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Union Ups its Commitment to Member Education by Building Out Expanded Digital Media Facilities and SAG-AFTRA Foundation On-Camera Lab in National Headquarters

LOS ANGELES — SAG-AFTRA today announced that it has finalized planning for its new Member Imagination Center at the national headquarters office at SAG-AFTRA Plaza in Los Angeles.

The facilities will include additional classrooms equipped for web streaming, livestreaming and distance learning; an audio-visual recording and training studio for the production of SAG-AFTRA educational videos, podcasts and member on-camera work; conference, screening and meeting facilities; the launch of a series of informational talks on technology innovation; and the creation of a dedicated member on-camera lab to be administered by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, “This is a meaningful moment for SAG-AFTRA and our members. We are creating a facility on our new second floor that is dedicated to serving our members in the Los Angeles Local and nationwide. It is being built with the understanding that our industry is evolving and we must be ready – with vision, innovation, imagination and preparation. 

“I am excited to bring our membership together with thought leaders in media, entertainment, technology, policy and legislation. It reflects our focus on educating and engaging our membership in ways that profoundly empower them for the future.” 

SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White said, “This space brings together a number of essential themes that suffuse our work throughout the entire union. It will support our efforts to provide technology and training to our membership. It will help us bring the next generation of content creators, performers and other creative artists into the SAG-AFTRA family, and expand their networks and skills. And it deepens our close relationship with our Foundation while magnifying the positive impact their programs have on our membership. This is a moment for celebration. We are all looking forward to moving this forward.”

SAG-AFTRA Foundation Executive Director Cyd Wilson said, “We’re excited that the SAG-AFTRA Foundation is able to bring this programming to Los Angeles. After a successful pilot program in New York, we are able to offer the same invaluable services to more members. Up until now, we did not have the space available to offer an on-camera lab in Los Angeles, so we are grateful to partner with SAG-AFTRA and be part of this new media facility that will benefit members in so many resourceful and career-enhancing ways.”

The on-camera media lab is patterned after the highly successful facility located in the union’s national office in New York. The lab was built and is administered by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and has provided more than 14,588 self-taping sessions to SAG-AFTRA members. The facilities are available by appointment only and members are provided with a professional camera operator/facilitator who helps support and manage their sessions. The Los Angeles facility will operate with similar support.

The first phase of the plan calls for the completion of the media lab and expanded classroom facilities as well as an evolution in the education and outreach program to better align informational and skills training opportunities with members’ specific needs.  

Later phases will see the completion of the studio buildout and the development of other member digital media opportunities including videotaping, audio instruction and additional self-tape facilities, as well as an intimate series of live music performances designed to showcase emerging recording artists.

Planned events scheduled for the expanded facilities include a President’s Task Force on Education, Outreach and Engagement nationwide webinar for elected leaders and delegates; a national organizing training seminar; screenings and conversations in the union’s new “An Actor’s Story” series; events showcasing our recording artists membership in an intimate concert setting, and receptions hosted by the Public Relations Society of America and the national broadcast contracts department. 

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