Published March 2020
W2 Workers – sign up for unemployment (Minnesota link). Waiting could mean lower benefits.
- Apply online and keep trying as they are experiencing a high volume of applicants. You have the best chance of success right away in the morning.
- If you get a technical error, report it. Technical errors are being fixed but may not ‘work’ until the system reset at midnight. Try again.
1099 Workers – Disaster Unemployment Assistance for those ineligible for regular unemployment insurance. This applies because coronavirus has been declared a disaster.
Mental Health Resources
You will find people in your life who are in crisis from anxiety or fear. When you find them (they may be you), there are people that can help – professionals who know how to intervene.
- Crisis Text Hotline; text 741741 – 100% anonymous
- Coronavirus: How to Protect Your Mental Health (from the BBC)
- The Mesothelioma Center – tips for anxiety and stress-management
Workers in the entertainment industry have been writing to their elected officials to include theater workers in economic relief funding.
- Covid-19 USA Federal Aid Petition for Events Workers
- Covid-19 Canadian Federal Aid Petition for Events Workers
Forms to Contact your Congresspersons
- IATSE “Include displaced entertainment workers in relief package.”
- Actor’s Equity “Protect live entertainment workers as they experience loss of work.”
- Performing Arts Alliance “Nonprofits Need Access to COVID-19 Relief”
- Or Send Your Own – we have provided sample text below:
Dear (Senator/Congress Person), As you know the Covid-19 virus is devastating our communities. We know that basic survival is our most important need. We recognize The Arts give people hope and are key to community health. We know by experience every disaster raises needs for Art. Performing Arts in particular heal communities divided by crisis. We need temporary support to keep artists and Arts alive. It is urgent to fund Arts, Performing Arts Presenters, Artists, and Arts Professionals. I urge you to fund support for temporary relief for artists and arts organizations. Gratefully, (Your Name)
Stories for the Media
Writers want to amplify your story of how this is affecting you. Capture the full impact of what this is happening to our industry. Your story matters!
- Technicians for Change! – This is our email. If we receive enough, we’ll compile an article of stories for our next newsletter.
- WorkdayMinnesota.org – A University of Minnesota-based Labor newsletter focusing on the rights of workers everywhere.
- Tell NPR – about layoffs, pay cuts, and furloughs.
- Citizens for the Arts – A survey trying to see who lost work, how much work was lost, and show how valuable Arts are to the US economy.
You will find people in your life who need physical help right now. Some will need money for rent, some will need food.
These groups have established ways for you to get help now, and to be supported until this passes. Look them over. Some sites are long lists of people willing to help.
Emergency Funding and Support
- COVID-19 and Freelance Artists – This is a long list with hundreds of sources for funding, temporary work, health assistance, and more.
- ArtsReady.org – Advocacy, emergency funds, webinars, and more.
- The Actor’s Fund – for financial resources and social services.
- “Emergency Funds – All Art Forms” – A comprehensive list by WomenArts for emergency artist funding separated by artist discipline.
- MusiCares Corona Virus Relief Fund – For anyone in the music field
- Disaster Loan Assistance – For small businesses needing Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs). **Not available in Minnesota… yet.
- Trump’s Student Loan Freeze information
- Mortgage Relief information
Food and Utility Assistance, Caregiver Resources
- United Way or dial 211 – They help find food, pay bills, find childcare and other essential services.
- Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
- HungerSolutions.org – a list of food shelves and discount groceries. Use the zip code search box instead of the map.
- Programs & restaurants offering food to Minnesotans – Sorted by city. (Note that this list was originally published before the dine-in cutoff. Many, but not all, were re-checked on Mar 18, after the cutoff.)
Many companies made learning resources free to entertainment professionals.
- Read the backlog of Technicians for Change articles!
- ETC online courses
- Avixa.org – audiovisual online training
- LinkedIn Learning Subscription – 1 month free or totally free, depending on your union or school affiliation.
- VectorWorks – VWU: Course categories
- AutoCAD – 15 Best Online Free Resources For Mastering AutoCAD
- Qlab – Qlab YouTube Tutorials or QlabTutorial.com