City of Austin / Travis County has made available another relief program for households impacted by loss of work due to COVID-19. RISE 2.0 $2000 relief grants will be dispersed via a lottery to applicants who qualify.
The City of Austin has taken measures during this unprecedented time to provide relief for both musicians and music venues via the Music Disaster Relief Fund. Sadly, this fund offers no support for the hardworking venue technicians whose behind-the-scenes efforts make live music events possible. Please sign this petition to let City Council know that production technicians such as lighting designers, sound engineers, and stage managers need to be included when it comes to aiding the Austin music scene and providing hope through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
We recognize that protecting Austin’s musicians and music venues is extremely important. However, if the goal is to protect Austin’s music industry, one key element has been left out of Austin’s Music Disaster Relief Fund; live event technicians.
Whether an event is large or small, musicians cannot be seen or heard without the involvement and expertise of stage technicians. Production staff, including sound engineers, lighting designers, video engineers, and others, are integral to the success of live music performances. In fact, the quality of production can have a direct impact on the income a venue generates.
Production staff are often freelance and just as financially unstable as musicians. Like musicians and music venues, technicians are also in need of assistance to survive the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Most affected are technicians who have been misclassified as contract labor causing their unemployment claims to be denied, delayed, or significantly reduced.
We realize these are extremely difficult times for everyone. However, in formulating help for performance-based arts, we ask that assistance is not limited to performers and venues only. Although professionally stage technicians strive to be invisible, we do not wish to be invisible within our community.
Please expand the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund to include production staff who live in the Greater Austin Area and regularly work in local venues, and contribute to Austin being recognized as the Live Music Capital of the World.
The following is from a communication from the office of Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett:
So many of our neighbors have sought ways to help others as we work together to reach the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being a light for others is certainly a meaningful way to get through these difficult times. Understanding the challenges facing the many with lost jobs or weakened businesses, I include below some ways you can help that do not require contributing money.
Working with so many nonprofits, myself, I know a number, which continue doing so much good, have been forced to cancel fundraising events and suffer reduced donations. For those still fortunate enough to be able to offer financial support, I have collected some seeking your help here.
Food Banks You have seen the lines of cars waiting for help. With so much demand, more volunteers are needed.
Central Texas Food Bank Central Texas Food Bank is seeking volunteers. Visit the website here. Volunteer shifts have been adjusted to include fewer people and maximize social distancing and have even implemented a touch-free volunteer check-in system. Additional precautionary hygiene measures are in place to maintain the health and wellness of volunteer workforce as well as those that receive our food. Learn more about their safety measures here.
Hays County Food Bank Hays County Food Bank has opportunities for people with cars. In order to determine if you can volunteer, you must first answer a few screening questions. Learn more here.
Senior Access and Drive a Senior Central Texas Both programs seek volunteers for their Senior Buddy programs, in an effort to get essential goods and services to senior citizens who are at greater risk from the virus. Senior Access can be reached at its website here. Drive a Senior can be reached at its website here.
Aspire to Age Aspire to Age is in need of volunteers for 20-minute virtual phone check-ins with seniors. Their volunteer form can be found here. You can learn more about Aspire to Age and their services by visiting their website here.
We Are Blood A blood donation group with ongoing donor centers.
The North Lamar Location is located at 4300 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin.
The Round Rock Location is located at 2132 N. Mays, Suite 900.
The South Austin Location is located at 3100 W. Slaughter Lane.
They can all be reached at (512) 206-1266.
Additionally, they are collecting convalescent plasma donations from fully recovered COVID-19 individuals. This plasma is being used to treat patients currently fighting COVID-19. If you are a fully recovered COVID-19 patient and want to be considered as a convalescent plasma donor, learn more here.
Face Shield Project This Austin based volunteer organization is building improvised face shields by the thousands in partnership with the City of Austin, UT Dell Medical School and local companies. They provide all the tools, materials, training and a safe, physically distanced and hygienically supervised production space. Learn more about how to volunteer here.
Translators without Borders If you are fluent in at least one language other than your native language and would like to translate medical texts or translate for crisis response, complete the Translator Application Form here.
Generation Serve They have put a list of kid-simple activities for volunteering at home. See more here.
Make birthday cards for Pop-Up Birthday for children and teens in foster care – The cards can be simple or embellished. Write a small message inside and when you’re finished, mail them to Pop-Up Birthday at 101 Westlake Dr. Ste. 210, Austin, TX 78746.
Marbridge Foundation offers safe residential care for adults with cognitive disabilities. The residents typically have very active day-to-day lives and frequent visitors, but they have had to shelter in place without visitors recently. Please write up-lifting cards, filled with jokes and pictures, and send them to the residents of Marbridge, c/o Becca McPherson, PO Box 2250, Manchaca, TX 78652.
Nextdoor To help one’s nearby neighbors, an app I have seen recommended is Nextdoor. It has added a feature to help people coordinate offers of help. The Help Map, lets people say where they are and whether they need or can offer help, such as picking up groceries or taking a dog for a walk for an elderly neighbor. Sign up, address verification for Nextdoor’s community security. You can learn more here.
Let me know if you see a local resource missing about which I should be aware. Also, I continue to update my website coronavirus page website with helpful links, which you can view here.
We will get to the other side of this crisis, together.
IATSE Local 205 congratulates Kevin Squires on obtaining the position of House Carpenter at the Paramount Theatre, and Ryan Graham, on obtaining the position of House AV Technician at the Long Center. We look forward to representing you and hope you will consider joining our union!
CITY OF AUSTIN BUDGET HEARING. AUGUST 18, 2016.
RE. CITY FUNDING TO ZACH THEATRE
IATSE LOCAL 205 PRESS RELEASE.
The International Alliance of Theatrical & Stage Employees, or IATSE, Local 205 of Austin, Texas, founded in 1911, assists our local stagehands in securing better working conditions and wages in music, theater, convention, and film production in Austin.
Stagehands at Austin’s ZACH Theater approached IATSE Local 205, seeking help to achieve fair and economically stable wages and working conditions. ZACH chooses to pay stagehands less than the area standards, and there is wage disparity between genders. Working people are often faced with the difficult choice of leaving the craft they love to find work that enables them to provide for their family. People who work in entertainment for a living should be able to earn a living wage.
ZACH management has responded in a negative and hostile manner to the stagehands campaign and its supporters. We are asking that ZACH stay neutral and let workers make the choice to negotiate collectively.
ZACH stagehands feel their best chance of affecting positive change is speaking up together to shape their workplace.
For further information, please contact:
IATSE Local 205 Organizing Committee Chair, Paul Arebalo Jr. at ; ZACH Internal Organizing Committee Chair, Katie S. Anderson at ; or IATSE Local 205 President, Rachel Magee at .