SAG-AFTRA members’ home-away-from-home, its place to work, record, rehearse, audition and connect — the 15-year old Kaufherr Members Resource Center (KMRC) — has reopened after a month of updating and renovation.
The renovation covered the installation of a new, 6×8-ft. sound recording booth, from Whisper Room Sound Booths, and the upgraded Fern Persons’ 10×15-ft. video suite, with all-new lighting, camera and backdrops for members to use to market their talents and enhance their skills.
The talent union membership is estimated at more than 5,000.
“We’re exited on the fifteenth anniversary of the Kaufherr Center to have completed this beautiful renovation,” says executive director Eric Chaudron. “We are very appreciative to our members, partners and benefactors for making this incredible update possible.”
The spacious, multi-purpose 2,500-sq. ft. non-profit Kaufherr Center, located adjacent to the union’s headquarters at 1 E. Erie, has a new stylish and ergonomic redesign throughout, says Cheryle Dobnikar, Center Administrator, who came aboard two months ago “to take on “the challenge of doing some good work here,” from managing director of the Piano Forte Foundation.
All the furniture in the meeting part of the space, tables and chairs, was entirely donated by Groupon, Dobnikar says. “And the generous gift of three new Mac computers plus Mac Pros for the audio and video suites came from an anonymous donor.”
The Center is named for the late broadcaster and voiceover actor Jerry Kaufherr, an early actors’ union advocate, who joined SAG in 1953, the year the local branch was established. The Center was enabled by The Daniel M. Kaufherr Charitable Trust.
The video suite is named in honor of long-time radio/TV actress Fern Persons, who was a union member from 1937 until her death at age 101 in 2012 and served long terms on many local and national boards and councils.
Upcoming members’ meetings to be held at the Kaufherr Center are the Nov. 14 special meet-and-greet with LA-based national SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, 4-6 p.m. and the Nov. 21 SAG-AFTRA Conservatory, “Functionary and Small Roles for Episodic TV and Film,” 6-8 p.m.