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    Posted May 12, 2011

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South Florida Race for the Arts

by Irene Adjan, South Florida Equity Liaison

On Saturday, May 7th, Equity members in South Florida participated in the 10th Annual Race for the Arts. The 5K Race took place at John Prince Park in Lake Worth, however, we chose to casually stroll the 3.1 miles. As is the case most everywhere, funding for arts programs in the schools has been drastically cut. Proceeds from the Race for the Arts will be used to offer special project grants for arts programs in Palm Beach County Schools. My contact at the event, Annette Johnson, was thrilled when I initially contacted her to let her know that a group from the union would be there and participating in the walk. We thought this was a perfect community service event to participate in. It raised money for an important cause, and we got to show the support and presence of Actorsí Equity to arts students and their parents and teachers. We proudly donned our Actorsí Equity shirts and hats and walked with a sign clearly identifying Actorsí Equity Association. In addition to those of us who walked, members pledged donations that were also turned in.

Councillor Margot Moreland said, ďI felt it was very important to be a part of this event since it directly effects our Palm Beach County youth and their interest in the struggles to find funding for the arts programs, something our state of Florida feels is NOT important.Ē When asked why she chose to participate in this event, Elizabeth Dimon replied, "I felt after seeing how much unions were taking a beating in the north, it was time for me to take a more active role in my union and with the people that populate it. As actors, we see each other frequently, but coming together to show support as a union, as a whole, in solidarity, is important so that we are seen by others outside of our close knit group. Anytime we can show people that actors have a union and the importance of that to us, and ultimately to them, we must do so. I realize a union is as strong as its members, and I have to do my part in making that happen." Lisa Manuli added, ďI was SO happy to participate in the Walk. Itís such a great cause, and I love to take advantage of any chance that I can get to support what we do. Iím supporting the arts AND supporting a union that Iím very proud to be a part of. Canít go wrong with that!Ē

Getting theatre-folk to show up at 7:00am is no easy task, and Iím extremely grateful to Margot, Beth, Lisa and Ed Limia for choosing to participate in this important cause. Thank you, too, to those who sent in pledges to help support the cause. It was a beautiful morning and I think I speak for our entire group when I say that it felt good to give back to our local community!

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