The Metropolitan Washington D.C. Federation of Musicians, Local 161-710 Executive Board knows that many musicians are suffering financially because they have lost employment as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. We urge all members who are willing and able to help members in need, to make a special donation for this purpose. All donations will be placed in the Local’s We Care Fund and distributed to musicians in need and not used for administrative or any other purpose. Checks can be made payable to Local 161-710 with ‘We Care’ in the memo line and sent to the Local office at 4400 MacArthur Blvd., NW, Suite 306, Washington, D.C. 20007. Payments can also be made online at www.musiciansdc.org with payment designated for We Care – COVID-19 in the “notes” section. (Donations to We Care are not tax deductible).
Local 161-710 is offering emergency relief through the We Care Fund for members who have lost employment due to work stoppages resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus emergency. In order to be eligible for this relief, all of the following requirements must be met:
- The member must be in good standing.
- The member must have lost work that would have been covered by a Local 161-710 contract.
- The member may not be eligible for a relief fund specifically set up for their orchestra or by his or her employer, or for any compensation from the employer for the work that was cancelled.
For your reference, below is a non-exclusive list of cancelled employment that satisfies the second and third criteria above:
CBAs – L1 Contracts
- National Philharmonic – Washington Master Chorale (April 15-19) – Contractor Stephen Duncan
- Washington Ballet Orchestra – Basilica Easter – Contractor Paul Schultz
- Olney Theatre -Immaculate Conception Church Easter Mass – 1315 8th St. NW 20001
- National Theatre
- Wolf Trap
- American Pops Orchestra
- Post Classical Ensemble
- Arena Stage
- Ford’s Theatre
- Shakespeare Theatre
- Maryland Lyric Opera
- Signature Theatre
- National Symphony (only substitutes and extras that were hired but not paid as a result of performance cancellations)
Members in need may submit an application for up to 4 weeks of lost income, in the amount of $148 per week (regardless of the number of gigs), for a maximum total of $592. Local 161-710 is currently taking applications for work lost through the end of May and will reassess as the crisis continues.
While it is the Local’s wish to help all of our members who are in immediate need as a result of job cancellations from signatory employers, we must emphasize that our resources are limited. We therefore urge only musicians who have no other source of income and are suffering hardship at this time to apply.
Musicians who are experiencing hardship at this time, but have not lost work that falls under a Local 161-710 contract, can apply for a one-time payment from the We Care Fund in an amount up to $140.