Over a decade in the making, The Actors Fund and Thomas Safran & Associates broke ground Thursday morning on The Hollywood Arts Collective, a $120-million project that will include 151 affordable housing units for artists.

“With gentrification and rising rents in neighborhoods traditionally accessible to workers in the entertainment and arts community, The Hollywood Arts Collective is an urgent and timely need,” said Keith McNutt, The Actors Fund’s western region executive director. “This project will allow professionals in our industry to live, work and perform in the center of creativity in Los Angeles. Their presence, their work, will be an engine of the continued arts-based revitalization of Hollywood.” 

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifetimes. Alongside Thomas Safran & Associates, a developer of luxury, affordable and mixed-use rental housing, it is bringing much-needed revitalization to the Hollywood area. Annette Bening, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Chandra Wilson celebrated the start of the project at a virtual groundbreaking ceremony.

“The Hollywood Arts Collective is the embodiment of The Actors Fund vision: a world in which individuals contributing to cultural vibrancy are supported, valued and economically secured,” Mitchell said.

Located on Hollywood Boulevard just up the street from the Pantages Theatre, the development will consist of a residential building and an arts center, which includes arts galleries, rehearsal studios, non-profit arts office space and the 86-seat Glorya Kaufman Theater. 

“The Actors Fund has been supporting the entertainment community in Los Angeles for over a century,” Bening said, who serves as the Actors Fund vice chair. “The Hollywood Arts Collective allows us to significantly deepen our commitment to our colleagues in the Hollywood creative community.”

The project’s development also involved Los Angeles’ departments for cultural affairs and transportation. A 2012 survey found an overwhelming majority of those surveyed calling for affordable housing for working artists who are continually priced out of living in Los Angeles. Even more recently, a November 2019 report published by Arts for LA revealed that nearly all of the artists it surveyed considered lack of affordability of housing and workspace a “serious concern.” 

“By 2024, this project will be a reality,” The Actors Fund council member Chandra Wilson said. “This is an incredible achievement that will support our arts and entertainment community for generations to come.”