Loomio
Sat 15 Dec 2018 4:37PM

Suggestions to present to Nightlife Advisory Board

CSH Chris St. Hilaire Public Seen by 181
N

Nikhil Tue 18 Dec 2018 6:34PM

OK cool I'm seeing the other threads! I wish there was more time for us to get a plan together (the phone call with Alvester is today, yeah?), but I am glad the communication system here looks promising. Chris let us know how it goes and thanks!

A

Alba Tue 18 Dec 2018 6:48PM

Huzzah! I am arrived!

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Tue 18 Dec 2018 6:50PM

Yup it's tonight at 8:30 EST. I will be reviewing and working on it for most of the day, so feel free to add any relevant points / approaches / info here. I probably will not go into too much detail with him w/o getting everyone's input and arriving at a consensus, but I've got enough to convey some key points and keep the conversation going until we meet, and will be inquiring about generally how the Advisory Board works as well.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Tue 18 Dec 2018 6:50PM

Hey! You made it!

J

Joe Tue 18 Dec 2018 8:44PM

I think the "SMC Platform draft" looks pretty good for purposes of your discussion (assuming that's the document you're going to reference). Also, would definitely throw the housing question into the mix; we should ask for the world as things will always be pared down and compromised. I would prioritize asking Alvester for his input on where he thinks we should focus our efforts both as it relates to issues that are lower hanging fruit, and also his recommendations for coalition building, whether it's elected/community officials or other larger organizations which share--or are at least willing to support--the SMC vision.

N

Nikhil Wed 19 Dec 2018 12:27AM

Man, I'm glad we worked on these documents! Yeah between the platform and the suggestions at the end of the listening tour notes I think there is a good amount of material to discuss with Alvester and Joe I think your additions are right on. It's funny, it had been so long since I've really had my head in this that I didn't recall we had gone this in depth with our conversations.

I'd be curious to know what issues Alvester sees in front of him that he feels concerned about, in general, and from a musicians point of view.

Aside from that I'd say it seems like there is a healthy amount of material to get a convo going... not sure what to add other than thanks for being down to do the talking! I know you will represent us well! Looking forward to hearing about it.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Wed 19 Dec 2018 12:45AM

Solid, thanks guys. I will be sure to ask him about Coalition building and where he sees us having the most impact, as well as his concerns as a musician... Ill bring up Housing too. Peep the attached article on that subject. It's a pretty good read - some interesting facts I did not know and examples of creative solutions from around the country...

And yeah, it's easy to forget how much brainstorming we have already done on this. Good thing we wrote it down!

A

Alba Wed 19 Dec 2018 4:08AM

Hey guys, this all looks amazing! I've been under the weather and am still trying to kick my big, so I've fallen a tad behind. However, I agree with everything so far. I'll re-read all the documents more carefully. I do love how this is organized. I like that I can reach all the related documents from here through a link. It definitely makes the conversation easier to follow! I already feel like it's not as daunting that I missed these several hours of conversation/updates!

N

Nikhil Thu 20 Dec 2018 3:45PM

Yeah so far I'm digging the Loomio. Hope you're feeling better today Alba!

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Thu 20 Dec 2018 6:51PM

Hey guys, I had quite a robust conversation with Alvester on Tuesday. I really like that guy! Attached are my abridged notes.

Didn't get to every topic, but I think it was a good start. Take a look and let me know your thoughts when you get a chance.

A

Alba Thu 20 Dec 2018 7:00PM

Chris, this is all really awesome. Great notes, and I think we have some solid jumping off points here! What do you think should be our next step? Great work on volunteering SMC for the possible testifying portion too, and locating an additional ally in the lawyer.

On a related note, I'm really digging this format for communication. Although there are new functions we are learning to use, I really like the way the information comes to me and how it keeps the threads connected without getting jumbled. Also, I like that we can still use our google drive to keep documents housed, but have them embedded in the threads in a way that we can easily access whatever pertains to the conversation. It feels visually very streamlined, which I like!

Looking forward to next steps with this project!

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Thu 20 Dec 2018 7:49PM

Seems the area he wants to focus his recommendations on is the labor/wages issue, so my thoughts on next steps are to compile some specific solutions to that and/or develop more compelling solutions to the issues of spaces/venues/housing and subsidies. We should absolutely still schedule a meeting with him for Feb, and he also wants to attend our meetups in the coming months.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Thu 20 Dec 2018 7:50PM

Yeah I'm digging Loomio as well!

