Announce: SXSW Cancellation News: Press Conference & Fundraisers

The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on Mar. 9th 2020 from the office of the president:

Brothers and Sisters,

Tomorrow, Tuesday 10 March at 10AM the Texas AFL-CIO is holding a press conference at their offices to highlight the voice of labor following the cancellation of this year’s SXSW. If you have lost work and would like to be present, please arrive at 9:45 AM wearing our Local’s insignia.

There are some fundraising activities to be aware of. Austin Foundation Communities is collecting donations, "to assist individuals and small businesses most negatively impacted by the cancellation of SXSW and least able to recover on their own.” The fund is called the Stand With Austin Fund . I have been in touch with the fund’s directors to inquire how individuals may apply for assistance and how or when funds will be distributed. I have received a response that the foundation is working with their partners to work this out and a request to check back in the coming weeks.

The Red River Cultural District has launched a Go Fund Me account called Banding Together geared towards helping, “artists, hospitality and production workers, businesses and organizations” that rely on SXSW. They have set a goal of $100,000 and have raised $13,029. I do not currently have any information on how funds will be distributed.

Lastly, three Austin siblings, all of whom are freelance workers who have been adversely impacted by SXSW’s cancellation, have launched a website called I Lost My Gig where donors can donate directly to effected individuals. The website allows individuals to opt in, share their story, and potentially receive person to person donations. I spoke with one of the founders today who informed me they felt it was important not only to try to facilitate financial assistance, but also to humanize our situation by sharing our stories, show how many people have been impacted, and highlight how we contribute to the fabric of our society. They were also able to report that 275 people are currently posted on the site reporting a collective loss of $1.4 million income. Although they are not tracking donations, they have received feedback that donations are being received. It appears the website is getting a lot of traffic and they will be sending press releases to all the major news outlets to increase awareness.

In Solidarity,

Rachel Magee,
IATSE Local 205 President