Local Partnerships--The Building Blocks of National Networks
The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps professionals in the performing arts and entertainment fields by providing programs and services for those in need, in crisis, or transition. In 1998, The Actors Fund created the Artists Health Insurance Resource Center (AHIRC) and accompanying website in response to its constituents’ growing need for access to affordable health care.
Recognizing AHIRC as the leading mechanism for increasing artists’ access to information and health care services, LINC approached The Actors Fund about a partnership that would further expand AHIRC‘s reach to artists across the country. With LINC’s support and the cooperation of leaders in LINC’s Creative Communities, The Actors Fund significantly expanded its connections to artists working in all disciplines. LINC funding enabled AHIRC to develop LINC City and Regional Guides, succinct and comprehensive booklets that help artists understand their health insurance options and direct them to local health care providers, including sliding-scale clinics, in their communities. The Actors Fund has produced and distributed 19 guides as well as the booklet “Every Artist Insured,” which offers an explanation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and what it means for artists’ access to health care. In addition, The Actors Fund conducted workshops and other educational events in LINC’s Creative Communities, co-sponsored by local arts organizations, and its Every Artist Insured Tour provided seminars on the topics of getting and keeping health insurance in more than twenty cities.
Through its work with LINC, The Actors Fund realized the value of local partnerships. Its greatest successes in reaching artists have occurred when it has partnered with local organizations and built upon local networks. The Center for Cultural Innovation in California, Springboard for the Arts in Minneapolis, and Chicago Artists Resource—all LINC partners—are just a few of the local partners with which The Actors Fund collaborated.
“What was most distinctive about our relationship with LINC as a funder and as a partner,” said Barbara Davis, Chief Operating Officer of The Actors Fund, “is that LINC not only supported our mission to have every artist insured, but made that mission part of its own and one of the goals of each of its Creative Communities.”www.ahirc.org