Your concerns are our concerns

Views from the Board

Volume CX, No. 6June, 2010

Clint Sharman

I would like to thank all of my fellow musicians who placed their trust in me by voting for me in last year’s election for a seat on the Executive Board. I promise not to compromise that trust.

I want to reassure you that after five interesting months of Executive Board meetings, my impression is that this is an administration of officers and board members with experience, knowledge, intelligence, and the type of creative thinking I feel is necessary to confront issues that affect the musicians of our local.

As an Executive Board member, I feel your concerns as working musicians become my concerns.

That being said, let me inform you of a few issues that I feel are important to me.

First, we must make decisions that are fiscally responsible.

We need to make sure that Local 802 will be financially sound, and able to protect and preserve our assets, long after we leave our term of office.

Also, preserving jobs, protecting minimums, and creating an atmosphere where there can be an increase in job opportunities is another difficult but necessary consideration.

In an age where technology allows individuals to listen and watch music on any number of electronic devices, we need to take measures to preserve those venues where live music is an integral part of the art.

We must be the ‘code enforcers’ of live music and ensure that there are places where the ticket- buying public can be assured that they will hear a live music performance. This would include our concert halls, Broadway theaters, and other live music venues.

Perhaps the most important issue for me personally is safety in the workplace – in our theaters and performance spaces.

This issue has never been more important than it is today.

The May 1 car bomb scare outside the Marquis and Minskoff theaters has brought to the forefront my ardent concern as an Executive Board member, a concern I brought up recently at an Executive Board meeting.

I believe we need to do whatever we can to assure that the safety of all performers is a primary concern in every theater and performance space.

Evacuation procedures need to be discussed and prominently displayed so that in the event of an emergency, everyone will know immediately what they need to do and where they need to go to be safe.

I want to make sure no musician’s or performer’s safety is compromised during my term in office, and to set up procedures to forever ensure a safe workplace for all performers.

I mentioned earlier that your concerns are my concerns. This is not an idle statement.

I want everyone to know that I am available to address their concerns. To this end, I will avail myself to all members of Local 802, as well as all musicians of the AFM, especially those who work in and around New York City, and welcome your comments, suggestions, criticisms, and concerns. I can easily be contacted at or (917) 440-5566.

The musicians of Local 802 are among the finest professional artists in the nation and, indeed, in the world.

As a member of Local 802’s Executive Board, I feel that every idea that we come up with, every decision we make, has an impact that reverberates throughout the country.

I realize that locals around the country may look to us for guidance to navigate the seas of live music in America today.

What do you think? I feel I can speak for all officers and Executive Board members when I say, “I want to know.”