NOTES FROM RESPONDENTS
The following responses are from the final Notes field of the survey. Many
respondents took the opportunity to elaborate on their experiences as well
to ask for help. The responses varied, but fell into seven main themes:
- Impact of 9/11 on the respondent
- Falling through the cracks after 9/11
- Housing issues
- Health Issues
- Relief Issues
- Impact of 9/11 on the temp industry, small business,
and work in general
- Statements of optimism
There were abundant expressions of gratitude for the survey and pleas to
be kept informed with new developments on the assistance front, which are
not included in the selections below.
IMPACT OF 9/11 ON THE RESPONDENT
- My partner and I are both visual artists. Following 9/11 he lost his job,
collapsing our finances.
- It seems to me that opportunities as an actor have diminished in NYC since
9/11, so I have devoted myself more into an alternate profession.
- In addition to a decrease in my freelance research work opportunities after
September 11, the show I produced that opened in early September had many
cancellations by reservation-holders in the weeks immediately following Sept.
11th. We closed without recouping any of our expenses.
- Primarily lost arts related work after 9/11 due to an overall downturn in
the marketplace - fewer performing opportunities, less support for arts programming
in general, fewer opportunities in the nation as well as NYC.
- I had just started a business prior to 9-11 doing digital photography for
art galleries. It was just beginning to catch on but after 9-11, business
just disappeared for 5 months. It is beginning to trickle back.
- On Sept. 11 the ad for a show that my wife, the writer, and myself have
worked on for 5 years went out to the breakdown services to cast. It opened
in Nov. 2001. I had the lead part. We had almost no audience and no critics
were able to come. The whole investment was severely impacted by the events
of 9/11. Nothing is guaranteed but my industry has taken a hit and I have
always struggled to make any real money. Now everybody is hurting and the
guys on the bottom get hit the most.
- I am a writer/solo performer and member of a theater company and I have
made my living for the past nine years mostly from touring bookings with some
grant income as well. Since 9/11 and the stock market crash I have found that
institutions are much more conservative in what they book and they also have
much less money. And so since 9/11 I have gone from a consistent touring schedule
to no current bookings. This is also due to the fact that I am mounting a
new show as opposed to touring an older already successful one. But I do feel
that 9/11 and the financial aftermath has strongly influenced the willingness
or ability of theaters/presenters to take chances. Thank you.
- I really couldn't answer this survey as accurately as I think you would
like due to the fact that my situation may be a little different than most.
I have written a screenplay that is based in New York City. I had sent my
script out to a production company to see if they would be interested. They
liked my script, but it couldn't have been worse timing, as [when] they received
the script 9/11 had just happened and they lost interest in filming in New
York. So, I lost out in every way possible. I feel now that the only way for
me is to create my own work, never mind waiting for some one from a production
company to come here. So, that's what I'm doing: creating my own reality!
- I am a painter who freelances as a web designer. Because I live so close
to "ground zero" and was constantly subjected to the attack, the rescue, the
cleanup & the tourists, I have quit my job and moved away to regain my
sanity. My loss is of my neighborhood and a peaceful living environment -
not to mention my freelance job. I am working towards an exhibition at my
gallery, which is my first one-person show in NYC during the past ten years.
This show is very important to my art "career." I am living on loans and savings
until then. After that, I have no idea of what I will do. The best help for
artists like me would be to have an informed counselor who could help me apply
for programs that I might be eligible for. And to help me figure out where
to go from here.
- I had a studio in Tower One. I lost $60,000 worth of work. I commuted to
the studio from out of state; missed most of the deadlines, because it was
hard to want to travel into NYC, as I felt fearful and my daughter didn't
want me to go. My insurance doesn't cover out of state losses, missed deadline
for Safe Horizons, American Express compensation for losses ordered on my
card, etc. I think all of the deadlines were too early. I registered for FEMA
but don't understand the paperwork or what I qualify for. I lost work thus
income; but I also work at teaching so I didn't know if I could qualify. Overall,
I applied to things that were most like artist grants. I appreciated the amounts
given to me. I am sure there are/were many like me who could not respond so
early to the deadlines. I did not get counseling.
- I lost approximately $4,000 in income directly due to Sept. 11th. I lost
approximately $2,000 from independent jobs and $1,000 from my regular Band's
gigs. I also have a weekly hotel gig, which was canceled for a month following
Sept. 11th. That was another $1,000 lost.
- The nature of working as an artist means I am always looking for more work.
This has simply become less fruitful since 9/11. A year when I thought I would
be able to afford health insurance (finally) and perhaps also save money turned
out to be not so.
- I am an unemployed jewelry designer/design consultant. I am on unemployment
that runs out in October of 02. I have a website that I am rebuilding and
trying to contact all of my previous clients from the past eight years and
rebuild since my losses of 9/11/01. I am in need of health insurance, and
I need income from a source to help me pay my bills and rent every month until
I can rebuild my company.
- I have owned and operated 2 recording studios and a commercial music production
company for over 15 years; my business has dropped off dramatically after
9/11. What clients I did have are not paying their invoices. I will be shutting
down my studios in midtown this fall if I cannot meet the overhead. 9/11 has
affected by health due to the emotional + financial stress. I am also a recording
engineer. I am suffering from immune system problems that have led to major
ear infections. I cannot hear properly which greatly affects my ability to
do my job.
- As an Artist (painter) the sale of my work has completely stopped as of
9/11 even though I am represented by an excellent gallery (zip code: 10019).
