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Musicians' Assistance Program

Volume CXI, No. 1January, 2011

Cindy Green, LCSW

Happy New Year from everyone in the MAP office! Now that the holidays are over, most of us examine the inevitable New Year’s resolutions that we make (and often break) every year.

A new year is like a blank page. It’s a new beginning and should be seen as an opportunity for change.

There are certainly all sorts of resolutions that can be made; sadly many of them become more challenging without a source of income.

Jobs are often scarce during the beginning months of a new year. A good way to not let that fact dampen your enthusiasm is to consider the Actors Fund Work Program.

The AWP is a comprehensive employment and training program committed to fostering resiliency and self-reliance for industry professionals as well as providing a resource for referral of highly skilled and creative workers to the larger employment community.

AWP is designed to assist entertainment industry and performing arts professionals with:

  • Finding sideline work that allows them to pay the bills and still be able to practice their craft
  • Identifying additional interests
  • Exploring new or additional career possibilities.

The focus is to help members establish financial stability so they can feel a sense of control over their lives and they can be creative performing artists without the burden of economic strain.

For some musicians, the thought of earning a living doing something other then creating music may seem unthinkable.

But all musicians have skills that could be useful in other fields of work; those skills simply need to be identified and developed.

During a time when music gigs are rare, the ability to generate income and maintain financial stability can only improve the work you do as a musician.

Without the fear and pressures of financial strain, a musician is able to focus on creativity. Having an additional source of income puts you in a position of strength and confidence.

AWP also offers individual career counseling as well as a variety of groups and classes.

For those that need to develop skills, there is help available with job searching, resume writing, interviewing, and job placement services.

With a slightly stronger economy, there may be more job openings, but the number of people seeking work is still enormous.

It takes skill and talent to be a musician. Keep in mind it also takes skill and talent to search for work. There is no need to do this on your own. By utilizing AWP, you will have a significant advantage over other job seekers.

It’s easy to get involved at AWP. Simply attend one the weekly orientation at the Actors Fund. They are held every Monday (except for holidays) from noon to 2:30 at 729 Seventh Avenue, 11th floor.

During this orientation, you will learn about AWP services. Afterwards, you’ll be eligible for all of the groups and classes AWP has to offer. You will also have the opportunity to schedule an individual appointment with a skilled career counselor who can help you organize your thoughts and recognize additional marketable skills.

AWP can help you follow through on your New Year’s resolutions.

If you’re troubled by the lack of work and feel unsure of how to manage a transition, contact the MAP office by phone at (212) 397-4802 or by e-mail at MAP is here to help.

The office of the Musicians’ Assistance Program is your one-stop shop for musicians’ health. We offer counseling – both one-on-one and in groups – as well as information on all kinds of social services, including health insurance, food stamps and more. All services are free to Local 802 members. Contact us at (212) 245-4802, ext. 180 or