N

Nikhil Fri 21 Dec 2018 6:38PM

Beautiful notes man!

Having the connection to the lawyer can be super helpful for a future legal workshop, among other things.

I just learned that Winter Jazzfest pays musicians through the union and therefore everybody gets paid a minimum of $200 per set. Kinda made me want to shed a tear.

Maybe a place to start could be trying to adopt 802 Union pay standards for major festivals taking place in NYC? I am speaking without concrete knowledge of this issue, but, you know those Metrotech Center gigs ain't paying quite on that level, and I suspect that fests like Afropunk or those Food Festival things where there is some coolness cache (or, just exposure) that they sell artists on don't pay this well despite corporate backing. Just a thought. It'd be good to consider the repercussions of a move like this too.

Anyway it's great to have this framework to focus on. Fair wages. Huh! I just spent a week chasing down a promoter for $125. He was a nice guy too who was just spacey, not some evil bastard. I would love to have a career where if I worked more I'd actually get paid more...

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Mon 24 Dec 2018 7:58PM

Yeah the local music festivals' fair payment of Artists is a great point - especially considering the radius clauses they get away with and the fact that all the Crew are usually union workers. Alvester is in the local 802. I'll see if he has any thoughts on that point.

N

Nikhil Thu 27 Dec 2018 10:31PM

I guess where we're at now is, we should compile a list of a few suggestions to solve problems/issues with musicians' wages + music spaces and present a refined list as an update at our next general meetup, yeah? Do we have any other suggestions?

Chris, it sounds like you and Alvester are in a sorta ongoing convo, is that right?

N

Nikhil Thu 27 Dec 2018 10:32PM

Also, I briefly browsed through our Google Drive to see if we had any documents that were a compilation of musicians' problems but couldn't find anything that fit this particular angle... lemme know if I missed something!

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Sun 30 Dec 2018 1:51AM

I think that's a good plan. Anybody want to make a spreadsheet? I can do it in the next couple days...

Alvester and I did leave it open as an ongoing conversation, but I have not spoken with him since. Perhaps I should lock in a meeting with him in Feb as well?

Nope, I don't think there are other docs on this topic.

N

Nikhil Mon 7 Jan 2019 1:53AM

Hey gang... getting back into the swing of things here while I'm at my in laws...

Depending on the rapport you guys (Chris and Alvester) have, we may wanna wait to compile some really concrete suggestions before scheduling another meeting, but I bet we can safely have something to offer if you guys talk in late Feb.

It would be good to present a handful of ideas at the next meetup to see what people are most excited by. I started this spreadsheet-- but I think it will take a bunch of work to really narrow down on a well-researched idea to present. Where things are at now, sometimes the problems are hard to define, or sometimes the solutions are unclear. This is far from comprehensive, just a start.

Perhaps focusing on bigger picture stuff might be helpful-- while making this spreadsheet it occurred to me that every time I came up with an idea that would help "the little guy" musicians, I would assume that government would refuse to participate since business is handled off the books. Is that really a given though? Wouldn't supposed advocacy for musicians bypass those who need the most help if we ignore this off the books part of the economy?

Another thing we might need is a snappy answer to the thought that keeps popping into my head, which is, "well, if people WANNA play for free how can we stop them?"

A

Alba Mon 7 Jan 2019 2:31PM

Thanks for sending Nikhil! I thin what you've said makes a lot of sense. I would definitely love to have our next step be to present more concrete ideas, even if these will evolve over time!

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Mon 7 Jan 2019 7:48PM

This is great. I think all these points require some research to clarify the problems and the possible solutions. I've done some reading but I will do more over the next few weeks. I can dig up some London Souls festival contracts for examples too.
Here is a piece of legislation that passed somewhat recently: https://www.and.co/freelance-faq/legal/what-are-my-rights-under-the-freelance-isnt-free-act

I don't think the gov't will want to help unless there are contracts involved (or at least proof that you tried to get one). Text/email confirmations count as contracts.

To me, the question about playing for free has no snappy answer. It has to be about changing the culture, teaching people to value their skill as labor when dealing with venues and promoters, and not playing social currency games in lieu of fair compensation. I don't think you can stop those that want to play for free, or are privileged to be able to do so, but you can change the narrative that this is acceptable when everyone else is getting paid.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Mon 7 Jan 2019 7:51PM

Agree let's work on some well researched solutions to follow up with.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Thu 17 Jan 2019 6:54PM

here's an upcoming workshop for freelancers that seems relevant to Nikhil's points re: timely payments / nonpayments:

https://freelancershub.nymediacenter.com/member/event/title/freelancer-know-your-rights

I also put this on the spreadsheet

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Thu 17 Jan 2019 7:27PM

In addition to sending to Alvester, we should send our suggestions directly to the Office of Nightlife via this link: nightlife@media.nyc.gov.