This represents a loss of at least 50% or more of my income. I have a part
time job (18 hours a week) with a medical college that provides me with full
time benefits including medical coverage
- Once 9/11 happened, all call backs for jobs completely stopped. I increased
my number of applications, and footwork, but not a single call back happened
til approx. April 2002. Before 9/11, callbacks were regular. It seemed as
everything was reduced to core staff members only. I have a BA in psych, and
a MFA in Visual art. ALL of my friends and I kept getting expressions of disappointment
from prospective employers when they found out we finished our degrees, and
wanted something other than non-paid interning (which was advertised as employment,
but unspecified as interning, and sometimes they changed the original position
to one of an intern position).
- Yes the World Trade Center disaster has definitely had a negative effect
on my life and career and I hope for more assistance particularly for artists
who unfortunately in this country, which is known for its prosperity for some
reason, has not been supportive of the arts. Hopefully this will bring this
issue into the consciousness of those in power.
- I am a freelance commercial & gigs musician who had several cancellations
Bookings are significantly down since I perform at private parties and
clubs ("single engagements") which are down approximately 20% from last
- I am a musician and the loss in employment that I felt the most was in the
private party engagements, way down this year. I also play on Broadway as
a substitute and there too I felt less work since the regular group had less
- As a freelance musician, a number of engagements and accounts were canceled
after 9/11/01. Since 1/1/02, work volume in the music industry--both performance
and recording--has been down significantly, perhaps by 20% or more. As professional
performers, musicians are very concerned about volume and regularity of work,
i.e., income, particularly after 9/11/01. The additional downturn in financial
markets has caused considerable concern amongst my colleagues who are fortunate
enough to have personal financial portfolios. Certainly both 9/11/01 and the
Enron "syndrome" caused serious ramifications.
- My theater company is close to the WTC site. We are essentially a sole proprietorship
without current financials (in process) and were denied State and Government
- As I indicated above, my mental health has suffered, actually, suffered
terribly, since 9/11. Although I was self-employed and working steadily, I
wasn't making any money. However, I was on a brilliant art/writing career.
- I donít think I fully realized the impact 9/11 had on me until I wrote it
all out tonight. I know many others were affected much worse than I was, but
I am still trying to figure out how to recoup/start over again. Thank you
for sending this survey.
- My "business loss" on account of 9/11 is impossible to put in monetary terms,
but I believe no less real to myself or the others involved. I was in a showcase
last Sept., scheduled to open 9/13 after returning from a festival abroad.
A local newspaper had reviewed the playwrightís previous play (favorably),
causing it to move to an Off Broadway contract and was scheduled to review
us as well. Of course there was no interest, time or space for that after
9/11. We might have received an unfavorable review (or a good review that
still made no commercial difference), but the loss of opportunity is nevertheless
real, although unmeasurable.
- As written, many of these questions do not apply. I'm a disabled artist
who does faux finishing and gilding in addition to fine art. The poor economy
affected work pre-9/11 and whatever prospects I had were canceled outright
post 9/11. Many cited that art was "inappropriate" at this time.
- Last week I was forced to seek out an attorney to declare bankruptcy. I
am unable to pay my debts, which accelerated after 9/11. The Red Cross assisted
by giving $250. I was forced to borrow more money from SBA (another debt).
- I am living/working in the middle of financial district (6 blocks from WTC).
My future is completely unpredictable and unfortunately, I did not get any
support from galleries, art institutions or art foundations. The art business
is extremely cold. I have been requested to donate my art work for supporting
people because of 9/11(actually that's me). Seems like the art business really
does not care about artists, who are supposed to be a very important source
of maintaining the industry.
- My loss was the cancellation of a Broadway show that I was engaged to contract
that was canceled right after 9/11. My loss, in real terms, is to date, approximately
- In addition to a loss of film/television/theater work, I was also producing
an Off-Broadway show, which was running during September 2001. Show was canceled
due to Sept. 11th. Lost all ticket sales & costs related.
- My company is a for-profit commercial arts organization whose primary source
of income is in special events and corporate theater and advertisement campaigns.
FEMA gave us a disaster relief loan to cover the monthly nut we have to cover
to keep our doors open. We lost $200K worth of contracts on Sept 11th and
had no income whatsoever for the next four months. As President, I gave my
coop up as collateral for the loan. Since Feb. 2002, we have been actively
working again, but the industry has shifted. Rather than performing in our
own theatrical productions or in special events, we are now performing in
casinos--the one place that was not hard hit.
- I am living with unease and disillusionment about my future as a result
of the events of September 11, 2001. Before that I was doing very well after
an already long, difficult uphill struggle as an artist.
- My show (Off B'way) closed for 6 weeks after 9/11/02. Since I also had a
part time job 3 days a week, I was never eligible to collect any unemployment.
My show is now closing again for 4 weeks due to slow ticket sales. We have
been told by the producers that it is a result of the after effects of 9/11
(memorial services, lack of tourism to NYC, etc.). We expect to reopen 9/26/02.
- I had been making a living as an actor (SAG) for 15 years. The actors' strike
cut my income considerably, and then I suffered a divorce that took a chunk
of my money. But the subsequent drop in NYC productions post 9/11 forced me
lose 100% of my savings.
- The film and episodic television industries have been very badly affected
by Sep 11. There are no new series being done in New York now. Film production
is minimal. Incentives need to be made to producers to get the work back here.
LA needs to be convinced that it's okay to work in New York. Thank you.
