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NZ Artists Campaign For Financial Support In Red

NZ Artists Campaign For Financial Support In Red

Annabel Kean / Image: Jazmine Mary / Tuesday 25th January, 2022 12:56PM

Following the gutting but vital shift to Red this week as Omicron rears its ugly head, Aotearoa artists are feeling the bulk of the blow seeing all shows with 100+ attendees cancelled or postponed into the foreseeable future. Unlike previous restriction changes, when those affected were kept afloat with government wage subsidies and resurgence funds, there is no such support in the current Traffic Light System. In response to what feels like a harsh oversight of already vulnerable musicians, actors and event workers, Tāmaki multidisciplinary artist Jazmine Rose Phillips aka Jazmine Mary has penned a powerful letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, imploring the government to reconsider providing financial aid. Talking with Phillips this morning, they explained their motivation behind the letter campaign and pending petition application...

"When I talk about loss of jobs and income, I'm not talking about profit. I'm talking about the next job that was a few hundred dollars that was the deciding factor in making rent.

"I think at a bare minimum an outcome that would not only show artists that we are valued but give us a sense of safety is at least a subsidy or base income for essential living costs.

"The huge response is just proof about how large the arts community is. And how many people are really scared right now about how to live."

The letter is available for reference here and below, and you can submit your version to and any other relevant members of parliament.

Dear Prime Minister

I am writing to you today as [a Music/Art /industry worker]; who yesterday when the alert level was raised to red, effectively lost my jobs and income for the foreseeable future.

Yesterday we saw hundreds of incredible festivals, arts events, tours and concerts cancelled.

They were cancelled to keep our community safe.

Musicians and artists not only provide millions of dollars for New Zealand, they have provided relief to people during these times. Providing film, music and poetry that helps bring us joy and connection.

However, today morale is low. Not only are we facing again the reality that the time and effort we have all put into bringing our community art is seemingly wasted. We are faced with no financial support from our government.

Tens of thousands of people, myself being one of them, are now without any employment or income.

I know in the past you have been a large supporter and advocate for the arts, and for this I thank you.

I am writing to request financial support for individuals in the arts who have lost their income overnight due to the change in alert level.

I look forward to your response and more importantly your action.

Ngā Mihi

[your name here]


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