Another thought I had, is that we should develop some ways to partner with the Office and/or M.O.M.E on behalf of musicians, which we can then bring to Ariel or to her deputies directly, such as:
- Disseminating relevant information to the music community about funding opportunities, resources, lectures
- Developing workshops to be hosted by the city, and educational materials for their website
- Getting M.O.M.E to sponsor or otherwise fund an SMC event (as opposed to, let's say, a beer sponsor)

Just wild ideas while I had a minute...

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Fri 18 Jan 2019 12:21AM

Added a few thoughts and links to Nikhil's spreadsheet

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Fri 18 Jan 2019 5:21PM

I followed up with Alvester last week and got the response below, which sheds some pretty interesting light on the winter jazzfest / NYC festival pay issue:

"Yes, 802 negotiated a scale for Winter Jazz Fest that is about 200/musician in most small groups under 6 players. The rate is a bit lower for larger ensembles. It initially started out lower than this but 802 managed to negotiate in gradual raises after a certain number of years. Yes, this is absolutely a great model. It came about from a grass roots effort of Winter Jazz Fest musicians becoming fed up with low rates and pay-to-play happening across the old version of WJF. Once Nate Chinen got wind of the musicians being unhappy about being treated so bad he was planning on writing about it. WJF got wind of this and to hold back the PR embarrassment they turned to 802 to help in negotiating a rate. Hmm... This has me thinking about the pay to play scenarios you mentioned on the phone - I'm thinking this information in the right writer's hands might be good tool for pushing venues to treat musicians more fairly."

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Wed 23 Jan 2019 11:39PM

N

Nikhil Thu 24 Jan 2019 5:02AM

Chris thanks for all this follow up and for keeping the line of communication open with Alvester! Essential in narrowing down our focus with our engagement here.

The WJF story from him is kind of heartening to me. I actually think databasing payouts for NYC festivals in the past few years could be a place to start towards establishing some kind of union mandated base pay for similar shows in the future. I bet most artists would be willing to share their info if they felt it would go towards a more equitable pay situation. Obviously this idea needs to be fleshed out but what do you guys think of that direction?

(A possible epilogue to all this is that apparently WJF lost money this year...? Sustainability will have to be considered with increased pay demands)

Looking elsewhere in our spreadsheet... re: minimum wage, I do think including musicians playing at venues should get a minimum of $15 an hour. But how and when to enforce this? And how could this affect other existing gigs?

I also think it'd be sweet for MOME should sponsor SMC workshops, in exchange for using small portions of the workshops to dissminate info about their programs...?

CSH

Poll Created Wed 6 Mar 2019 10:43PM

Office of Nightlife Strategy Meeting Closed Mon 11 Mar 2019 9:02PM

Let's meet to develop our presentation to the Nightlife Advisory Board (March 27th 4:40pm)

Results

UTC Votes CSH K J N A
Sat  9 Mar 2019  5:00PM
3
 
 
 
 
 
Sat  9 Mar 2019  7:00PM
3
 
 
 
 
 
Sat  9 Mar 2019  9:00PM
3
 
 
 
 
 
Mon 11 Mar 2019 10:00PM
2
 
 
 
 
 
Tue 12 Mar 2019 10:00PM
4.5
 
 
 
 
 
Wed 13 Mar 2019 10:00PM
2
 
 
 
 
 
Thu 14 Mar 2019 10:00PM
3.5
 
 
 
 
 
Fri 15 Mar 2019  6:00PM
2
 
 
 
 
 
Fri 15 Mar 2019  8:00PM
2
 
 
 
 
 
Sat 16 Mar 2019  4:00PM
3
 
 
 
 
 
Sat 16 Mar 2019  6:00PM
3
 
 
 
 
 
Sun 17 Mar 2019  4:00PM
4
 
 
 
 
 
Sun 17 Mar 2019  6:00PM
4
 
 
 
 
 

5 of 6 people have voted (83%)

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Thu 7 Mar 2019 4:55PM

Hey all - I've created this Office of Nightlife Resources & Research doc to house the various studies, articles and any other info sources we might want to reference. Feel free to add or format differently:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16NTtmAhS8k4X9ubU4HHqQcRQXsC39Narx7Bh6u-ISxs/edit?usp=sharing

It's also in the Working Group folder.