- I am an artist & free-lance picture researcher. As of 9/11, I had made
$40,000 in the first 9 months of 2001. From 9/11 to date, 8/2002, I have made
$20,000 and this year included a high profile New York exhibition (whereas
the year before did not). The picture research for the fashion industry remained
- The main industry I work in is the theatre industry. While attendance seems
OK, there are no advance sales to speak of. Perhaps out of town tourism is
down. Most of my work is subbing for others. Their work is down as a result
of 9/11 because many events didn't get planned. Also many non-profit performing
groups have cut back.
- While it is impossible to be sure, I believe that I would have been employed
as a theater musician during the first half of 2002 if the events of 9/11
had never taken place. A show that I had worked on during its early stages
did not move to New York during that time. I am now expecting it to do so
at the end of 2002 or the beginning of 2003.
- On September 10, 2001 I received a verbal commitment for a screenplay I
wrote. On September 11, 2001, understandably, it was taken away. I lived 4
blocks from the WTC.
- I play for many small musical groups, all of whom depend on corporate and
private contributions for the bulk of their income. All of these groups suffered
lost donations as a result of 9/11. These include groups based in Philadelphia,
New York, and Boston. Contributions were down 20-25% for all of these groups.
As a result they have cut back on their seasons and the number of musicians
FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS AFTER 9/11
- Though I realize many, many people suffered tremendous losses, both personal
and financial as a result of 9/11, those of us who had little to start with
have born a disproportionate burden, it seems to me. I never experienced the
bubble of the nineties, but the economic downturn and 9/11 have hit hard.
Without savings, health insurance, or pension plan of any kind, I feel profoundly
at risk. It seems odd to me that I don't qualify for any kind of assistance,
especially healthcare. I have investigated it fairly well and I make too much
for the programs available to the public, and not enough to qualify through
my unions. I work full time, teach occasionally and create my own work and
the rewards are enormous though difficult to calculate. As long as I don't
get sick, or old, or step on the cracks in the sidewalk, I suppose Iíll be
- It seems I am having a difficult time documenting my financial hardship
as I did not keep good financial records. Is there a way to get around this?
- Even with the redrawn map, people living in Soho are still redlined from
FEMA aid. Had it not been for the American Music Center and NYFA programs,
we would be living on the street by now.
- I have been accepted into a special graduate program, matriculating this
fall; though I have also been awarded a scholarship, I can't afford the rest
of the tuition. Within one or two semesters, however, I have been advised
the program is sure that it can help me to get employment, and provide more
tuition assistance -- if I can just raise the money for tuition for the first
or second semesters myself. They also believe I'm well worth investing a place
in this program, which is geared to adults looking for career change, for
they believe all the things that other job prospects consider detriments,
starting with my age and my writing career, are actually advantages in this
- I tend to be in the cracks or not qualify for anything, though highly educated
in diverse fields.
- I never applied for assistance with any of the programs because I believed
that I did not qualify for assistance. Even though my job was directly being
paid by foundations and grants and those dried up after Sept. 11, I felt the
programs set up were only for people who directly lost jobs at the WTC disaster.
I lived on unemployment while searching for a job until April and then had
to move in with other people when I fell behind in my rent and was unable
to catch up. I borrowed money from a relative to pay part of it. I have not
financially recovered and I have now taken a job making way below what I was
typically paid, but so many of my friends don't even have jobs.
- This form was very hard for me to fill out because I have never made a lot
of money. I have always scraped by. I make jewelry and sculpture and do free
lance computer design, sometimes I install art shows. I haven't had a steady
income in a while.
- I was a Battery Park City resident for 6 years. I moved away and relocated
back to BPC three weeks prior to 9/11. I was to move my elderly mother to
NYC--but her health declined significantly during the time I was away from
my apartment. I am now paying over $2000 for my mother's care, in addition
to supporting myself. I have used all of my financial resources and have gotten
myself into tremendous debt, since 9/11. This is a devastating situation for
me--and I know I am not alone. I have received loan assistance from family
and friends, but have not applied for further assistance. Until I can demonstrate
my ability to repay a loan--I am sure I will not receive one. My situation
is also complicated by the fact that my business was not officially established
prior to 9/11--which renders me ineligible for any business support. Any suggestions
will be deeply appreciated.
- My personal assets too high to qualify for assistance. I lost a several
million-dollar film financing deal as a result of 9/11; a foreign oil company
was willing to invest but US red-tape took so long the deal fell apart.
- I can no longer get any production insurance. My policy was dropped after
9/11 and every place that Iíve called since will not take me as a client because
I live/work in downtown Manhattan below 14th Street. I can no longer cover
my equipment or tapes. Also, many of the foundations Iíve hoped to get money
from to continue my work have decided to go on a "funding hiatus" for 2002/2003,
making it very difficult to get finishing funds. I have applied for several
part-time and full-time positions, both work-related and non-work-related,
and have not received any phone calls for work. Since January 2002 I have
only earned $1,500. Also, since I have my own production company, I cannot
- The caps for income on NYS insurance programs are too low and thereby exclude
low-income workers (to be eligible, a family of two can only earn $11,500
per year--this is not nearly a living wage for two!) Premiums on health plans
offered by HIP for freelance & computer workers are too high, representing
more than one-third of a worker's annual salary. It seems that the middle
to low-income worker would be better off simply being unemployed, as this
is practically the only way to be eligible for Medicaid or health plus. Or
better yet, avoid illness and its treatment altogether. Unfortunately, $100
per month (as offered above) for health insurance is still an uncomfortable
rate, as this employeeís wages only cover very basic living expenses.
- We are getting "Nickel Dimed" to death! Housing, health care, unfair taxes!
