Lifeline: The Emergency Relief Fund

Volume CVIII, No. 7/8July, 2008

Robert Bander

Download In Concert… the 2007-2008 Emergency Relief Fund Benefit Journal
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Download Art Folio from Fountain Gallery!
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Click here for more information on the Emergency Relief Fund.

What is Local 802’s Emergency Relief Fund? To put it simply, it’s financial help. Members who are behind on their rent, utilities or doctors’ bills may apply to the ERF for assistance. Grants are also available for costs incurred due to theft of instruments, auto repair, and other ad-hoc emergencies vital to your employment.

Applying for ERF funds is as simple as calling the office of the Musicians’ Assistance Program, at (212) 397-4802.

When I took on the responsibility of coordinating fundraising for the 2007-2008 ERF Journal, it became quite obvious that in order to meet the increasing demands being placed on the fund, it was necessary to widen the base of support.

Although the Emergency Relief Fund has always been held in the highest regard, the journal did not have an identity of its own that aroused interest or attracted new supporters. It was a collection of advertisements and greetings kept alive by a loyal cadre of supporters, for whom we are and always will be extremely grateful, and solely dedicated to bringing in contributions. A noble purpose, but as the saying goes, we do not live by bread alone.

As the year progressed and I settled into my task, I realized that the raw materials were already in place to develop a small forum of the arts. Accordingly, it was only a small leap of faith to redefine and redesign the journal, and thus “In Concert…” was born. Because the New York metropolitan area served by Local 802 has no shortage of talented artists, it seemed a natural fit to provide an additional medium of support for all the arts as well.

What you will see this year is a more polished look with dedicated sections, historical items from 802’s archives, current items relevant to Local 802 and the Emergency Relief Fund, and of course visual artwork replacing the letters of support from political figures in New York State.

By archives, I am referring to a resource, dating back to the 1920’s, “The Official Journal of Local 802” the precursor to the monthly newspaper Allegro. Its pages contain photographs, news items, and many features of historical interest providing a glimpse into our history. These informative and noteworthy elements allow one to see the breadth and depth of Local 802’s common interests with the community, our support of the arts and a continual commitment to aid members in dire need.

It is my hope that “In Concert…,” this new incarnation of the ERF journal, while growing and improving with each annual publishing, will gain wide acceptance as an instrument of fundraising and a forum for artistic and relevant pursuits.

Members wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution to the ERF may mail it to: Emergency Relief Fund, attention: Robert Bander, 5th floor, Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. If you have any questions, or if you wish to advertise in the next journal, contact me at (212) 245-4802, ext. 187 or