During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are posting every all-member email regarding the crisis to the site to ensure all 802 members see these communications. Please note, to avoid redundancy, we stripped the parts of these emails that remind members to check this very page for updates.
Email sent Thursday, March 12, 2020, 4:03 PM
Subject Line- COVID-19 Update from Local 802
Local 802 is closely monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation on behalf of our members. Your safety and security in the workplace is our priority. I also want all 802 musicians to know that we are focused on fighting for your economic well-being during this pandemic as well.
Many Local 802 members make their living as freelancers, relying on multiple employers for their income and to accrue health and pension benefits. While we applaud employers for taking all the necessary steps to ensure our members, fellow colleagues, and audience members are safe from the spread of this pandemic, the reality is that as musicians lose work for unpredictable amounts of time, their financial security is threatened. This does not just affect freelance musicians, but all our colleagues in the arts eco-system – hard-working actors, choristers, stage managers, crew members, ticket-sellers, and ushers who work in tandem to make the show go on.
Local 802 will be calling on the Mayor and Governor to put workers first with a strong economic relief package to ensure that everyone who works in the arts and entertainment sector has access to health care and unemployment benefits.
In my full statement, which you can read here, we make it clear that immediate action is required to help all union musicians in New York – not only to protect public health, but arts funding at all levels. This will provide arts employers the resources they need to quickly recover and reopen when appropriate.
We know this period will be a hardship for many 802 musicians, some worse than others. Now is the time to come together as a community of musicians to support each other in whatever ways we can – whether that means raising your voice in support of arts funding in the face of a public health crisis or just making sure a colleague is feeling okay physically and emotionally. We can and will overcome this crisis together.
Below are some organizations that help musicians in time of need:
- Musicians’ Assistance Program through the Actors Fund
- Note on current intake procedure, updated 3/24/20: Due to the high volume of applications the Actors Fund is currently receiving and to prevent fraudulent claims, the process to file for aid through the Musicians’ Assistance Program has changed. It is also taking up to two weeks to process applications. Please see details below. You must fill out this online application. To apply, you must have proof of Active Local 802 membership with current Paid Through date, a cancellation notice, and two documents verifying your identity. (Suggested documents include your most recent bank statement, a current lease, rent statement, or mortgage/maintenance statement.) Make sure you have digital copies or scans of the requested documents ready; at the end of the application, you will be asked to upload them. Visit this page to see the Actors Fund’s tips for making your application process easy.
- Local 802 Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund
- Max’s Kansas City Project
- Musicians Foundation Aid
- Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
And more resources are available on the Local 802 Resource Center here.
We are here to help unite and support our community of union musicians. Please stay healthy and never hesitate to reach out for help.
President Adam Krauthamer