The rich are walking away from multimillion $ loans from their own companies
while depleting our hard earned savings. Where is our hope? The President
and V.P. are both involved in the problem in business but theyíre not part
of the solution. I am so politically embarrassed. It's time to put congress
- A significant loss of income resulted from the cancellation of many concerts
in the fall, coupled with other concerts being presented as benefits, for
which I was required to donate my services in order to perform. I was honored
to play Taps at numerous funerals for firefighters; however, this was also
expected to be donated. I can understand that the Fire Department was overwhelmed
during the Fall, but it seems that perhaps some allowance should be made to
help those of us who sacrificed work and income to help out. Perhaps there
is money available in some other fund. I have no idea which grants and applications
I am even eligible to apply for, since I live above 14th Street. Please, if
you think there are things I should at least apply for, let me know what,
how and where to get the proper forms.
- Thank you for taking the time to find out about the lasting economic, health-related,
and emotional effects of 9/11. Many normally self-sufficient adults like meóself-employed
workers who do not work downtown but whose incomes have fallen steeply since
last Septemberóare not covered by the major "safety net" programs and are
left to feel that their needs and circumstances don't matter. I have always
lived modestly, and Iíve always had enough work and money to support myself.
This year, I cried over bills while also crying over the state of the world.
Any help or advice you can give will be appreciated.
- Part of our situation's gravity is that while simultaneously dealing with
the aftermath of 9/11, my wife went from working full-time to freelancing,
and then found out that she has a serious form of cancer. She is currently
in treatment, and it has curtailed her ability to work. This has caused a
marked drop in our joint family income. My own income had already started
slowing from the economic slowdown, prior to the economic meltdown.
- Again, I have more "comments" than I can handle these days. We (my fiancée
and I) have been through the ringer and back. We have been lied to, deceived,
been treated poorly and can barely see due the paperwork and red tape. We
are totally broke.
- The work that I do is scheduled in advance. In the period following September
11th, all work dropped off. Upcoming programs were canceled and new programs
were not scheduled for most of 2002. Some work is returning, I have programs
scheduled for the fall of 2002 and hopefully I will be able to continue to
find work or get different work. I sublet my studio/work space and so do not
have an official lease. I believe it seems to disqualify me for assistance.
It seems to have gotten easier, for me, to fall between the cracks in New
York since September 11th. Unable to make the payments in a timely fashion,
I lost my renter's insurance on my studio and work equipment.
- I am mainly a film actor and due to 9/11, no films were being shot. I will
be receiving medical insurance next year but it will be a lower tier based
on my income, which may eliminate dental and cause a much higher deductible.
- As a result of 9/11 Iíve had ongoing problems with my health, first experiencing
a three month bout with bronchitis which also included my first asthmatic
attack. After being on antibiotics for a prolonged period, I now have trouble
with colitis - the doctor claims my immune system is attacking itself. This
has made me sick and wiped out my energy. Iíve had to cancel shows as a performing
musician and as a writer my productivity has certainly decreased, as Iíve
spent most of my time and energy battling these conditions. I am interested
in teaching as an alternative to performing regularly - any leads for teaching
positions would be greatly appreciated.
- I was only tangentially affected by 9/11-- hard to gauge loss of income
when freelance opportunities tapered off. Also hard to tell if this tapering
was due to 9/11 or to a general downturn in economy. I experienced low-grade
symptoms of trauma--insomnia, inability to concentrate, which harmed my work,
and I lost about a week of by-the-hour employment when the city was shut down.
- All grants I received except from NYFA were personal grants since my home
was trashed by attack. I did not receive enough to completely replace all
I lost. I did receive grant for counseling from Crime Victims. I still suffer
many physical problems (like breathing) since attack and post traumatic stress.
Grants from Red Cross and Salvation Army helped me with rent and utilities
immediately following attack. I was emotionally and physically unable to work
for many months. The September 11th fund covered some of the things lost in
apartment but only a fraction. FEMA was really no help to me and that is the
general feeling about them from other people in my building and neighborhood.
- 9/11 has affected my spirit in quite a few ways. I don't like to go far
from home anymore. I don't like to be by myself in crowds at all anymore.
And I used to like being alone a lot more. Now if I go out I want to be with
a group of people I know.
- I had problems answering some of the questions "yes" or "no". For example
one commission I was working on was delayed for 6 months. I did however finally
complete and receive my final payment, which was $5000. Another commission
for $6000 was canceled due to the clientís loss of work related to 9/11. I
could not accept new commissions until I had completed the commission that
was delayed. I had respiratory problems and it did affect my work for a period
of time. However, presently it seems to have gone away. I had real problems
working without ventilation, since my work requires a lot of ventilation.
I don't know if I'm interested in job training, as work appears to be starting
to come back, but maybe teaching. I'd be interested in submitting work to
be included in the rebuilding on the Trade Tower site. Thank you for your
interest in the artist's problems relating to 9/11.
- A note about my insurance: I qualified last year for the insurance I currently
have through SAG. Since the number of SAG jobs has decreased, I will probably
lose my insurance for next year.
- I'd love to find out about health insurance! Thank you!
- Interested in Actors Fund health insurance. I was with Dance Theater Workshop.
Is it the same idea? This survey did not really touch on people who since
moved or lost it mentally after 9/11. Don't know if that fits into the general
scheme with surveys, but it is something to consider. I assume many, like
myself, completely lost their focus. As an artist with hardly any support,
it is probably easier to just move elsewhere and start over...
- Would be interested to know of union or guild for Visual Artists or of any
studio liability insurance plans for visual artists.
