Spring 2016

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38 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2016 | The White House Called — I t began about a year ago, when the late SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard spoke at the White House at the invitation of President Obama. The event was the White House Student Film Festival, and Obama made a big ask: He called on SAG-AFTRA and the American Film Institute to encourage members of the entertainment and media industry to volunteer 1 million hours of mentoring service to the next generation of storytellers over the next three years. Now, a little over a year later, the response has been overwhelming. SAG-AFTRA members have been changing lives across the nation, contributing nearly 100,000 hours. With dozens of other organizations joining the cause, more than 500,000 total mentor hours have been logged to date and A Call to Arts is well on its way to achieving its goal by the 2018 deadline. "Members have done a remarkable job of stepping up," said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. "They know how challenging the entertainment and media industry can be, and that a little bit of wisdom and encouragement can make all the difference in a young person's life." "Someone who teaches or inspires a MARIA CABEZAS WQXR host and SAG-AFTRA National Board member Jeff Spurgeon reads to students at PS 372 in New York City on March 2 as part of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation's BookPALS children's literacy program.

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