Security and a Fair Deal for Folk Artists
We all know that performers on the folk circuit lead precarious lives, struggling to obtain health care, pensions and other benefits. Touring artists work for a myriad of employers who contribute little toward their security beyond a check or a wad of cash for an evening’s performance. These artists, who provide us with joy and inspiration, face uncertain futures, never knowing when financial disaster might strike.
All too often we come together at benefit concerts for performers fallen on hard times, ill fortune or bad health.
The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) has one of the best pension plans available anywhere. It enables musicians to retire, if they choose, without facing poverty. But this essential benefit has only been accessible to a minority of musicians, mostly recording industry session players and symphonic musicians. Fair Folk is a way to change all that. Fair Folkis a campaign to urge employers — clubs, concert producers, folk societies and other venues — to provide security for those who bring us the music and entertainment we love so much, simply by paying a small cost for each performance. By signing onto a universal collective bargaining agreement, and becoming a “covered” venue, an employer can provide pension benefits to every folk artist who plays that venue. It’s a simple but bold idea. The costs are miniscule and the benefits are legion. And there is no better time to start than now.
… Imagine a world in which folk performers collect a fair pension upon retirement.
… Imagine a world in which a performer, disabled in mid-career, receives a disability pension guaranteed for life.
With Fair Folk we can accomplish this goal within a few short years! But we need the support of a united folk music community — musicians, presenters and folk enthusiasts alike.
If you are musician or performer who works on the folk circuit, please download this petition, sign and send to Local 1000. If you have questions or would like to help us collect signatures, call the Local 1000 office or email us.
AFM Local 1000 Executive Board: John McCutcheon, Tret Fure, John O’Connor, Ken Whiteley, Linda Allen, Karen Brandow, Alice Gerrard, Joe Jencks, Deborah Van Kleef.
To add your name to the petition, please download this petition, and circulate among your colleagues.
Return signed petitions to the Local 1000 office. Thank you.