-Chris

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Fri 8 Mar 2019 2:41AM

Wanted to update you all with the below confirmation from the Nightlife Advisory Board (copied from my email):

Hi Christopher,

You are CONFIRMED to present to the Nightlife Advisory Board at:

4:40pm - 5:00pm on Wednesday, March 27 @ University Settlement at Houston Street Center - 273 Bowery, NY, NY 10002
Please read this email in full, thank you.

***Presentation times are approximate, so kindly arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your selected time and bring a photo I.D. for building security. If you can NO LONGER participate at your selected time let us know ASAP, thank you. If you are not the person who will present please provide us with the correct name and email 72 hours before your scheduled presentation time, and include the name/email of any guest who will join you (1 guest maximum).

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR PRESENTATION?
Our independent Nightlife Advisory Board was established by the city of New York with local law 178-2017. Its members were appointed by the Mayor and City Council to serve two-year terms. Part of our Board’s mandate is to submit recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on a myriad of issues related to New York City’s nightlife. We anticipate these recommendations will range from regulatory reforms for nightlife businesses, to polices that address residential concerns, to supporting the nightlife experience for marginalized populations, and more. Because of your expertise in a specific field, the information you present will help inform the development of our Board’s recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.

WHAT YOU SHOULD PREPARE:

You will present on a topic related to nightlife in NYC
You will present to our Board for up to (5) minutes
We are aware that stakeholders like you have many ideas and concerns, however, we request that you use this time to very briefly explain your issue(s) and focus your speaking time on actionable solutions to those issues.

We ask that you submit these comments in written form too. You may submit longer written comments and supporting documentation for us to consider.
After you present, members of the Board may ask you questions about your subject matter.

We thank you for your time and participation.

N

Nikhil Sat 9 Mar 2019 11:53PM

Is step one for us right now defining what our topic will be beyond "wages for musicians?" The proposal in my head is to connect permitting for local music events with demanding a Union type scale -- but again we need to be able to produce some kind of demonstrable proof that the problem exists [data]. Is that the direction we wanna go in with this?

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Mon 11 Mar 2019 3:32PM

Looks like the best options for us to meet are:

Tuesday, March 12 (tomorrow) 6pm, and
Sunday, March 17 12pm or 2pm

Personally I think it'd be great to meet tomorrow and then have a follow up on Sunday to workshop the presentation, but if you guys can only do one that is understandable.

-Chris

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Mon 11 Mar 2019 3:36PM

And yes I think zeroing in on the wages issue with evidence from research and info gathered from our community is the best starting point.

J

Joe Mon 11 Mar 2019 3:52PM

Tomorrow works for me. Sunday should be doable too, with a preference for noon.

K

KP Mon 11 Mar 2019 3:56PM

I can do tomorrow but will be out of town on Sunday. My coop shift ends at 5:45pm so maybe we could meet in Park Slope? Another idea would be at Joe's office if that is an option - I could get there by 6:15ish probably. Let me know! Looking forward

J

Joe Mon 11 Mar 2019 4:21PM

My office or downtown Brooklyn seem like decent options.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Mon 11 Mar 2019 9:28PM

Ok everybody - want to say Joe's office tomorrow at 6:15pm, with a tentative follow up next Sunday at noon, location TBD?

Address for tomorrow:
110 William St, New York, NY 10038
7th Floor

I'd say we start with Nikhil's proposal and see where that leads us.

A

Alba Mon 11 Mar 2019 10:20PM

Cool, works for me!

N

Nikhil Tue 12 Mar 2019 4:25PM

Nice, glad the meeting can happen tomorrow although that conflicts with a gig I got.

Would the goal for tomorrow be to design a proposal first, figure out what data we need, and then try and gather some anecdotal data via email surveys?

For now, since I can't be there tomorrow, here's what I'm thinking. We can outreach to our friends and peers with this kind of question:

"We are taking first steps in gathering data in order to advocate for better artist fees at major NYC music events. Have you played an outdoor festival or other major event in NYC in the past four years-- either municipal events like Summerstage, Celebrate Brooklyn, or private ticketed events ranging from Governor's Ball and Afropunk to smaller outdoor food festivals and so forth? If so, would you be comfortable sharing the artist fee provided by the project, as well as whether you feel the fee was reasonable and appropriate? We are hoping for responses by Saturday 3/16."

