Actors’ Equity Association Expresses Concern Over “Open Culture”

Actors’ Equity Association Expresses Concern Over “Open Culture”
Actors’ Equity Association has asked its members to talk to the union before agreeing to work for New York City’s new “Open Culture” program.
 
This program issues permits for outdoor performances but does not guarantee workers a living wage or proof of workers’ compensation. Safety is a concern as well; the program does not require social distancing, a COVID safety officer, or COVID-testing for workers.
 
The mayor’s office has said that “one-size-fits-all regulations don’t really make sense for this program,” when there are few regulations to speak of at all. By contrast, the state’s new arts initiative, NY PopsUp, has incorporated fair pay and safety standards into its program.
 
Theatre workers have now overwhelmingly been out of work for a year, and whether they are in a union or not, they deserve to return to a workplace that compensates them fairly and has clear science-based safety standards.

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