Workers’ World Today is a free publication that empowers all workers, regardless of social or political affiliations. Distributed throughout New York City, our paper has a mission to educate workers and provide them with relevant information pertinent to the workforce such as workers’ compensation, discrimination on the job, workers’ rights, and more.
Even in these extraordinary times, with millions having lost their jobs and tens of thousands of businesses having closed since the coronavirus pandemic spread, losses in the performing arts and related sectors have been staggering.
During the quarter ending in September, when the overall unemployment rate averaged 8.5 percent, 52 percent of actors, 55 percent of dancers and 27 percent of musicians were out of work, according to the National Endowment for the Arts. The new $15 billion worth of stimulus aid for performance venues and cultural institutions that was finally approved this week will not end mass unemployment for performers anytime soon. And it only extends federal unemployment aid through mid-March.
“My fear is we’re not just losing jobs, we’re losing careers,” said Adam Krauthamer, President of AFM Local 802, adding that 95 percent of the local’s 7,000 members are not working on a regular basis because of the mandated shutdown. “It will create a great cultural depression.” Read more in the New York Times.
In better news, a second donor has stepped up to offer a matching grant for AFM Local 802’s #SaveNYCMusic campaign in order to help reach the goal of $250,000 to provide emergency relief to musicians, address the health fund’s shortfall, and enhance 802’s efforts to get musicians safely back to work, restoring the musical heart and soul of New York. Click here to learn more and contribute.
For more updates from Local 802, check out January’s issue of Allegro magazine!