I'm able to meet on Sunday so I'm thinking hopefully some of the replies we get will support our thesis that musicians are underpaid and taken for granted during these big events, and that the city should set higher standards for events with corporate or public financial backing, using Winter Jazzfest as an example. This way we can at least have anecdotes for next week's presentation.

Not trying to set the agenda, more just trying to jump start the convo and let you all know what I'm thinking...

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Tue 12 Mar 2019 5:22PM

Just a quick heads up that the meeting is tonight (Tuesday), not tomorrow.

I like this start, personally, but I think there are a lot of points that would be quicker to hash out in person so I didn't want to start too narrow before meeting.

I also think it'd be great to workshop the kinds of questions that will be asked by the advisory board and what kinds of proposals will be seen as "realistic" to compare with our ideal, which I was hoping Joe might have some insights on.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Tue 12 Mar 2019 5:37PM

And yeah I think we should set a target to gather data by 3/16 !

J

Joe Tue 12 Mar 2019 9:13PM

Hey all just text me when you arrive: 773-505-1782

N

Nikhil Tue 12 Mar 2019 9:23PM

Whoops sorry for spreading disinformation about the date! Unfortunately I can't make it tonight either but I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with, and getting more involved. This is an exciting mental challenge to be sure.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Wed 13 Mar 2019 12:09AM

Nikhil - are you still able to make Sunday at noon for a follow up?

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Wed 13 Mar 2019 7:27PM

Hey folks,

Following up on our great meeting yesterday. We did some solid brainstorming on the wage issue and came up with a rough outline of what our statement will look like, which we will begin drafting this week with the plan to finalize -- and workshop potential questions by the Advisory Board -- at our meeting Sunday.

Here is the rough outline for the statement which I wrote down:
-SMC intro: who we are, who we represent, what we have accomplished.
-Identifying some of the challenges working musicians (and other stakeholders) face within the context of nightlife
- Identifying the shortcomings in how compensation for musicians is viewed and handled in general
-Presenting our actionable solution(s) -- our ideal standard rate ($200/head???) + what we think the Office of Nightlife can be doing to achieve this and better conditions for musicians more generally

Obviously super scrappy but Joe please send your structural outline that you put much more eloquently :), which we can begin drafting from.

Here are some of the key takeaways from my notes:

 - Making a distinction between working professional musicians with regular gigs and "hobbyists" (better word needed). Being specific about which types of venues / musicians we are talking about
 - Acknowledging the challenges faced by venues and other stakeholders in the industry and making it clear we want to work towards a solution that does not unfairly deprive anyone of opportunities
 - Acknowledging that wage data is limited due to the nature of the industry and requesting resources / support from the Office to collect long term data on the issue
 - Noting that part of the problem is in how musicians value themselves, which is part of SMC's work as well
 - Identifying some of the lower hanging fruits for the City such as Permitting for musicians to use public spaces, creating a promotion platform through the City (for example using LinkNYC kiosks to list local shows), and redirecting certain benefits/incentives that might already exist infrastructure-wise toward New Yorker musicians.

I really like the bigger picture "Fair Play Venues NYC" type model we talked about developing. I think there is a lot of potential in that.

I'm excited to make a badass statement and make this advisory board go "Who ARE these guys???"... I also recognize that addressing these issues is not so straightforward and is going to be a work in progress so for now I think it's all right if we are a little scrappy as long as we are sticking to it and focusing on the bigger picture. I appreciate everybody's work and contributions. Looking forward to seeing where this initiative leads!

-Chris

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Wed 13 Mar 2019 7:34PM

Hey guys - resending this after experimenting with some Loomio formatting tools, since the other one came out looking crazy for some reason. Now I know to use "preview" before sending.

Hey folks,

Following up on our great meeting yesterday. We did some solid brainstorming on the wage issue and came up with a rough outline of what our statement will look like, which we will begin drafting this week with the plan to finalize -- and workshop potential questions by the Advisory Board -- at our meeting Sunday.

Here is the rough outline for the statement which I wrote down:

  • SMC intro: who we are, who we represent, what we have accomplished.
  • Identifying some of the challenges working musicians face within the context of nightlife
  • Identifying the shortcomings in how compensation for musicians is viewed and handled in general
  • Presenting our actionable solution(s) -- our ideal standard rate ($200/head???) + what we think the Office of Nightlife can be doing to achieve this and better conditions for musicians more generally

Obviously super scrappy but Joe please send your structural outline that you put much more eloquently :), which we can begin drafting from.

