MUNY: Acknowledge our rights!

Police routinely claim that the lack of a Music Under New York banner allows them to eject freelancers. It’s time for MUNY’s materials, including banners and schedules, to include a clear disclaimer stating that membership is not a requirement or a ‘permit.’

You can help this happen. Use the form below to request that Music Under New York acknowledge the rights of freelance performers on their schedules and banners.

You may copy the suggested letter from below the form, or create your own.

Suggested letter:

Dear MTA Arts and Design staff,
 
I am writing to inform you of a significant concern with the effects of the Music Under New York program. It has come to my attention through several recent videos that Music Under New York materials, including its banners and schedules, are routinely interpreted by MTA employees and NYPD officers as evidence that performance by non-members of MUNY is disallowed by the MTA. These videos show a pattern in which your office’s materials are used to unlawfully and unjustly punish artists and musicians. This has been the focus of a recent rally, leading to press coverage of how MUNY banners lead to harassment, ejection, ticketing, and even arrest of freelance performers, as well as of MUNY members who also freelance.
 
Because your office is responsible for the promulgation of these materials, I request that you implement several common-sense changes, in order to respect the safety of non-member musicians who have come to harm through the misinterpretation of your office’s materials:
 
1. Music Under New York schedules should briefly state the laws protecting non-member musicians. For example, the schedules might read: “All performers, including those who are not members of Music Under New York, are allowed by the MTA to perform in the subway system, provided that they do not violate any portion of the MTA regulations. Performers who are members of Music Under New York are entitled to priority use of Music Under New York locations during their scheduled times.”
 
2. Music Under New York banners should also briefly state the laws protecting non-member musicians, in a smaller font that does not distract from the visual appeal of the banner. For example, banners might read: “This banner does not represent a permit, license, or other form of legal permission. All performers, including those who are not members of Music Under New York, are allowed by the MTA to perform in the subway system, provided that they do not violate any portion of the MTA regulations.”
3. The Music Under New York website should also briefly state the laws protecting non-member musicians, in addition to linking to the MTA rules. For example, the website might read: “All performers, including those who are not members of Music Under New York, are allowed by the MTA to perform in the subway system, provided that they do not violate any portion of the MTA regulations.”
 
I appreciate your attention to this matter.
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