongold, our New York, NY Special Correspondent For Diversity News. For more information you can contact her at andmeljar@aol.com
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KCBS-TV Newscaster Pat Harvey hosted the 2010 Media Access Awards

October 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, FEATURES

Newscaster Pat HarveyOn Friday, October 8, 2010 KCBS-TV News Anchor Pat Harvey hosted the 2010 Media Access Awards from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at The Peninsula Hotel Beverly Hills in The Verandah Room located at 9882 South Santa Monica Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Actor Ron Livingston presented the Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship.
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The 2010 Media Access Award Recipients were:

  • AFTRA Disability Awareness Award – to Darcy Pohland
  • CSA Award – to Robert J. Ulrich, Eric Dawson and Carol Kritzer
  • WGAW Joan Young Award – to Vince Gilligan
  • Producers Guild of America George Sunga Award – To Mike Tollin
  • Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship – To Christopher Thornton and
  • RJ Mitte Diversity Award – To Atticus Shaffer.

About The 2010 Media Access Awards:

Is a press breakfast honoring individuals and organizations in the entertainment and broadcast industries for their efforts in promoting the awareness of the disability experience, accessibility for people with disabilities, and the accurate depiction of characters with disabilities.

About California Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities:
The Governor’s Committee is responsible for providing leadership to increase the numbers of people with disabilities in the California workforce.  The volunteer membership of the Governor’s Committee is comprised of decision-makers and leaders from the private and public sectors whose expertise is essential in supporting and building systems that promote universal access, remove barriers to work, and enable people with disabilities to gain independence and economic self-sufficiency.

About American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA):
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.

About Producers Guild of America:
The Producers Guild of America is the non-profit professional association that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media. The PGA has over 4,500 members who work together to protect and improve their careers, the industry and community by providing members with health benefits, employment opportunities,  the creation of fair and impartial standards for the awarding of producing credits, as well as other education and advocacy efforts such as promoting sustainable production practices and diversity in the industry. Visit www.producersguild.org,www.pgagreen.orgwww.pgadiversity.org for more information.


About Screen Actors Guild:
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 Branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.

About Writers Guild of America, West:
The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio, and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national, and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: www.wga.org.

About Casting Society of America:
The Casting Society of America is the premier organization of theatrical Casting Directors in film, television, and theatre.  Although it is not a union, its members are a united professional society that consistently set the level of professionalism in casting on which the entertainment industry has come to rely.  It’s more than 450 members are represented not only in the United States, but also in Canada, England, Australia and Italy.
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About the Friends of Californians with Disabilities:
Friends of Californians with Disabilities, Inc. a 501(c)(3), is a leader in developing statewide and national partnerships to increase employment and independent living opportunities for people with disabilities. They played a major leadership role in the partnership that created such innovative nationally acclaimed projects as the California Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (YLF), the Media Access Office and Awards and the “Windmills” Disability Awareness Diversity Training Program.
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About the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation:
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy.  For more information please visit our website at ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-225-0292.
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Photos Courtesy of Jeff Knight of JeffKnightPhotography.Com for DiversityNewsPublications.Com (C) 2010 By Diversity News Publications. All Rights Are Reserved.

Editor’s Note: Special Thank you to Jeff Knight from JeffKnightPhotography.Com from Tower Public Relations and Pamela Greenwalt from SAG for the invite

Screen Actors Guild Celebrates Diversity Awareness Month During October

October 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Community, Featured, News

SAG October Diversity MonthOn Friday, October 1, 2010 Screen Actors Guild announced in a press release that for the second year, Screen Actors Guild will celebrate Diversity Awareness Month during the month of October with a slate of programs and activities exhibiting the value of diversity and equal employment of diverse actors in film, television and other recorded media.

From a Diversity Careers in Focus conference at national headquarters to SAG’s Dare to Be Diverse screening series, an inclusive and abundant lineup awaits. (See the complete calendar below.)

“SAG’s Diversity Awareness Month celebration is a mission that is close to my heart and one to which I am personally dedicated, and have been for more than 40 years,” said SAG National President Ken Howard. “Our union, our industry and our culture are made stronger and more powerful when everyone has equal access to work opportunities. It’s time to swing wide the door of opportunity that has remained closed to so many for so long.”

The Guild has, since its inception, been an advocate for diversity and equal employment in the workplace and entertainment industry. In addition to protecting all members against discrimination and harassment, SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity works closely with members who are LGBT, performers of color, performers with disabilities, senior performers and women to increase employment opportunities for these underemployed and underrepresented groups.

“SAG has chosen October to highlight our everyday advocacy and initiatives,” said Rebecca Yee, national director of SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, “but it is a 24/7, year-round effort to shift our media landscape toward desiring and developing more accurate and diverse portrayals of the American Scene in film and television.”


