Musicians and other entertainment workers are uniquely impacted by coronavirus. This pandemic has pushed the entire entertainment industry into an unprecedented crisis. Live concerts, theatrical productions, club dates, and recording sessions have been shut down. This has meant an overnight loss of work for entertainment workers—leaving thousands unable to pay for rent or food and jeopardizing their healthcare coverage.
Click here and here to contact your legislators and tell them to protect entertainment workers during this pandemic. Click here to advocate for disaster unemployment assistance for all workers, including freelancers and those not protected by employee status. Sign and share widely! You can also call your reps at 202-224-3121.
A number of NYC Council Members have signed onto a petition calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to ensure New York City’s cultural institutions, arts non-profits, artists, and creative workers are supported by current relief efforts and included in the Business Stimulus package. Sign and share here!
The League of American Orchestras has also started a campaign calling on Congress members to support relief for nonprofit orchestras and musicians impacted by COVID-19. Sign a letter and/or tweet out a message here!
SIGN THE IATSE AND EQUITY PETITIONS: Our entertainment unions are all in this together, with the universal demand that our members who make art and bring joy to our communities be provided relief during this time of financial insecurity. Sign IATSE’s petition here and sign Actors Equity’s petition here.
Call and email your NYS elected officials and ask them to renew the COBRA subsidy healthcare program. Due to the widespread cancellation of our work, many musicians will require government assistance to stay on 802 healthcare. NYC entertainment unions are united in our demand that New York extend the COBRA subsidy healthcare program. This program, which pays 50% of monthly COBRA premiums for entertainment union members for 12 months, has kept over 1,150 entertainment workers on their healthcare over the past decade. We must ensure it does not expire at this critical time. Take action today! Call and write our elected officials and let them know to renew the COBRA subsidy healthcare program.
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo: mailto:email@example.com or call him at (518) 474-8390
- Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (518) 455-3791
- Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: mailto:email@example.com or call him at (518) 455-2585
- If your state senator is Gustavo Rivera, please email him at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (518) 455-3395.
- If your assemblyman is Dick Gottfried, please email him at mailto:email@example.com or call him at (518) 455-4941.
- If your assemblyman is Kevin Cahill, please email him at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or call him (518) 455-4436.
SAMPLE EMAIL SCRIPT:
Dear [Elected Official],
My name is ___. I am a Local 802 AFM union musician writing to request that New York state renew its COBRA subsidy healthcare program. For union members like me, who have lost all our work due to the coronavirus, this program is critical to keeping me on my health plan.
With theaters, film and TV productions, recording studios, and music venues shuttered, our entire industry is in crisis. Musicians and our entertainment worker colleagues have been sent home without knowing when our workplaces will reopen.
Thank you for reading my message; I ask that you work with Local 802 AFM to renew this critical program.
SAMPLE PHONE SCRIPT:
My name is [name] and I am a Local 802 AFM union musician calling to ask [elected official] to renew the COBRA subsidy healthcare program. Due to the coronavirus, musicians and other entertainment workers are out of work and have no idea when our workplaces will reopen. Without this critical health subsidy, many of us will lose our union healthcare. Please ensure that this valuable COBRA subsidy does not expire. Thank you!