Grassroots Labor Campaign Saves San Diego Opera

IATSE Announces Agreement with NETworks

Grassroots Labor Campaign Saves San Diego Opera

Collaborations between four IATSE Locals, AGMA, AFM, and the SDO Board found creative solutions to keep opera and jobs alive in San Diego.

San Diego, CA – After announcing its closure and sale of its assets on March 19, 2014 and two postponed closure dates, the Board of Directors of the San Diego Opera overturned the original decision to close.

This decision would not have been possible without the grassroots “Save San Diego Opera” campaign spearheaded by four IATSE locals representing workers at the San Diego Opera.

“I am proud to say that we have successfully saved the San Diego Opera for future generations,” said Carlos Cota, Business Representative for Local 122. “Through hard work and collaboration we have saved not only opera in San Diego, but hundreds of good paying jobs for our members.”

After the announcement to close, the 6 unions representing workers at the San Diego Opera (IATSE locals 122, 706, 800 & 905, AFM, AGMA) met with San Diego Opera staff and formed a committee focused on building a campaign to save the opera. Through petitions, social media, and political activism, the campaign led to the restructuring of the SDO Board.

By collaborating with the new board, a crowd funding campaign was set up. With an original goal of $1 million and commitment by the new board president to donate another $1 million , the campaign was able to met the million-dollar goal and exceed it by raising $2.15 million before the self-imposed deadline. All of this led up to the vote of the board to overturn the decision to close.

Marc Scorca, CEO of New York-based Opera America, which represents North American opera companies, stated “The news from San Diego is tremendous” and credited “an inspiring team of board members, donors, artists, technicians, staff and audience members” with charting a new path for the opera “that places creativity, collaboration and transparency at the heart of company operations.”

More information on the upcoming 2015 San Diego Opera season can be found at www.sdopera.com.

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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 150,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

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