Since 1882, The Entertainment Community Fund has helped create sustainable lives and careers for artists and countless professionals in the performing arts. The Entertainment Community Fund understands the specific needs and unique challenges that people face with a career and life in the arts. Whether it’s performing on stage, acting in front of the camera or one of the many jobs behind the scenes that are essential to bringing a production to life, The Entertainment Community Fund supports every role and profession by providing financial support, resources, and social services.
The mission of The Entertainment Community Fund is one that resonates with us. This year we are celebrating our 100th Anniversary, having been founded in 1923. While you wouldn’t think that a hardware store has a connection to the arts and Hollywood, it’s an industry we very much support and are grateful for. In a way, we grew up together with the very industry that put Los Angeles on the map. Anawalt was founded the same year as Warner Bros. Studio and Disney, and the same year that The Hollywood Sign went up. Our store has provided materials to help build this city and craft sets for iconic films and TV shows.
We understand the struggle that artists face when it comes to earning a consistent and viable income. From a writer to a ballet dancer or set designer, these roles are vital to bringing stories to life and sharing the arts with the world.
We have seen firsthand the struggles that artists can face. One story that comes to mind is Harrison Ford. Before Harrison Ford was Harrison Ford as we know him, he was a carpenter and often purchased his supplies from Anawalt.
When he was a struggling actor, Anawalt would give him time to pay his invoices and always understood if he didn’t have enough money at the time to buy supplies for a job or settle up, since he worked gig to gig. Our current President, Dave Anawalt, who was a manager at the time of the Robertson location, would always tell him not to worry and that he knew he was good for it.
One day in 1976, Ford was in the store and talking to Dave. Dave was asking him how things were going, when Ford started telling him he just landed a role. Dave told him, “That’s great, Harrison! What kind of movie is it?” Harrison responded, “It’s a sci-fi movie called Star Wars.” Sci-fi wasn’t the genre we know today, and certainly wasn’t as mainstream or respected, so Dave joked with him, “Oh Harrison, I’m so sorry. But hey, it’s work!” Well flash forward a year and Star Wars wasn’t just the biggest blockbuster of the year, it was the biggest blockbuster of all time.
We understand that some of the people who shop in our stores have jobs in the trades as well as the arts, using that work to offset their income. It provides them the flexibility that’s needed to continue their work as an artist, which doesn’t always pay the bills.
We are proud to support The Entertainment Community Fund and hope that you join us in donating to this important organization.