AFM president: we must work together to prevent “a great cultural depression”

Posted on: October 30, 2020

“Unlike other workers—many of whom are slowly and methodically returning to their jobs—musicians and fellow arts workers in New York City are still locked out of the economy,” writes Adam Krauthamer, a horn player in NYC and president of Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, in Sunday’s (10/25) Daily News (NY). “They are being left behind in our national response to COVID.… Those who work in the performing arts are truly essential workers, and without them, we risk a great cultural depression. I have the privilege of representing thousands of professional musicians who, in normal times, perform … every day…. Clearly, live entertainment with large audiences poses a public health risk. This means the current economic crisis is necessarily harder on the arts than almost any other sector. Broadway and Lincoln Center have canceled performances through the spring, making it likely performances will not return on any regular basis until the fall of 2021. This means 18 months of mass unemployment … It doesn’t have to be this way…. Elected officials need to deploy the arts in service to citizens immediately…. Society has a duty to prevent a great cultural depression, and we have the ability to do so.”