- I'm a self-employed author of five books. It's difficult for me to assess
the personal economic impact of September 11. I did miss many a work day last
fall, but as a result of shock, disorientation and sadness.
- I lost my job prior to 9/11 and moved away to Houston to look for job and
to attend an important workshop. I'm returning to the city in Sept. to attend
school, but I need a job and insurance for myself and my family (wife and
2 year old). Any assistance or information you can give me I would appreciate.
I would also like info on grants for playwrights if you have such a thing.
- I know that I need help, but don't even know where to begin. I worked for
a company in the WTC as a temporary employee beginning 8/3/01. After 9/11,
the office moved into a temporary location, where one of the Anthrax scares
occurred. Because I was a temporary employee I had no recourse. I worked for
the company after it returned to the WFC in March of this year. In May, I
began to experience severe physical and emotional impairment and haven't really
been able to return to work since. To add insult to injury, a friend of mine
committed suicide a year ago, and Iíve been through other personal experiences
that have left me drained. I don't know what to do. Yes, I need help. Please
- Thank you so much for your assistance. It's been tough! I was a few blocks
away from WTC on 9/11 and witnessed everything from close up. Nightmares,
trauma, depression, bronchitis, etc. followed. Thank you for your interest.
- I spent 2 months without any work and borrowed money to exist. I wandered
the streets and spent a lot of time by the water. I thought about the voices
and faces I had unknowingly heard and seen in stores and restaurants who are
now dead. Though I didn't know them, they were people from my town and I miss
them. I will never be the same again.
- Much of my inability to work was the result of the mental trauma of being
trapped in an elevator of 1WTC on 9/11 and escaping only a couple of minutes
before the tower came down.
- My health insurance is going up again to almost $400.00 a month. I need
help to get the cost down.
- I am barely making enough to cover my basic expenses: mortgage, monthly
maintenance fee, utilities, food. My husband, who is also self-employed, has
incurred a business debt and is also experiencing cancellations and decrease
in work. I've had health problems since January Ď02, which greatly interfere
with my work. I started treatments for the symptoms in May which Iíve been
paying for through my dwindling savings. I would like to be able to get training
to build a better portfolio of digital works, which I believe would qualify
me for additional/better paying work. I would also be interested in finding
out about either grants or 0% or low interest loan programs to help with our
debt that a self-employed/freelance individual can qualify for.
- The loss of my job was due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was unable
to function for some time. Immediately after 9/11 I kept going, working, finding
somewhere to live, surviving basically. I would take one or two unpaid days
off a week. When my boss thought it was time to get back to it, I tried. Once
some of the daily basics were settled, the PTSD set in rather severely. I
was unable to maintain my hours and my ability to focus. This all ended in
me being let go from my job after already losing a lot of income due to unpaid
- Can I get real help with rent because of losses since Sept 11? I have been
denied help because Iím not EVICTED YET but I can barely make it with the
rent and the landlord refused to reduce rent or accommodate me since Sept.
- As a result of 9/11, I was closed out of my studio for nearly two months.
The building management took care of the necessary clean-up. We continued
to pay the rent even though we were not allowed in the building, and I don't
expect it to be reimbursed. Although my loss of income has not been tremendous,
I have sold only one painting in the last year, and have seen most of the
manufacturers I work with cut their budgets for design and reduce their staffs.
- I'd like to clarify one item. Regarding foreclosure, we had a second property,
a timeshare that we lost because we were unable to keep up the payments.
- My losses are very real to me but not clear-cut financial losses. The place
where I think artists really could use help is with space to work. Artists
cannot keep up with commercial rents!
- While I didn't suffer physically or experience a loss of family or friends,
my work has all but disappeared as a free-lance musician as well as a photographer.
I am now seven months behind on my rent and would be interested in applying
for some grant money to help ease the situation.
- My studio was destroyed 9/11. I had no income for 4 months. The aid organizations
acted as if artists are crooks- that art is a business like a deli. They sent
me to the SBA to get a loan, but this is not possible. My studio is gone and
my landlord is trying to evict everyone in the building so he can make multi
million dollar condos. This decision was made by him in March, 2002. I am
paying a lawyer to help prevent eviction. Please send new info.
- Loss of rental income has been the most devastating.
- Thank you for doing this survey. This is the first one Iíve received from
anyone and I find obtaining information about help has been difficult as Iíve
been spending my time trying so hard to get income producing work. I hope
there can be some relief for my rent as the landlord doesn't seem interested
in reducing it and my income has suffered enormously.
- I am currently being displaced from my apartment in Manhattan where Iíve
lived for 12 years due to landlord's 50% increase of my rent. I am finding
it extremely difficult to find an affordable place to live.
- Desperate need for real estate. Help!!! Put bids on three spaces, all either
too expensive or landlord craziness. Very troubled. May mean the demise of
my theater. In turn, facing the demise of my agency as an actor as of 9/11.
Thus no representation and possibly a real downturn for me. Work has been
scattered and mostly living on residuals. I do feel there is resurgence finally
in the acting profession. With regard to the need for a new theater: major
problem as the rental needs of our annual operations has caused a 20% deficit
already. Despite all good attempts, the city's bureaucracy, impotence and
financial problems leave me greatly discouraged.
- We worked as actors. My wife had a bodywork practice that collapsed after
9/11. We were thinking of moving before then, but after she had no clients
and neither of us shot anything for over a month, we decided to move. My wife
was pursuing a master of science in nutrition degree and had to leave her
studies until we were set up. We love NYC, but couldn't find housing for our
son and us. Now, she will work at various spas, go to school and I will commute
for work and auditions. I really wish we had a train system out here to make
it easier to get to NYC. We miss the city.
