Local 1000 April Update and Covid-19 Resources
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Our work as artists has never been more important, but all of us have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis. My heart is with you all right now, I hope you are staying healthy and safe.
Over the last few weeks, Local 1000 members have shown what a union is all about. You have given generously to our Emergency Relief Fund (ERF), you have shared resources and know-how with each other, you have circulated useful information, and you have supported each other personally. I have been inspired by your compassion and generosity.
Thank you to all who have donated or helped bring in donations to the ERF so far. To date we have raised over $10,000. But we are not done! We don’t know how great the need will be and we are committed to helping any member who finds themselves in financial crisis due to the current Covid-19 situation. There’s more information about how you can help fundraise for the ERF below.
Richard and Colin, our administrative directors, are keeping our office going even though New York City is now under a lockdown. We depend on them so much, and they are both going above and beyond during this time. My deepest gratitude to them.
Your Executive Board is meeting weekly (instead of our normal once every six weeks) to stay on top of developments and make sure we are responding quickly as the need arises. Thank you to these fellow members who give their time voluntarily to help guide Local 1000.
This email includes some important updates and information – please read it thoroughly, and contact us if you have questions or need information.
The road ahead of us is not going to be easy, but I know that as a union we will be there for each other, and that gives me hope.
Local 1000 Office Operations Update
Our office is currently closed in compliance with the stay-at-home order issued by Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York.
Staff are working remotely, however please understand this will inevitably create some response delays. We are currently unable to retrieve mail sent to our office address. If you need to send us mail or have already done so, please contact [email protected]
If you need immediate assistance, email us at [email protected] rather than phoning. If you need to make a payment, we ask you to pay online rather than mailing a cheque.
We understand that many of our members are under financial strain and may have difficulty paying membership dues right now. The Executive Board is considering what measures we may be able to take around this issue. Your membership dues are what allow us to work on your behalf on the critical issues we are facing, so if you are in a position to continue paying dues, we ask you to continue to do so, so that we can keep working for you.
Local 1000 Emergency Relief Fund
Local 1000 is committed to helping any member who finds themselves in financial crisis due to this situation.
Our Emergency Relief Fund can supply a no-interest, forgivable loan of up to $500 for members who need assistance to cover immediate needs such as rent.
If you have savings to get you by for the next 1-2 months, please hold off on your request so we can help those in the most need first. You must be a member in good standing and demonstrate financial need.
Help Us Fundraise for the ERF
Here are a few ways you can help us raise money for the ERF:
Include an appeal in your fan newsletter. Here is some sample text:
All independent musicians are suffering right now because of the tremendous loss of income from cancelled work. My union, Local 1000 of the AFM, which is made up entirely of touring folk and acoustic musicians, has an Emergency Relief Fund that gives no-interest loans to members in need. Please consider making a donation to help a struggling musician. Any amount you can give will help. Thank you. https://www.local1000.org/donate-to-local-1000-emergency-relief-fund
Post a video of yourself singing one song with a pitch for donations to the ERF. Tag another Local 1000 member (or several!) and challenge them to do the same.
Contribute to the Local 1000 Online Fundraising Concert. Members Rik Palieri and Daniel Senie are creating a Local 1000 member concert video to raise money for the ERF. They are asking members to upload a short video to YouTube that we can include in a Local 1000 concert playlist. Here are the guidelines:
1) create a simple 5 to 8 minute video with this format:
-begin with an introduction of who you are
-play a song
– end with a few words about Local 1000’s ERF Fund and tell folks to go to local1000.org to donate
2) upload the video to your YouTube channel
3) email the link to your video to Daniel Senie at: [email protected]
Donate some or all of the proceeds from a streaming concert to the Local 1000 ERF.
Share the ERF donation page on your social network pages.
Have any other ideas?? Please let us know – or just do it!
Government Support Programs
The US and Canadian governments have each announced relief measures designed to help self-employed workers who don’t have access to Employment Insurance (Canada) or Unemployment (US).
In Canada, the program that most of us will qualify under is the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB). More information is available here.
