For the fiscal year which ended April 30, 1999, Local 802 received an allocation of $347,546 from the Recording Industries Music Performance Trust Fund and supplemented this with co-sponsorship funds of $1,020,475. That made more than $1,350,000 available for performances and wages and benefits for musicians, with an almost three-to-one ratio of co-sponsor to MPTF funding.
These funds enabled Local 802 to present 1,139 performances – ranging from a single musician performing in a nursing or senior citizens’ facility to a large symphony orchestra performing outdoors for an audience of thousands. The music is performed live and free in the best tradition of community and public service. The musicians and groups performing also maintain a tradition of the highest quality in musical ability and audience presentation.
MPTF engagements are a year-round activity, with the most active schedule during the summer months when outdoor concerts prevail. We have been able to present all types of musical events, not only as entertainment and recreation, but also as educational events. During the school year hundreds of concerts take place in school auditoriums, often providing youngsters with their only opportunity to see and hear music presented by live performers, not on a CD or on television.
In recent years MPTF has redefined its mission to fill a serious gap in the cultural and educational landscape by its focus on music appreciation. Over the last two years, Local 802 has presented 45 “Grammy” school concerts each year, co-sponsored by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
It is a testament to the value of MPTF when co-sponsors are willing to support these live music events by contributions of up to 70 percent of the total cost. Local 802 is fortunate that the co-sponsorship component is so strong, and such a vital part of our complete budget.
Beginning with this fiscal year, the MPTF Trustee has instituted new procedures for all Trust Fund engagements. An agreement must be signed by the co-sponsor and an advance payment of up to 70 percent must be submitted, along with the information about the proposed or pending project. Once it has been approved by the National MPTF office, the project can go forward.
Funds are still available for this fiscal year (May 1, 1999, to April 30, 2000) for some new projects that meet all the guidelines. The most important rule is that there must be no admission charge; the concert must be free and open to the public. The second is that co-sponsorship funds of up to 70 percent must be forthcoming.
Over the years MPTF has served a very important function and it continues to be a very worthwhile activity administered by Local 802. We welcome new projects and would like to hear from any members or groups seeking to become part of MPTF. For detailed information on guidelines contact the MPTF office or the Recording Vice-President’s office. ð