The Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund (GFWF) has been created to encourage venues and presenters to pay musicians a minimum guaranteed amount up front, regardless of ticket sales. When event revenue does not cover the cost of the guaranteed compensation, Jazz in the Neighborhood can help make up the difference.
What is the purpose of the Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund?
• Jazz in the Neighborhood believes that professional musicians should be paid for their performances independent of ticket sales or other contingency-based revenue. The time, effort, and artistry of the musicians who perform are worthy of respect and compensation, first and foremost.
Who can participate in the Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund?
• The program supports venues and musicians in the greater Bay Area, which includes San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties and parts of Sonoma, Solano, Napa, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.
• The leader of an ensemble must be a current or former resident of the Bay Area and at least half of the members of the ensemble must be locally based.
• The Fund will support those who are currently working as professional jazz musicians. It is also intended to promote diversity of musical styles and artists working within the jazz genre.
How does the Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund compensate musicians?
• Musicians are guaranteed $150, which is Jazz in the Neighborhood’s pay scale for ensembles of eight or fewer (or $100 for ensembles larger than an octet). While we realize this may seem low, it’s what we feel is realistic for our local jazz scene.
• Participating venues agree to pay musicians at Jazz in the Neighborhood’s scale for specific Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund events. (If a venue normally pays musicians less than scale, Jazz in the Neighbor will subsidize up to 40% of its minimum. Whenever possible, venues will receive the subsidy in advance. For example, a trio is paid $450 by the venue; Jazz in the Neighborhood gives the venue $180 to help cover this cost.)
• Additionally, Jazz in the Neighborhood subsidizes a leader fee that is 10% of the amount paid to the ensemble. (For example, the leader of a trio will receive an additional $45.)
• Funds are made available for mutually agreed on events. Venues can try it once or on an on-going basis. The amount of funds available will vary depending upon Jazz in the Neighborhood’s annual budget.
How to take advantage of the Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund
• Venues or presenters should request funding for specific musicians or ensembles that it has already booked. If you are a musician, ask the venue to “nominate” your event for funding.
• Jazz in the Neighborhood approves requests based on funds available and whether the musicians represent diversity of programming for the venue, Jazz in the Neighborhood, and the Bay Area in general.
• Musicians selected for funding will be expected to promote their event as well as the Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund concept. Social media presence will be a selection factor.
• Musicians seeking a Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund gig should contact one of the participating venues.
• Detailed instructions for venues and presenters can be found here.
What are other details?
• The focus of the event needs to be the music, and the environment should be appropriate for listening. Please note: No tip jars will be allowed.
• Venues must credit Jazz in the Neighborhood and the Fund when promoting the event and must allow Jazz in the Neighborhood presence at the event in the form of personnel and/or promotional materials.
• Musicians being compensated by the Fund must talk about Jazz in the Neighborhood and the Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund while on stage and in promotional materials.
• Musicians are paid by the venue or presenter. Jazz in the Neighborhood provides a subsidy to the venue or presenter to help cover this cost.
Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund for Teaching Artists
Jazz in the Neighborhood supports the Independent Musicians Alliance’s goal of $80 as a minimum hourly rate for “one-on-one” teaching artists. In support of that goal, there are limited subsidies available for teachers through a collaboration with Jazz in the Neighborhood’s Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund. The IMA and Jazz in the Neighborhood believe that professional musicians should be paid a professional wage for teaching. The value of “one on one” instruction is often denied to students who cannot afford this essential experience. This program is available for independent teachers through the Emerging Artists Scholarship program for students. After school programs and similar third-party institutions can also apply for teaching grants to cover teacher’s salaries. See the IMA website for more info.
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