The Artist Fund is yet another of Mr. Mironov's charitable initiatives. Yevgeny serves as its president.
The idea of the Fund belonged to the outstanding actress Maria Mironova. Yevgeny wholly supported her endeavor and actively participated in the creation of the Fund. Nataliya Shaginian-Needham, director of the international adoption agency "Happy Families" and the recipient of the U.S. Congress Adoption Angel Award, also played a major role in the Fund's establishment.
The purpose of the Fund is to collect donations and organize fundraising events to benefit retired actors. Its chief goal is to support and secure the material well-being of elderly persons who had dedicated their lives to Russia's stage and film industries. The contributions are spent on qualified medical assistance, purchase of equipment and direct financial support of the veterans of the arts living below poverty level.
In addition to soliciting financial contributions from public and private entities, the Fund regularly conducts various fundraising activities. The first such event, entitled Actor to Actor, coincided with the opening of the Fund in October of 2008 and took place at the Pushkin Museum of Moscow. The action drew the attention of many well-known artists and businesspeople. Representatives from various professional fields have formed the Friends of the Fund Club and are actively supporting the Fund's programs. The Fund's initiators are sure that every such event will attract increasingly more individuals who are not indifferent to its cause.
The next event organized by the Fund was the Theater Marathon in March of 2009. The fundraising Marathon was dedicated to the memory of Margarita Eskina, long-term director of the Moscow's Central House of Actors. Ms. Eskina was one of the first to approve the Fund's concept, and had served on its board of trustees. The proceeds from the Marathon's performances were used to purchase pharmaceutical gift certificates to provide a year's supply of free medications to 500 veterans of Russia's stage and screen. The Theater Marathon has become an annual fundraising event of the Artist Fund.
On September 4, 2009, the Fund supported I Want to Walk, an event to benefit orphans born without legs and children with musculoskeletal dysfunctions. The aim was to help these children acquire the ability to walk and lead fulfilling lives. The event was attended by representatives from Russia's Federal Ministry of Health and Social Development, the State Duma and the American Embassy. Popular Russian artists participated. Yevgeny Mironov, Maria Mironova, Mikhail Sukhanov and Ilse Liepa recited poetry written by orphaned and disabled children. Beneficiaries of the Vladimir Spivakov Fund performed in a musical program.
On December 21, Moscow's International House of Music hosted Declaration of Love, a holiday concert to honor veterans of the Russian stage and screen, organized by the Artist Fund and the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia under the direction of Vladimir Spivakov. The concert was a declaration of love for those who have helped their audiences feel the greatness of the universal arts – literature, poetry and music. Renowned stage and screen artists recited excerpts from classical romantic works accompanied by music of classical composers.
The Fund's first fundraising event of 2010 was the Red Noses on March 22, conducted for the second time. The II Charitable Theater Marathon opened at Moscow's Lumière Bros. Center of Photography on March 27. The evening was dedicated to WWII veterans in the entertainment industry, and attended by 30 surviving veterans as well as prominent theater professionals active today. The Marathon continued through April 30 with the participation of some 30 Russian theaters. Like last year, the proceeds went towards the purchase of pharmaceuticals for retired actors living below poverty level, with special emphasis placed on assisting WWII vets. Over 1500 retired actors are presently under the Fund's care.
On October 28 the Fund turned 2 years old. Its birthday celebration became a great social event. Moscow's Cherdak Café hosted a theme party based on the beloved 1920s satirical novel The 12 Chairs and its classic film adaptation. The novel's characters, portrayed by celebrities, held a fundraising auction to sell 12 chairs designed by leading Russian artists.
On December 9, 2010, the annual I Want to Walk, an event to benefit orphans born without legs and children with musculoskeletal dysfunctions, took place at Moscow's 35 MM Cinema. The documentary film On My Own Two Feet, directed by Nataliya Shaginian-Needham and narrated by Yevgeny Mironov, was shown as part of the event, which also featured a fundraising auction of works by young artist Aleksandr Pokhilko.
