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Disney on Broadway Benefit Musicians Release Open Letter; Petition Own Union

Disney on Broadway Benefit Musicians Release Open Letter; Petition Own Union

As reported yesterday, the one-night-only benefit "Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway" which was to be streamed on Monday night to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund has now been canceled. Two labor unions, Actors' Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, agreed to allow the streaming of the concert without fees, but the American Federation of Musicians's national head did not allow its members to do the same.

The Musical Director for the concert, Jim Abbott, has now released an open letter along with a petition - to his own union signed by all of the members of the orchestra for the night, the contractor for the orchestra and even Adam Krauthamer, President of Local 802 AFM. Click here to read and sign the petition.

Tell Ray Hair and the executive board to waive the required payment as the musicians are asking and let broadcast proceed, entertaining millions of views and potentially raising hundreds of thousands for charity. This link provides more details

here's the request from the musicians themselves

An open letter from the members of the orchestra regarding the streaming of our performance for "Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney On Broadway" as a fundraiser for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund:

We find ourselves in a world that has been changed radically in just a few weeks by a terrible disease that isolates us and has changed everyone's lives. In such a time, we must all come together for the common good. As musicians we have lost the opportunity to perform publicly, but this use of our recorded performance could have been a great tool to raise funds for people in our community that are in need.
It would serve to show the world the value of live music and could also serve as an inspiration to young musicians everywhere, in addition to being both entertaining and uplifting to audiences around the world in this troubled time.

Ray Hair, the President of the American Federation of Musicians, made this decision for us without our knowledge. We acknowledge that he is working hard to protect the rights of the membership, but we as an orchestra are happy to forgo any payment for the streaming of this charitable event, especially in light of the additional $25,000 of support BCEFA offered to donate on our behalf to the Local 802 Emergency Relief Fund. This generous donation would directly support the members of Local 802 who are most in need during this crisis. Now more than ever it is essential to join with the other members of the arts community to help those in need. We implore President Hair to allow the waiver of payment so this broadcast can raise desperately needed funds for BCEFA and provide a sense of joy and community that we can all share.

Click here for more...

All money raised was to be donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, which is helping members of the theatre community who are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway was held on November 4, 2019, and raised $570,426 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The event was presented at the New Amsterdam Theatre, featured a cast of 79 performers and a 15-piece onstage orchestra.

Donations can be made at

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