- Can you please find some confirmed legal help for artists who are suffering
landlord and tenant problems?
- I haven't been able to pay rent for eight months. I don't know how long
my landlady is going to take it. I keep going to agencies and writing letters
and making phone calls and no one helped me. I finally have gone to welfare
department, and it is the most horrible experience I have ever had in my life.
I have worked for thirty years in this country and they treat me as if I was
stealing their own money.
- I am unable to complete this form, as my situation does not correspond to
the questions asked. As an indirect result of 9/11 we, like many NYC artists
were left without an affordable place to live and work in NYC. Unable to secure
ANY help from any agencies, NYFA etc., I took a leave of absence from my teaching
job at in Brooklyn, NY and I am now in refuge (like several other artists
I know) after accepting a position in the California University system. If
anyone cares to hear the details of our story please feel free to phone meÖ.
- There should be more housing protection for artists in artist-pioneered
- If FEMA had not recently approved my rental assistance money and the State/City
of New York had not approved my Public Assistance and Food Stamps, I would
have lost my apartment and been hungry and homeless, so I am very grateful
to them both.
- I was injured on a job months before the accident. Workman's comp is still
pending and has yet to pay. I was returning to work the week of the bombing,
and desperately needed income, which stopped at that moment in all sectors
of my work. As a result of the bombing, I was no longer able to make any income,
and was forced to move from my apartment in Jan of 2002. I had to leave NY
to stay with family and try to rebuild my income, but work has been shy outside
NY as well, and since all my work contacts were in NY were I could no longer
afford to live, it has been incredibly difficult to get new people who are
not familiar with me to give opportunity in such difficult times. As a result,
I have had to begin working in sales. I am planning to return home to NY,
but am concerned about the job situation when I return this fall.
- I had already planned to move to Paris before 9/11. I saw ("live") the second
plane crash into the WTC. This event certainly wreaked havoc with my plans
-- for a time I was very reluctant to leave NYC, even to get on an airplane.
Ultimately, and in part due to various aspects of the aftermath of 9/11, I
decided that I had indeed made the right choice to relocate, and did so in
- I'm trying very hard to work my way back to New York, where I have been
living for the last 11years. My life is there, all my friends and everything
Iíve set up for myself are there. It has been very hard for me to save enough
money to move back properly. I miss New York.
- I'm currently in Pasadena, and thinking of staying. This may disqualify
me or make my information useless to you. But there is, I assume, the same
actor's work program here, so I would still like that information on health
insurance, or info on how to find out about it on this coast, if you please.
Thanks a lot, and good luck to you.
- The whole support and disaster relief effort has been totally ineffective,
not only to me, but also to countless others. To me, partly because I did
not run immediately for public assistance to any of the major agencies and
foundations mentioned above. Stupidly, I waited until there was no more resources
for me to deploy. My experience up until now has been to encounter vast administrations
and bureaucracies, which supplied me only with countless forms to fill out.
To no avail whatsoever. This will be the last form I complete in relation
to Sept. 11th. It makes me sick to think of all the wasted money necessary
to keep the administrative branch of ineffective agencies running, a self-propelling
service just for itself.
- NYFA's Artist Recovery Fund was a tremendous disappointment. The application
process was much too rigorous and un-standardized. I received $4000. A bare
fraction of what I have lost and what I need to keep my studio going. I have
been a member of the dance community for 30 years, providing classes and care
too much of the downtown dance community. If we went under it would be a great
loss. The money from NYFA will not take any strain off us.
- It is a good thing that you are trying to help. It is a challenge to help
visual artists, I appreciate your approach. NYFA has been very informative.
I was too late to apply for the NYFA grant; maybe other things will come up.
I am confused about FEMA, I was rejected and then they sent me a form asking
why I did not fill in the forms when I did. They seem to only help residential.
- Is there some way that filling out all these forms and applications can
actually get some aid to people?????
- I WOULD be interested, if possible, in seeing/getting information on other
programs and grants I might be eligible for. Since I live in the West 50's,
I was told I was not available for much, but maybe terms have changed? I might
not be aware of all that's out there either, when seeing the list above. I
would appreciate any information, if possible. Thanks.
- I have already registered to start classes at the French Culinary Institute
beginning in October 2002. I hope that some aid may be available through this
- Itís a shame that there is so much red tape to receive emergency aid. Everyone
wants to help, but bureaucracy has bogged down my application even with the
programs I am immediately qualified for. Having my hopes up for the letter
in the mail that never comes has caused me so much stress.
- Most importantly, I/we need additional funds to help get us through the
rest of the summer and to help out afterwards that so we can try to rebuild
with some peace of mind. I believe if some of those EDC grants did away with
the lease stipulation and made it just so you could show your work was in
the affected area I know in my particular case I would be eligible for thousands
of dollars and that would be a huge help and offer the security needed for
the next couple of months so I could truly focus 100% on rebuilding.
- I am trying to find a small financial loan or grant so that I may take courses
in my graphics field for web design and strengthen the skills that I already
have. It's not much, at least $3,000 and up to $8,000. There are two certificate
programs that are most in tune with what I need.
- Dealing with the aid agencies was more upsetting, humiliating, insulting
and time/labor intensive than anything I have ever experienced in my life:
the Red Cross, Safe Horizons, FEMA, NYC EDC's Lower Manhattan Grant Program
- I am totally pinched for income, and am just living month to month. I am
still on Medicaid, so third party medical is paying my health insurance. I
don't own anything of value (real estate, car); the only value is my art.
