January 21, 2015
TheHollywoodReporter.com | by Natalie Stone
The SAG Foundation has hired film and television producer Lainie Strouse as its director of development to help with the foundation’s current and future programming.
As of Jan. 12, Strouse took on the position as director of development to lead the foundation in current and future programming, including its children’s BookPALS literacy program, education, anti-bullying, art programs in schools and events for SAG-AFTRA members.
“Overall, development is really going to focus on a couple of key points. We’re going to work on education of all the programs that we currently already have and that we will be expanding,” Strouse tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Strouse, whose résumé includes television, film and event producing and who worked at the Writers Guild of America West for seven years, also had her fair share of time onscreen as an actor on numerous projects including General Hospital, Two Guys and a Girl and The Miracle Worker.
“I think I have a unique understanding of being an actor, understanding what they go through and what the realities are of being an actor, and have that appreciation and understanding of how hard it really is,” Strouse says. “Actors obviously rely on their own bodies and own physicality to perform their work and if something happens to them — they get in an accident, they have an illness or an unforeseen thing happens — whether it be a strike or something befalls them, the foundation is really there to support them through their times of need and weathered storms.”
Having first-hand experience as a working actor, Strouse also aims to support the lives of actors connected to the foundation through its programming.
“We have amazing programs that support the performers of SAG-AFTRA union. We help a lot of members. There’s a lot of misinformation about who our membership is,” Strouse says. “We have the largest archive of information and Q&As and career retrospectives of any organization in the world. There’s a lot of great programming that we currently already have and I think a lot of members don’t necessarily know it exists and the world doesn’t know it exists and it’s free.”
The nonprofit will host a 30th anniversary gala this November, aimed at becoming an annual event, which Strouse will oversee and direct.