NYC Musicians Union Seeks Applicants for $40,000 Emerging Artist Project Grant

The Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 AFM today announced launch of the Emerging Artists Project (EAP), a four-year grant program that will provide bands and ensembles with support to firmly establish themselves in New York City and further the union's efforts to ensure that all professional musicians can afford to live, work and raise a family in New York.

Launched in partnership with the Orchestra of St. Luke's the selected band and ensemble of three or more musicians will receive $10,000 per year to help pay fair wages, access health care and pension benefits, gain access to business support, mentorship, the union's rehearsal space and other resources, as well as discounted rehearsal space and recording studio access provided by the Orchestra of St. Luke's at their facility, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music.

One band or ensemble will be selected during the first year of the EAP, and applications are open December 1st 2017 through January 8th 2018.

"Our primary goal as a union is to help facilitate local musicians' ability to advocate for themselves, their careers, their families and their art by providing the strength they need to earn a fair living," said Tino Gagliardi, president, Local 802 American Federation of Musicians. "Supporting emerging musicians of all types and styles is essential if we are to raise the wage floor for musicians across this city. The Emerging Artists Project is the latest tool with which we can combat unfair treatment and exploitation, while simultaneously providing emerging musicians with the boost they need to become a well established and positive contributor to the music community."

"Orchestra of St. Luke's is composed of Local 802 musicians and we are proud to participate in the Emerging Artists Project," said James Roe, President and Executive Director of Orchestra of St. Luke's. "Supporting New York City's musical community is a core part of our mission, which is why we built The DiMenna Center for Classical Music. Each year, hundreds of ensembles and thousands of musicians rehearse, record, and perform in our affordable, state-of-the-art spaces. We look forward to working with Local 802 in the years ahead to help emerging ensembles and bands as they establish themselves here in New York."

Qualifying bands and ensembles must comprise at least 3 members and must be able to demonstrate at least a one-year history of performances. All genres of music performance are permitted and encouraged. Membership in Local 802 is not required at time of application. However, the accepted ensemble must sign a collective bargaining agreement with Local 802 in order to receive grant funding.

"I have long believed that if ensembles are to be successful, the musicians must have the opportunity to make a living," said Regina Carter, jazz violinist, educator and bandleader. "Countless times, I've seen enormously talented artists taken advantage of because they didn't have the ability to advocate for fair treatment. That's why as a band leader, I always ensure that my ensemble is working under a union CBA that allows me to make contributions to our health and pension plans and guarantee a fair wage. I've witnessed how a union helps protect rights and can provide the support musicians need to thrive, and the EAP will provide emerging musicians with an important boost toward artistic and financial success."

To apply, ensembles and bands must submit an application and materials at, featuring examples and documentation performances and business plan. An MP3 (or other format) of the ensemble performing at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes of music shall be uploaded to the application site. Applications will be reviewed by independent jurors drawn from the New York professional music community with expertise in each applicant's style of music and by the leadership of the union.

About Local 802, AFM

The Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 American Federation of Musicians represents over 7,500 highly-skilled musicians who drive the New York City's thriving cultural and tourism economy, which brings over 58 million visitors each year. Its members-who perform on Broadway, at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Radio City, on Late Night TV shows and in other televised bands, as well as in hotels, clubs, festivals and venues across NYC-are protected by collectively bargained agreements ensuring proper classification, fair treatment and living wage.

About Orchestra of St. Luke's

Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) began in 1974 as a group of virtuoso musicians performing chamber music concerts at Greenwich Village's Church of St. Luke in the Fields. Now in its 43rd season, the Orchestra performs over 80 concerts a year, at 19 different venues, in all five boroughs of New York City. Nearly half of OSL's performances each year are presented free of charge through its education and community programs, reaching over 11,000 New York City public school students. Additionally, OSL provides free instrumental coaching and presents student performances through its Youth Orchestra of St. Luke's and its Mentorship Program for Pre-Professional Musicians. OSL built and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Hell's Kitchen, New York City's only rehearsal, recording, education, and performance space expressly dedicated to classical music. The DiMenna Center serves more than 500 ensembles and more than 30,000 musicians each year.

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