Applications will be available April 6. Individuals should make sure they have an online account with the Canada Revenue Agency as well as direct deposit enabled in their account.
One of the criteria in the official information available so far is that individuals must show $0 of income for 14 consecutive days to qualify. On March 30, President Goldberg sent a letter on behalf of Local 1000 to the Minister of Finance strongly urging the federal government to clarify or amend this criteria since it will end up disqualifying many of the people the benefit is intended to assist. You can read the letter here.
Self-employed musicians will eligible to apply for grants and loans through the $2 trillion stimulus bill recently signed. You can find an update on the new measures here, and state-by-state information on applying for unemployment here.
Local 1000 Covid-19 Resources Page
Here you will find links to trusted sources of information and resources for independent musicians.
We have been updating this page on a regular basis as we get new information. If you know of any additional resources we should include here, please let us know!
Pension Fund Updates
Please note that offices for the AFM-EPF are currently closed and staff are working remotely, and have asked that all direct inquiries be made via email.
For members that are receiving monthly pension benefits, they have indicated that benefits will continue to be paid as usual without interruption.
If you need to submit your regular monthly pension contributions and documentation, please contact [email protected] for instructions, as we are currently unable to access mail sent to our office.
If you have a Collective Bargaining Agreement with Local 1000 and are concerned about not being able to make your required pension contributions due to a loss of work, please contact [email protected]. We are currently seeking more information from leadership at the AFM-EPF about how they will address these concerns.
If you need to contact the AFM-EPF directly, more information is available here.
The Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada is still operating but with reduced hours. We have been assured they will relax their policies around late payments at this time. If you need to submit a pension contribution, please contact [email protected] for instructions, as we are currently unable to access mail sent to our office.
Collecting Data on Lost Income
We are collecting information on lost income from our members.
The Canadian Federation of Musicians is collecting information from all Canadian locals in order to create a picture of the loss to the music industry across Canada. They are using the data in their lobbying efforts.
Information is being updated on a weekly basis.
Please send your updates on lost income to [email protected] by every Wednesday at 10 pm.
We are also collecting info from US members so that we have hard data on the overall impact on our members.
Please send your updates to Erin Mae Lewis (Midwest Rep): [email protected]
Local 1000 Tech Team
Do you have questions about moving your work online? The Local 1000 Tech Team can help! The Tech Team is made up of members Daniel Senie, Erin Mae Lewis, and Steve Eulberg. The team will provide guidance for Local 1000 members to use online resources. If you need help, feel free to contact the team member offering the skills you are looking for.
Dan has been involved in the technology underlying the Internet for decades. He does tech work and photography in addition to music. Together with his wife, Faith, they perform as Dan and Faith, and have been doing online concerts for some years now, both from home and from their camper van while on the road. His areas of expertise:
1) Hardware selection and setup for streaming
2) Internet connectivity advice
3) Best practices for online performance
1) Hosting, Navigating and providing hospitality for a Live Chat Room with both video and typed chat. Zoom is his preferred platform.
2) Planning, filming, editing, rendering and uploading video lessons, ads to Vimeo and Youtube and as benefits for his Patreon campaign.
Erin Mae teaches online private lessons, group music classes, and has organized online festivals and multi-person events. Her areas of expertise are:
1) using Zoom for interactive music experiences
2) helping venues and festivals come up with creative ways to host events online.
Connect on our Facebook Group!
We are sharing resources and ideas with each other on our private member’s group on Facebook. There are some very creative ideas brewing so we encourage you to jump in and participate.
If you are not a member of that group, you can request to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AFM.Local1000/
Local 1000 Virtual Coffee Hour
Member Annie Patterson will host a virtual coffee hour for Local 1000 musicians on Wednesday, April 8 from 4-5pm EDT (3-4pm CDT; 2-3pm MDT; 1-2pm PDT).
Come on over to Zoom and share a song, get support, share how you are doing, cheer your union brothers and sisters up, and stay connected in these hard times!
Bring your own coffee!