Bay Area Musician's Relief Fund
This is a fundraiser to support the Musicians Union Local 6 Emergency Relief Fund. All proceeds will be collected by us and then given over to Local 6 for the support of their members. We are working closely with President Kale Cumings and Secretary-Treasurer Beth Zare.
NEW: A message from Beth Zare, Secretary-Treasure of Musicians Union Local 6 and Kale Cumings, President of Musicians Union Local 6:
On March 12th the Board of Directors of Local 6 met to authorize funds to be collected and disbursed to our members in need. Since then, there has been incredible interest shown in helping our members most affected by the Covid-19 related cancellations. It is heartening to see the way this community is coming together to look after vulnerable members. On behalf of all musicians in Local 6, thank you very much for your generous support.
-The Board, Officers, and Staff of Musicians Union, Local 6.
Concert cancellations related to the novel coronavirus are leaving thousands of classical musicians in the Bay Area and Northern California with less or no work in the coming weeks, and potentially beyond, in a devastating financial blow to artists who say they already live hand-to-mouth.
Credit: Anthony Mogli Maureal
Among the musicians most severely affected by these closures are the members of a group of local freelancers who are commonly referred to as the Freeway Philharmonic. These musicians drive all over California, making a living by playing with 15-20 different orchestras throughout the year. In the last 48 hours every single one of these orchestras has shut down for the rest of March, and potentially much longer. Many of these musicians now have a projected income of $0 going into the spring.
“When musicians don’t play, they don’t get paid,” said Kale Cumings, president of the San Francisco-based Musicians Union Local 6, which represents some 2,000 musicians with 50 symphony and chamber orchestras and other arts organizations. “It’s frankly terrifying—we’re at the front end of this, and the effect on our members already looks to be financially catastrophic.” Many of these musicians are looking at being unable to pay for their rent, their food, and even their healthcare. Local 6 also represents songwriters, jazz musicians, and other artists who are facing similar struggles right now.
It’s in trying times like these that we all must come together as a community and support each other. We are asking you to chip in whatever you can to help these musicians make it through this difficult and uncertain time. The need for assistance will almost certainly become greater as time goes on, so this will be an ongoing fundraising process.
All proceeds will be donated to the Musician's Union Local 6 Emergency Relief Fund. The funds will be deposited into Patrick's personal bank account, who will then donate all funds to Local 6 for use in their emergency fund. The officers and staff of Musician's Union Local 6 will handle the disbursement of funds through an application process.
IF YOU ARE A MUSICIAN IN IMMEDIATE NEED OF AID, PLEASE FILL OUT A RELIEF APPLICATION HERE:
Local 6 Musician Emergency Relief Request
WHO ARE WE?
Jeannie Psomas is the principal clarinetist with the Reno Chamber Orchestra as well as the second clarinetist with the Fresno Philharmonic. She has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, and many of the regional orchestras throughout the Bay Area and Nevada, including the Monterey Symphony, Modesto Symphony, California Symphony, Merced Symphony, Symphony Napa Valley, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Oakland East Bay Symphony, and the Reno Philharmonic. Jeannie also plays clarinet with the Bay Area Woodwind Sextet Frequency 49.
Patrick Johnson-Whitty is a bassoonist in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. In the off season, he performs regularly with other orchestras like Symphony Silicon Valley and the Modesto Symphony.