Here are some of the key takeaways from my notes:

  • Making a distinction between working musicians with regular gigs and "hobbyists" (better word needed). Being specific about which types of venues / musicians we are talking about
  • Acknowledging the challenges faced by venues and other stakeholders in the industry and making it clear we want to work towards a solution that does not unfairly deprive anyone of opportunities
  • Acknowledging that wage data is limited due to the nature of the industry and requesting resources / support from the Office to collect long term data on the issue
  • Noting that part of the problem is in how musicians value themselves, which is part of SMC's work as well
  • Identifying some of the lower hanging fruits for the City such as Permitting for musicians to use public spaces, creating a promotion platform through the City (such as using LinkNYC kiosks to list local shows), and redirecting certain benefits/incentives that might already exist infrastructure-wise toward New Yorker musicians.

I really like the bigger picture "Fair Play Venues NYC" type model we talked about developing. I think there is a lot of potential in that.

I'm excited to make a badass statement and make this advisory board go "who are these guys???"... I also recognize that addressing these issues is not so straightforward and is going to be a work in progress so for now I think it's all right if we are a little scrappy as long as we are sticking to it and focusing on the bigger picture. I appreciate everybody's work and contributions. Looking forward to seeing where this initiative leads!

-Chris

N

Nikhil Wed 13 Mar 2019 8:45PM

Thanks for posting this Chris, this is great. Wish I could have been at the meeting! Looking over the info here, I dig the point of view of what we are arriving at-- it's broad in a good way I think. I suspect I know less about the nature of the meeting we will be presenting in than anyone here, but I look forward to being filled in about that on Sunday. Noon works for me.

Is the "hobbyist" distinction is between ppl who depend on their nightlife music work to make a living and those who don't? (I guess there are still some lines to draw there)

N

Nikhil Wed 13 Mar 2019 8:45PM

Also, any homework for us between now and Sunday?

K

KP Wed 13 Mar 2019 8:47PM

One of the ways we discussed making that distinction was by number of shows/year. So you would qualify if you are a New York resident that plays over x/shows per year. Totally up for debate

N

Nikhil Wed 13 Mar 2019 8:52PM

Oh right, France style

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Wed 13 Mar 2019 9:08PM

Yup - that is a solid metric in my opinion.
Many of these specific points are up for debate and I'm curious to hear your take on where to draw the lines.
As for homework, I would say if we could all skim some of these resources for data / common threads pertaining to the wage issue, that wouldn't hurt:
* Office of Nightlife Research & Resources

And I think surveying some of our peers is still a good idea. Maybe we can do some personal outreach with these questions:
* How many shows do you do on average per year?
* What is your average pay per show?

What do you guys think?

K

KP Thu 14 Mar 2019 12:46AM

Cool + Joe said he was going to start an outline for the statement and share so we can all collaborate on it.

J

Joe Fri 15 Mar 2019 7:14PM

Yes, working on the outline now.

J

Joe Fri 15 Mar 2019 9:54PM

Hey team,

A relatively quick draft done on a Friday afternoon is linked below. I think it's a solid introduction and structure, but obviously there are some points that need enumeration and validating. If it's a little governmenty you know why.

You all should have editing privileges. Not sure how we should approach version control. I'm not precious about this so really edit away. Besides, drive I think tracks all changes so not afraid of losing things.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wP1PZLaCwh4FV6mKqVCVlsiyRNrOGGP3vnippGEQa-g/edit?usp=sharing

J

Joe Fri 15 Mar 2019 9:59PM

One more thing: we should aim for the "statement" to be no more than 2-2.5 single spaced pages. Obviously we can run long on the submitted version, and should also thing about supporting documentation we should include.

Finally, are we confirmed for a particular time on Sunday? Noon? Location?

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Sat 16 Mar 2019 7:52PM

Great - thanks Joe for getting this started. I've been in the studio but will take a look tonight.

Noon tomorrow. I'm flexible location-wise. Did we say somewhere in Greenpoint or LIC? That may be convenient for the most amount of people.

A

Alba Sat 16 Mar 2019 10:47PM

Hey y’all! Gonna spend this afternoon looking over and offering suggestions for the outline. Did we decide location tmw? My place is def available, but if it’s not convenient (I don’t think there’s an L train!) we can meet somewhere else. I can also pick people up at the trains and/or drive people to trains afterwards. -Alba

A

Alba Sat 16 Mar 2019 10:48PM

Also, sorry I thought I send my response hours ago! Apparently I left it as a draft! Anyway, you're all welcome here. Does everyone eat eggs? I can make a frittata?? No gluten, potato, egg, and some veggies in it...