Friday, October 1 — National Disability Employment Awareness Month
This year’s theme — Talent Has No Boundaries: Workforce Diversity Includes Workers With Disabilities — is acutely aligned with the mission of SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity to improve and increase equal employment opportunities for actors with disabilities. This year’s theme also proves auspicious as the Tri-Union AEA/AFTRA/SAG I AM PWD (IAMPWD.org) Campaign released an inaugural analysis of characters with disabilities on primetime television for the 2010/11 season. Click here for the report.

Tuesday, October 5 – Los Angeles, CA
SAG Dare to Be Diverse screening of Holy Rollers, presented by SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity and hosted by Writers Guild of America, West Latino Writers Committee in the James Cagney Board Room of SAG National Headquarters in Los Angeles at 7 p.m. Free admission. Click here for RSVP information.

Tuesday, October 5 – New York, NY
The Blackhouse Foundation’s 2011 Film Festival Season Kick Off Event. SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity and SAGIndie are proud sponsors of this event, which celebrates diverse films at Sundance, Tribeca and LA Film Festivals. Visit http://theblackhouse.org for more information about the foundation’s upcoming festival season.

Friday, October 8 – Los Angeles, CA
26th Media Access Awards Press Breakfast, Beverly Hills. SAG National Performers with Disabilities (PWD) Committee and SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, along with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, AFTRA, CSA, PGA, WGAW, Friends of Californians with Disabilities, the Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and the RJ Mitte Diversity Award, honor industry professionals “for promoting awareness of the disability experience, accessibility for people with disabilities and the accurate depiction of characters with disabilities.”

The Media Access Awards 2010 SAG Harold Russell Award recipient is actor Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld; Death to Smoochy).

Thursday, October 14 – Los Angeles, CA
Diamond in the Raw Foundation will host SAG “Know Your Rights!” Workshop. Presented by SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, a select group of stuntwomen will participate in a specialized seminar about what members should know to protect themselves in the entertainment industry. Visit http://diamondintheraw.com for more information about the Diamond in the Raw Foundation.

Friday, October 15 – Los Angeles, CA
SAG Dare to be Diverse screening of Night Catches Us at the La Femme Film Festival, sponsored by SAG National Women’s Committee and SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, at the Renberg Theatre in Hollywood at 7 p.m.  Q&A with filmmaker, cast and NAACP following the film. Free admission for SAG members. YOU MUST RSVP to http://www.lafemme.org/sag/ and type “sag” for username and “member” for password – lower case only. Visit http://www.lafemme.org/ for schedule and more information about La Femme Film Festival.

Saturday, October 16 – Los Angeles, CA
SAG Diversity “Get Your ACT Together” Careers in Focus Conference at SAG National Headquarters from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  A one-of-a-kind opportunity for actors and entertainment industry professionals to network and learn from each other under one roof.  Sponsored by SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, in conjunction with SAG National Spanish Language Media Task Force and SAG President’s National Task Force for American Indians, this day-long conference features multiple career and talent development workshops and seminars presented byBack Stage, Casting Society of America, iActor, SAG New Media and more! Click here for schedule and more information.

Sunday, October 17 – Los Angeles, CA
Diamond in the Raw Foundation Awards. SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity and SAG National Women’s Committee celebrate achievements of Hollywood’s stuntwomen at this annual luncheon at the Skirball Cultural Center. SAG members receive a discount to attend the luncheon. Click here for details.

Monday, October 18 – Los Angeles, CA
19th Annual Access Award Luncheon.  SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity celebrate with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities at their annual awards luncheon that recognizes those who have made a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.  Click here for details.

Monday, October 18 – New York, NY
HOLA Awards. SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity marks the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month as a proud sponsor of the 11th Annual Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) Awards, and congratulates this year’s awardees including HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Rita Moreno. Visit www.hellohola.org for more information about HOLA.

Tuesday, November 2 – Los Angeles, CA
SAG Dare to Be Diverse screening of Taqwacores, presented by SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity and hosted by the Arab Film Festival in the James Cagney Board Room of SAG National Headquarters in Los Angeles at 7 p.m. Free admission.  RSVP information forthcoming.  Visit forhttp://arabfilmfestival.org/ for more information about the Arab Film Fest.

November 4-11 – Los Angeles, CA
AFI Film Festival. As part of the SAG Dare To Be Diverse screening series, SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity is a proud community sponsor of the AFI Film Festival presented by Audi, and will present a free screening for SAG members. Additional information forthcoming. Click herefor more information about AFI.

Friday, November 5–7 – San Francisco, CA
New Media Film Festival. SAG National LGBT Actors Committee and SAG New Media are proud sponsors of the New Media Film Festival.  The LGBT Actors Committee will conduct a panel focused on LGBT projects in the new media landscape. SAG members may attend the panel for free and can secure a discount pass to the festival. Check back for discount details. Click here for more information about the New Media Film Festival.

