This is part of an ongoing series of articles by and with members of the board of the Arizona Film & Media Coalition (AFMC). We hope this series will help you learn about the things we do. If you like what you read, please consider joining our cause:
In today’s AFMC board member bio, we’ll be highlighting Don Livesay. Although retired now, Don represented professional performers since 1974. He started with Actors Equity as a business represented in the Chicago office. In 1981 he came to work in Arizona for SAG and AFTRA as executive director of both unions. Then for the last ten years of his career, he worked for SAG alone until both unions merged.
Don tells us, “I retired from SAG-AFTRA in 2013, but my heart and soul are still very much part of this business and what it means to be a professional performer. I care deeply for the growth and success of our industry. I am a proud member of the board of directors of AFMC, and have served as treasurer, secretary and a member of several committees.”
What is the role of the AFMC, from the perspective of your industry area?
LIVESAY: As a founding member AFMC I’ve seen our on-going efforts rise and fall, but our mission remains the same: To encourage and promote media production, build programs that would sustain employment and enhance economic growth in our industry through legislation, education and public relations.
What is your primary role on the Arizona Film and Media Coalition board?
LIVESAY: My role is as a team member. If my experience can help us get where we need to be, then – as I’ve done in the past – I’m ready to jump in at any time. And if anyone needs encouragement, I’m there.
What is the most pressing concern to you within the film and media industry?
LIVESAY: Relationship building is critical. We need to make sure all members of each organization represented in the coalition is knowledgeable and ready to raise their voices in support of film and media when the call goes out. It will take unified action on the part of every member organization in AFMC if we are to be a credible force. Building that credibility means getting everyone informed of issues — not just legislators, but our own people. And educating our industry shouldn’t wait until we have a pending vote in the Legislature. Educating our forces should be ongoing, starting now.
How would you like the AFMC, the community and/or the State of AZ to address that concern?
LIVESAY: We need to continue what we have already done with Town Hall events and outreaches that build support within our ranks. We’ve had a good start, now let’s keep at it.
What steps is the AFMC currently taking to address this concern? If none, are there plans to?
LIVESAY: Our legislative committee has been busy, and I know our outreach efforts have been successful . . . so far. We just have much more we can do. Fortunately, our board is made up of talented and creative people who feel the same way I do.
What message, if any, would you like to send to the readers of this blog?