My small investments, in my IRA and stocks, have lost 60% of their value.
I havenít qualified for any small business grants -because I am too small!
IMPACT OF 9/11 ON THE TEMP INDUSTRY,
SMALL BUSINESS, AND WORK IN GENERAL
- Being a self-employed multimedia artist and part time adjunct professor
of video art, I can't quantify job opportunities and income loss. Work comes
through visibility and studio visits. 9/11 precluded that. There is always
a lapse between initiating and culminating. It might be 2-5 years between
an idea coming to me and its being funded/realized through the support of
others. I appreciate your assistance. Most government agencies I find unable
to understand the more elusive nature of this kind of work or life style.
Unless there is an eviction notice or canceled check they do not believe there
is a loss at stake, or that it is justified. I understand this, but am penalized
as a result. This is my work and livelihood regardless.
- I am an actor, but also temp. It's the temp industry that is hurting my
income the most right now. I had an acting job in San Diego at the time of
the attacks. When I got back it was impossible to find day work (i.e. temp
jobs). I just got a job out of town again for theatre - but the pay is less
than half of what I was making last year this time. It's not a good situation.
- Dear Downtown NYC, As an individual artist, I have been very fortunate to
receive grants from various art foundations and institutes to cover the huge
expenditure in setting up a new studio in the aftermath of 9/11. The challenge
now is to figure out a way to maintain the studio/art business and to keep
moving forward. I work as a free-lance designer to supplement the art business
income. That income pays both rents on the apt and the studio. In the current
economic climate, it seems that businesses in Manhattan, especially in lower
Manhattan are cutting back on all fronts. I have quite a stable freelance
relationship with a design firm in Soho but even my hours have been trimmed,
as they are not getting as much work over the summer. I would just like to
say thank you to all the individuals and institutions who have helped and
so enabled me to be working in the arts.
- I personally feel incredibly lucky that I was not one of the many who was
physically injured and/or displaced by 9/11. I was affected by the general
economy after the attacks, but I had been laid off my job the previous spring.
I currently work as a temp.
- I have been working mostly as an actor for the past several years and mostly
out of town. I have also just started directing, also out of town. I felt
the aftermath of 9/11 the most when I returned to NYC last January and tried
to get temp work for the first time in years and it was virtually impossible.
I doubled my debt in the past 6 months. I would like to develop a way to supplement
my income and earn money while living in NYC.
- Sept. 11th definitely affected my income. It's difficult still at this point
to guess how much since so much of my work is on a freelance basis. But, in
terms of number of auditions and opportunities for work, I can honestly say
there was at least a 75% decrease. I have recently run out of health insurance
and I am really interested in what CWE has to offer.
- I am one of those unreported casualties of 9/11. Though I thankfully did
not lose any person close to me, my business disappeared entirely for months
following 9/11 and the job I had counted on to meet expenses was not offered
to me due to a freeze in hiring.
- I am moving on August 15th, to the address listed directly above - I would
LOVE to be contacted about part-time/flexible work opportunities, as I have
found it very difficult to find work in the arts these past six months.
- The organization I primarily work for is in NJ and it has been hit hard
by 9/11. My freelance work in NY has also been negatively affected.
- I am a freelance cellist. The concert and rehearsals I was hired to play
on Sept 16 were canceled due to the impossibility of traveling into the city.
That is the entire extent of my direct loss. Given the prevailing winds, my
house on Houston St. was only marginally affected by the dust and smoke. Of
course I would like to be remembered for my loss, but I expect you have more
serious things in mind than the extent of my particular problems and I have
no idea how to calculate subsequent losses in my field. Employment is down,
but not necessarily because of Sept 11.
- I could hardly fill out this survey in a tangible way for your needs so
Iím adding some notes. I was managing by selling my work, and working freelance
for curators and artists prior to 9/11, most of which stopped significantly
post 9/11. But because I did not "lose" my living quarters, and was not physically
harmed I had a difficult time as to what I could "apply" for....It was challenging
to go out looking for a "job" because I did not feel sufficiently trained
in any one area...I would welcome training and learning new skills, because
I have to adapt to the times and the new situations arising. In between all
this I am making an effort to continue my own work and be a positive force
in the universe. Thank you.
- It's tough to quantify financial losses when your income is sporadic. Pre-9/11
I worked as a freelance installer in a few galleries. After the attack, galleries
significantly reduced their ambitions. There was a drop off in sales, which
naturally led to less work. I took a job with an art moving company. Also,
I am convinced I would have sold some paintings, but of course there is no
way to prove that. Money is tight these days. I am just happy to have a job.
- I am interested in possible job training and in assistance with health insurance
- please have someone contact me ASAP. Thank you for your efforts.
- I may, unfortunately, be forced to move to California where there are far
more work opportunities for me. My talent agents are closing as a result of
the economic decline in Manhattan. To me, that's a huge sign that things in
New York are not on an upswing for the performing artist.
- I am a magazine writer, and in the economic downturn since 9/11, most magazines,
even the biggest of them, have ceased hiring freelancers, overworking their
own staff as ad pages decreased. Most of the writers I know, even the most
successful, are working without contracts for the first time in their lives,
and are not sure where the next assignment is coming from. It's extremely
stressful. My health insurance, which I get through the national writers union,
just went up a whopping 26%, to over $1000/month. This summer, I had to borrow
money from my family to meet normal expenses - mortgage, maintenance and health
insurance runs almost $3k/month! I could sell my apartment, which has increased
tremendously in value, but where would I live then? I would have to leave
town, which I am not inclined in any way to do. Just so you know. Thanks for
- We are still in need of financial assistance. Things are turning and our
potential is huge. We are not yet at break even, and making up for major losses.