On March 27, 2011, the Fund hosted a fundraising dinner and auction of photographer Oleg Kuteinikov's images from the set of the film Dostoyevsky – 24 unique art photos depicting scenes from the life of the classic author as played by Yevgeny Mironov, who also attended the gala evening. All profits will go to benefit the charitable initiatives of the Artist Fund.
On April 6, 2011, the annual Declaration of Love benefit concert took place at Moscow's Variety (Estrada) Theater. The event marks the launch of the third annual Theater Marathon. The concert featured performances by Yevgeny Mironov and other celebrated artists, who recited poetry by Ivan Bunin, Boris Pasternak, Marina Tzvetaeva, Aleksandr Fet, Fyodor Sologub, Igor Severyanin, Nikolai Zabolotsky and William Shakespeare. Musical selections performed by the Helicon Opera Theater's choir and orchestra included excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Undina, Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila, Gounod's Faust, Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman, Bizet's Carmen, Kalman's The Circus-Princess, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and Russian romances.
On October 27, 2011, the Fund celebrated its third birthday. The event was held at the Renaissance Moscow Hotel for friends of the Fund and the veteran actors under its care. The evening's entertainment and annual auction centered around Leonid Gaidai's classic 1960s comedy The Diamond Arm. In a spoof of the movie's most memorable scene, costume designer Viktoriya Sevriukova auctioned off "a pegnoir with pearly buttons" from her private collection of Soviet-era lingerie. The auction drew in 3 million 760 thousand rubles, all of which will go to benefit the Fund's veteran programs and its other charitable activities.
A recent initiative undertaken by the Fund was the photo project Life in Motion, headed by the world-renowned photojournalist Ed Kashi. Five photographers from New York's International Center of Photography and five of their Moscow colleagues from The Aleksandr Rodchenko School of Multimedia took up temporary residence in homes for disabled orphans to photograph their everyday lives. The pictures captured the children's first-ever steps on the streets of Moscow, guided by celebrity aides from the world of Russian cinema, sports and TV. The exhibit was presented December 8th at the Rita K. Hillman Education Gallery in New York City on December 8 and at the Renaissance Moscow Hotel on December 15, 2011. For those interested in making a donation to benefit the I Want to Walk initiative, selected photos from the project are available for purchase at http://happyfamilies.org/life-in-motion/.
With the Fund's support, a fundraising action to benefit 75 disabled children undergoing treatment at the Albreht Federal Center for Prosthetic Surgery took place in St. Petersburg between December 19, 2011 and January 8, 2012. The children compiled wish lists of New Years' presents, which were then supplied by the city's business community, while St. Petersburg's Greenhouse Conditions restaurant gave its patrons a chance to customize the greeting cards that accompanied the presents. 10% of the restaurant's receipts for this time period was donated to the Fund for the I Want to Walk program's activities to support The Albreht Center's young patients.
In 2011, the Artist Fund became the winner of a Brand Award in the category "Charitable Foundation of the Year".
2012 is expected to bring a new phase in the development of the Fund's activities in the St. Petersburg region. The Tamara In Kansas public-relations agency has lent its support to the Fund in promoting its programs to benefit retired actors and children with disabilities. Contributors will be offered valuable marketing opportunities, as well as loyalty programs such as a series of fundraising events featuring entertainment by Russia's top show-business personalities.
The annual Declaration of Love benefit concert will take place this year on April 2 at Moscow's International House of Music. Yevgeny Mironov will be joined by the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia and a star cast of participants. The recital will include selections from Aleksandr Pushkin's Boris Godunov, Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, Moliere's Tartuffe, and the poetry of Anna Akhmatova, Vladimir Mayakovsky and David Samoilov.
The Fund's current programs include:
The SOS Emergency Fund for medical and social emergencies;
Pharmacy Access to provide certificates for free medication;
Entertainment Veterans' Club, offering retired actors the opportunity to engage in creative, social and health-improvement projects in a circle of fellow professionals;
I Want to Walk to help disabled orphans.
The Fund's address is: 35 Arbat Street, Suite 315, Moscow, Russia 119002
Phone/fax: 7-499-248-5579; e-mail: email@example.com
Volunteers please contact Yelena Korobkova, Director of Volunteer Activities, at: firstname.lastname@example.org