Local 802’s Executive Board has authorized spending up to $100,368 for a live music awareness campaign in 2001. The authorization came after a pilot project this fall that featured several radio ads on WINS and a print ad in Stagebill.
“The campaign’s purpose is to create a broader public awareness of the value of live music and the enormously important part it plays in our city’s culture and economy,” President Bill Moriarity told Allegro. “This is a lot of money for a union our size to commit to such an effort – but we can’t afford not to do it.”
Beyond authorizing a budget for 2001, the Executive Board discussed a longer-term perspective. “We view this public awareness campaign as a multi-year effort,” Moriarity said. “It won’t succeed if it’s just a one-shot or one-year campaign. We will need to continue it and hopefully we can involve others in promoting live music and live performance art as our city’s greatest cultural attraction.”
Board members approved a media budget for 2001 that includes both print and radio ads. The print ads would appear in Playbill, and the radio ads will be heard on WINS and WQXR. Award-winning media consultant Tony Schwartz, who created the first set of ads that ran briefly in September and October, has been asked to continue working with 802 on the campaign. Schwartz is something of a legend in the political advertising field, having created two of what are widely considered to have been the ten most effective political ads over the last 40 years.
While the campaign will highlight the unique value of live music in all its forms and genres, there will be a special effort to highlight the role of live music in theatre. “This is an area where the public has been the most insulated from live acoustic music,” said Moriarity. “In too many cases theatre orchestra pits have been covered and musicians miked and amplified almost beyond recognition. We want to make theatre audiences more aware of how important live music is to musical theatre.”
The Executive Board discussed another facet of the public awareness, focused on utilizing the enormous talents of 802 members in live concerts around town. Moriarity noted that New York “is arguably the live music capitol of the world. With the Met, the Philharmonic, ballet, musical theatre, great jazz clubs and a vibrant downtown music scene, we have it all,” he said. “I can’t think of another city that even comes close.
“Millions of people visit our city each year to enjoy what we offer, and everyone who benefits from this – producers, theatre and club owners, and hotel and restaurant proprietors – as well as public officials, ought to have an interest in promoting the value of live music to our city.”