N

Nikhil Sat 16 Mar 2019 11:35PM

Alba's place sounds great. Thank you for frittata and hosting! I know Chris and Joe have been there before so hope that's cool! Gonna look at this draft tonight. Thanks everybody.

J

Joe Sun 17 Mar 2019 12:02AM

Works for me. Will be on bike. I know we mentioned noon but I might not be able to arrive closer to 1.

N

Nikhil Sun 17 Mar 2019 12:24AM

1pm for all then?

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Sun 17 Mar 2019 12:28AM

1pm at Alba's works for me (coming through Queens so no L train needed). Thanks!

N

Nikhil Mon 18 Mar 2019 12:24AM

Thanks for the lovely brunch and hosting Alba and thanks to everyone for hammering out a more refined statement and vision!

Sorry I had to cut out early. What are our next steps?

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Mon 18 Mar 2019 12:45AM

For real - thanks everyone for putting your energy, vision and skills into this, and thanks Alba for letting us use your sunny abode today. I think what we've got here is really comprehensive and I'm excited to present it.

I plan on continuing to refine some of the wording for the spoken statement over the next week (without deleting anything in the current doc). I think some spots could use a little personal touch, but I will run everything by you guys. I've forwarded to KP who I am hoping will also chime in with some contributions / critiques.

We should work on compiling the supporting documentation and footnotes to back up the challenges and solutions we are presenting. Things like existing government programs, studies, and anything else we are referencing in our bullet points.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Mon 18 Mar 2019 12:47AM

And it might be a good idea to prepare a one sheeter for SMC to give them as well

K

KP Tue 19 Mar 2019 11:45AM

Hey y'all - Chris sent me the statement y'all wrote. WOW! Y'all killed it. I plan to do another close read this afternoon and send my edits. I think what y'all have done is a super strong statement and positions SMC well as a real advocate for artists in NYC. Chris - what do you have in mind for a one-sheet? Like a fact sheet type situation with visuals? That is definitely something I can make happen as well. LMK

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Wed 20 Mar 2019 12:06AM

I guess I was thinking a fact sheet with our logo, mission statement and accomplishments for the advisory board to reference. They haven't asked me for anything so maybe it's not necessary. What do you guys think?

N

Nikhil Thu 21 Mar 2019 4:55PM

I think if we have the time, it'd be good to risk overpreparing while this presentation is looming. Maybe the fact sheet won't come in handy during the actual presentation, but could be a sorta "business card" for anyone yall speak to afterwards, and I'm sure it will have a use later on if we still like the angle we've arrived at.

I started on a document, attached below-- attempted to spruce it up with the SMC logo, but quickly realized that wasn't gonna be my forte-- that will hopefully be a good one sheet for the people.

K

KP Thu 21 Mar 2019 5:16PM

I can make this look nice! Once the text is finalized I can put it on a letter head situation and format it in Illustrator

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Tue 26 Mar 2019 4:34AM

I added some wording to the statement: One more MOME quote that illuminates a different aspect of the wage issue, and some depth to the personal paragraph. Let me know if it is too much or could be worded better!

Will start refining the fact sheet in the a.m.

Thanks,

-C

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Tue 26 Mar 2019 5:47AM

I timed reading this down and it was over 7 minutes. I think we should trim this to 2 pages (with a longer written version), and as the invite says, "focus your speaking time on actionable solutions to those issues."

I'll get to work on my ideas for that and the fact sheet in the a.m.

Thanks guys!

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Tue 26 Mar 2019 6:48PM

I've created a new 3rd version to read aloud. See here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qocraKDQtbe9wRrOftIcQ25bft8idoaB1NIoRon0JcQ/edit?usp=sharing

I had the feeling that there would be an atmosphere of "get to the point already" especially that late in the day, so I trimmed down a lot in the interest of brevity. I thought we could save the SMC background and longer quotes for the fact sheet / supporting documentation which I will print and submit for their reference, and keep the statement focused on issues and actionable solutions. Let me know what you think...

K

KP Tue 26 Mar 2019 7:40PM

Great - I will look at this first thing tomorrow morning and can also format the fact sheet before noon.

J

Joe Tue 26 Mar 2019 9:25PM

I think this is really strong in its shortened, spoken form. Very punchy and I wish I could be there to gauge the reaction.

N

Nikhil Tue 26 Mar 2019 10:17PM

Any additional feedback for the fact sheet? I took a second look and after a couple of tweaks, all the current text seems to be saying what it needs to be saying. I dunno how necessary it is to provide further evidence on this fact sheet if we are also submitting written copies of the statement.

