Dear ISCA Friends and Family,
As we all face down the reality of COVID-19, I know there is much uncertainty and many questions regarding the state of our industry. I will not claim to have all of the answers, but I hope the following will be of some reassurance.
First of all, I’d like to thank Freelancers Union for providing the following articles, resources, and advice. They’ve been stepping up as a voice for freelance artists and entertainers in this difficult time. I recommend registering as a member (it’s free) to receive their updates.
Here’s a master list of resources crowdsourced by Freelancers Union members. You’ll find emergency grants for artists, advocacy information by state, business management tools, mental health resources, remote job opportunities, international resources, and crowdfunding initiatives. As much as I would love to, I have not clicked through every link to personally investigate, but this list is widely regarded as one of the best compiled for freelancers. Many of the resources listed actually link back to it. If you have personally used or recommend any of the articles or resources, please share them with your fellow members!
I also recommend this article: What Freelancers Need to Know About Coronavirus
Now, what can you do? How can you make your voice heard?
Well, here’s the Freelancers Union’s call for aid. If this is a plan you wish to back, they’ve included a form letter you can use to contact your representatives. The more of us who write in on behalf of freelancer’s and gig workers, the louder our voices will be.
You can also add your name to these petitions:
Change.org: COVID-19 Federal Aid Package for Events Industry
Action Network: Tell Congress to Include Displaced Entertainment Workers in Relief Package
Freelancers Union is also establishing a Freelancers Relief Fund. You can fill out their survey now to share how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you and your business:
Check your local and state level arts councils for similar relief fund information (several are listed in the resource above). I filled out one for the Ohio Citizens for the Arts as an individual as well the national Americans for the Arts survey on behalf of ISCA. This one is open to businesses and organizations, so it may be useful for agency owners and others as well.
As for ISCA, we’re keeping an eye on the situation as best we can, and have been since early February. Our members’ health and safety will be our first priority. We have been in contact with the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas. Our conference is still many months away and as of now has not been impacted by the pandemic. However, that is subject to change as the situation develops. And with Las Vegas shuttering hotels and casinos for the next 30 days, it is unlikely we will have more information before the end of April. As always, we will do our best to keep you all informed.
In the meantime, we have some ideas we will be rolling out to make the current isolation period bearable. More info on that coming soon! For now, wash your hands, stay inside, don’t touch your face, and definitely don’t sneeze on people.
Thank you all, and be safe out there. Or rather, be safe inside somewhere.