Saturday, November 13 – New York, NY
Pride in Our Union. SAG National LGBT Actors Committee and SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity will participate in the Empire State Pride Agenda’s Pride and Solidarity in Action Forum for New York City Union Members, and present a panel discussion on workplace issues facing LGBT performers. SAG members are encouraged to attend. Click here for more information.

Saturday, November 20 – Los Angeles, CA
LA Skins Fest. As a part of this Native American film festival, SAG President’s National Task Force for American Indians will present a premiere screening event of its new educational video and a special screening of Reel Injun at the James Cagney Board Room at SAG National Headquarters. RSVP information and additional details forthcoming.

Follow SAG Communications on Twitter (twitter.com/sagnews) and Facebook (facebook.com/screenactorsguild)

About SAG
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 Branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.

Editor’s Note: Information source and Photos Courtesy of SAG.

Hundreds Attended The Hollywood Disabilities Forum At UCLA

November 1, 2009 by  
Filed under FEATURES

sagOn Saturday, October 24, 2009 I AM PWD (Inclusion in the Arts and Media for People with Disabilities) campaign of Actors’ Equity Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild; the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and its Writers with Disabilities Committee; and the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts presented The Hollywood Disabilities Forum at UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Actors feel the there are not so many opportunities for them because they are disable. They want to work and be feature on mayor films. The event was kind of emotional but it turned as an excellent opportunity for actors and industry experts to exchanged ideas, telephone numbers and even resourceful websites.

Some of the actors who participated were:

Peter Farrelly, producer-director-writer (There’s Something About Mary) — Keynote Speaker
Vince Gilligan, writer-producer (Breaking Bad)
RJ Mitte, actor (Breaking Bad)
Daryl “Chill Mitchell, actor (Brothers)
Janis Hirsch, writer-producer (Brothers, Will & Grace)
David Milch, writer-producer (Deadwood)
Geri Jewell, actor (Deadwood)
Robert David Hall, actor (CSI)
Danny Woodburn, actor (Seinfeld)
Linda Bove, actor (Sesame Street, Deaf West)
Bill Duke, actor-director (Karen Sisco, Predator)
Paul Kampf, actor-director-writer (Brothers Three: An American Gothic)
Special Video Appearance by Ricky Gervais (The Office)

In a posting on the www.sag.org website Robert David Hall told SAG “It’s crucial for all of us – actors, writers, directors, producers, casting associates – to come together to examine these problems and create solutions,” Said Robert David Hall, Master of Ceremonies and National Chair of the SAG Performers with Disabilities Committee. “I always think of the little kid that needs to see for him or herself, their own image reflected. To be marginalized, to be cut out of mainstream TV, movies and advertising stinks, and we’re trying to change that.”

The morning included Concurrent Actors and Writers Workshops from 9am to 11:30 am hosted by Robert David Hall, Master of Ceremonies and Chair National Tri-Union Performers With Disabilities Committee. Also Writers “Business Impression Management” Workshop presented by Carol Kirschner, Career Consultant and creator of CBS Diversity Institute Writers Mentoring Program & Program Director for WGAW Show runner Training Program.
The second part from 12:30 pm to 4pm feature Keynote Address: How Far is Too Far? By Peter Farrelly.  At the end they held Join Actors/Writers Panel where they were encourage to ask questions. It was moderated by Allen Rucker, Chair of WGAW Writers with Disabilities Committee. The forum ended with a Networking Reception from 4:00 to 5:00 pm.

One of the panelist member expert advice was “Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.” An actress asked the panelist what she can do because most of her work is in Los Angeles and she lives in Orange County. She was suggested to put her self on video or tape such as You Tube. The advice from the experts was to market themselves via You Tube and My Space.

Per event organizers statement: Fifty-six million Americans and 20% of the US population have a disability. Despite being the largest minority group in the country, people with disabilities are virtually invisible in entertainment media. The number of working writers, actors, directors and producers with disabilities is miniscule. Ideally, in a country where disability rights have been the law for almost twenty years, the barriers should be long gone. In the world of entertainment, the push is just starting in earnest. The Hollywood Disabilities Forum will focus on best practices of industry pioneers who incorporate stories featuring characters with disabilities and who hire performers with disabilities for television, film, radio and stage productions.

The Hollywood Disabilities Forum was sponsored by Actors’ Equity Association, AFTRA, Alliance For Inclusion In The Arts, California Arts Council, National Arts and Disability Center at the University of California Los Angeles, Screen Actors Guild, The Tarjan Center at UCLA, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and The Writers with Disabilities Committee of Writers Guild of America, West.

For more information or to get involved, please visit: I AM PWD (Inclusion in the Arts and Media of Performers with Disabilities), a campaign by Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and Actors Equity Association at www.iampwd.org, www.wga.org and www.inclusioninthearts.org

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Source: www.sag.org
Photos By Esteban “Steven” Escobar, Diversity News. © 2009 By Diversity News Publications. All Rights Are Reserved.