And yeah, I think the statement is terrific Chris.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Wed 27 Mar 2019 1:14AM

I am reconsidering the need for this one sheet... As I go through this, I'm thinking we can submit the longer statement with supporting documents and just add the "More about the Sound Mind Collective" paragraph at the bottom. Do we really need anything else?

Like this: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wXnk2sn-3UIXfIjqXRHjO1HLDJKse8D1WxLMAhjwxCg/edit?usp=sharing

-C

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Wed 27 Mar 2019 1:16AM

By the way all versions are filed in the Office of Nightlife Working Group folder in case anyone loses track... Nothing has been deleted!

N

Nikhil Wed 27 Mar 2019 2:23AM

Yeah Chris I agree, the fact sheet was feeling redundant to me as well. As long as people have paper with our ideas and contact info that’ll be 👌🏽

K

KP Wed 27 Mar 2019 3:55AM

its beautiful

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Wed 27 Mar 2019 3:24PM

Cool. Will let you know how it goes.

CSH

Chris St. Hilaire Thu 28 Mar 2019 1:41AM

Hey Nightlife Working Group,

I wanted to report back here and say that overall this was a very positive experience.

The Advisory Board was extremely impressed with our preparation, our comprehensiveness, and our awareness of the many sides of these issues. I got the impression most presenters did not put as much time or thought into their statement, and I felt a sense of relief and gratitude from the Advisory Board both while I was reading the statement and in the responses. (They loved The New School / NYU research bit). Alvester gave me + SMC a nice intro and also chimed in with some pointed questions that allowed me to unpack some of the issues. He’s our guy!

They were very receptive to the specific challenges we brought forward and seemed generally to agree with our perspective re: music workers and performers being the backbone of the nightlife industry and needing better protections, benefits, and guarantees as laborers. Many of the board members were also surprised to hear some of these points and wanted to know more -- I think we did our part to educate them.

Some highlights:

  • They were particularly intrigued by the restrictive radius clause issue, which they had me go into detail about. "We will definitely be looking into that" / "This is definitely an area we can help in" were some responses
  • The chairman brought up a good point about how to classify musician labor (W2 vs. 1099) - particularly how and when that difference would affect the burden of protections able to be put on the employers / venues
  • One member asked for a “top 3 issues”, and I said Contracts, Wages, and Small Venue Closures
  • One Board member suggested partnering with performers in other areas such as the Drag community and asked whether our proposals were intended to cover them. I made it pretty clear our mission was in solidarity with all performers and nightlife workers and we were in favor of that kind of coalition, but that our perspective and area of expertise was in music
  • Similarly, I was able to expand on how we empathize with the struggle of small venues and recognize that in many areas our challenges overlap. They were psyched with this, of course!

Maybe the best takeaway was that they recognized our mission to have an ongoing dialogue with them and other stakeholders to find solutions. That changed the nature of the interaction, so that it was not so nit-picky and point-for-point, but more “how can we work together moving forward to face these challenges”.

I'd say we made an impression as an organization and also made it clear that the City can no longer afford to ignore the issues we brought to light.

Thank you all for contributing your time and energy to making a really strong, comprehensive statement for SMC - and a badass Government program to boot!! It felt really good to deliver that statement and see their confused/impressed/relieved faces light up. I felt really supported by everyone's input and as a result went in with confidence which made a difference.

Also received this message from Alvester: “Thanks so much for presenting today! It was very compelling and was very illuminating to the board members who don’t work in our field. Bravo.” And also from the Chair, Andrew Rigie, "Chris – Thank you so much! The information you provided was very helpful. And, thanks for the offer to help further. We may be in touch."

Looking forward to recapping at the general meet-up.

Kudos y’all.
-Chris

N

Nikhil Thu 28 Mar 2019 2:18PM

This is great! Thanks for bringing this home and being the face of SMC Chris, and kudos to all of us for getting this material together, putting real thought into it and getting a coherent vision together. For me it's been a very good way to fine tune what it is we can really do to help the situation we're in as musicians in NYC.

Dialogue and development of trust with folks in power is probably step one and it seems like we're getting there with this board.

Also, I love the idea of partnering with another sector of nightlife, with a focus on marginalized folks. That could create the numbers/people power for us to have more influence.

Excited to talk about this on Friday! And I wanna hear more about the other speakers and more about the event as well. Nice!! SMC!!!