- I am a travel photographer mostly, though I do portraits as well. You can
take a look at my website if you wish. I have been told I am very talented
and was selling work prior to 9/11. Nobody wants to plunk down $400 for a
photo of a kid in Nepal nowadays see? Help me!! I feel like Vincent Van Gogh....I
will become famous after I am dead!
- Although my business has basically tanked with the photography business
in NYC in general (I work as a food stylist for photography), I feel very
fortunate that my husband's work has continued pretty much unabated. So, our
income has dropped, but we are hanging in okay without assistance. If my work
doesn't pick up fairly soon, I guess that Iíll have to think about re-inventing
myself again (food styling came as the result of needing to re-invent myself
after turning the ripe old age of 30-something as an actress).
- Thank you SOOO very much for looking out for us. I had applied to the NYARF
back in March when I realized my work situation was really not very good due
to the severe lack of hours at my regular day job and a major cutback in other
part time jobs. Things improved a little throughout this summer, but we are
anticipating another severe cutback in September. I work in the toy industry
when I'm not performing, (which I have the very good fortune of being under
contract to do currently), and the toy business was really hit hard with our
economic decline. A person can start to feel helpless until they learn that
there are agencies out there looking out for the actors who may not have directly
been affected, but have truly been affected nonetheless. Thank you so much.
- I was not directly impacted by 9/11 any more than the average person living
in New York. I believe it has affected all of our economy; the arts have always
been a hand-to-mouth existence - 9/11 and the economic slump have only exacerbated
the situation for must of us. Clearly the artists and arts organizations located
downtown have been hit the hardest, although I am sure the low rate of tourism
hurts us all every day.
- It is very difficult to quantify financial loses in fields that are completely
at the mercy of other people's surplus income (i.e.- we're not selling toilet
paper here, the first thing people stop buying when there's crunch, is art.)
- The effects on me of 9/11 have been subtle and psychological, as well as
diffuse and economic. However, I think there have been even greater economic
impacts from the downturn of the stock market -- "bursting of the bubble"
-- and other political/business shenanigans. I've come to feel that 9/11,
horrible though it was, has been taking the brunt of blame for an overall
economic slowdown/correction/cyclical recession. The businesses in which I'm
directly involved -- writing for publications, writing books, producing radio
pieces, teaching at a university -- have been in continuous realignment, beginning
before 9/11. Thanks for your efforts.
- I have recently acquired a mortgage and married status with a child on the
way. This requires me to obtain a steadier employment situation. One preferably
with health benefits or that lets me make enough to afford health insurance.
Obtaining my contractorís license could potentially help me to achieve this
goal. Some business training would also help. Other training or retraining
in some new technology to shift my direction is another interesting option.
- During the 2001-02 season, my work was greatly diminished; however, the
upcoming season has brought even fewer employment opportunities. 9/11 funding
cuts have affected almost all artists - I am no exception. The orchestra for
which I coordinated the education program no longer exists and long-standing
ensembles I have played with for years have shortened their seasons and can
no longer afford to hire musicians. In the interim I am looking for more private
students and exploring different performance opportunities. I am trying to
trust that work will come along and things will work out (as they usually
do); however, it has become increasingly difficult to keep the faith in myself
as an artist...it is a most trying time.
- I'd been expecting to work on a number of commercial theatre shows last
fall, but they were all canceled after 9/11. I was lucky enough to be working
for several non-profit companies, so they were able to resume their shows
sooner. But the canceled shows affected me even months later as they might
have covered slow periods at the non-profits. I was also in a point of transition
in my career and that was halted, so even now I'm affected by that. I expect
only later this year to be doing more commercial theatre work and making a
higher income as a result.
- Have applied for employment help via actor's work program. Day job - in
computer field - was ended due to company closing; directly due to slow down
and lack of economic recovery following 9/11.
- In my case the TV industry is down and that has affected me in that I can
not earn enough to make a living/no work as a freelancer -which is needed
to complete my income potential. Thus I have cannibalized savings...
- Finding work has been very difficult for me as an art director, a lot of
production companies do not want to film in NYC. It's just has been easier
for them to film elsewhere.
- My wife was a partner in a small design firm. They hung on until this June
2002 and finally went out of business due to lack of business directly related
to 9/11. She went from earning a 6-figure salary to being on unemployment.
We have spent our savings.
STATEMENTS OF OPTIMISM
- I am very appreciative of the money that I received from NYFA; it provided
me with adequate breathing room to strategize for the future. I am happy to
participate in this survey and hope that it will help others in need. I am
also very interested in receiving computer training and certification to provide
me as an artist a means of supplementing my livelihood.
- The grant awarded by NYFA has helped me significantly in avoiding eviction
and in providing both artistic and economic assistance. Thank you!
- I think I am a somewhat specialized case---actually very lucky. On Sept.
11 2001, I was to start my first day of teaching at a College in Vermont.
I was to commute to work from New York City where I live with my husband and
- I think the NYARF grant program developed by NYFA to assist affected artists
- The area in which I have lost income ever since 9/11involves commercial
production. I work as a stylist/costumer and since 9/11 have had only one
job! Production has begun to pick up recently and I am hoping the situation
will improve. I am fortunate to have a steady part-time job with a major network
which meets my expenses - more or less - but does not allow for much in the
way of savings, education, etc.
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