It is with great sorrow, and a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of our dear friend, Dr. Emelise Aleandri,
who was an AGVA Welfare Trust Fund Trustee, and also a Regional Vice President of AGVA.
She passed away Monday, January 18,2017 and will be very missed.
Emelise authored volumes of books concerning Italian-American Theatre going back as far as 1746, in both Italian and English,
and was the Artistic Director of Frizzi & Lazzi The Olde Time Italian-American Music & Theatre Company
a not-for-profit group now in its 29th year of recreating 19th century immigration entertainment.
Emelise's association with AGVA goes back decades, and she was an integral part, on a daily basis,
of both the American Guild of Variety Artists and the AGVA Welfare Trust Fund.
The American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) is an AFL-CIO-affiliated labor union founded in 1939 to represent performing artists and stage managers for live performances in the variety field. The variety area of performance includes singers & dancers in touring shows and in theatrical revues (non-book shows...book revues may be under Actors’ Equity jurisdiction), theme park performers, skaters, circus performers, comedians & stand-up comics, cabaret & club artists,lecturers/poets/monologists/spokespersons, and variety performers working at private parties & special events.
Performers appear under AGVA contracts at Radio City Music Hall and around the world in various Radio City Spectaculars starring the Rockettes, at theme parks such as Disneyland, Universal Studios & Magic Mountain, and in hundreds of revues in New York and across the country (including such regularly-produced favorites as Beehive, Sugar Babies, Swing, Our Sinatra, NEWSical, Ring of Fire, Political Idol, Showtune, Watercoolers, Dame Edna, & others).
Tony Award winning AGVA shows have included: Black & Blue, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, Jackie Mason, Dame Edna, Fool Moon, Def Poetry Jam, and others.
In the past and currently, notable stars of Broadway, film, and television appear under AGVA contracts on Broadway, on tour, and across the nation in their one-person shows frequently with accompanying singers & dancers - some of these include Liza Minnelli, Bea Arthur, Tony Bennett, Harry Belafonte, Patti LuPone, Jackie Mason, Lena Horne, Tommy Tune, etc.
When AGVA artists appear in dramatic shows, in the broadcast media such as film/television/radio, or in Internet performances, the appropriate unions for those type of performances have jurisdiction (Equity, SAG, AFTRA).
AGVA is a branch of The Associated Actors and Artistes of America (commonly referred to as “The 4 A’s”), which is the parent union to AGVA, as well as to other performer unions such as Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), and Guild of Italian American Actors (GIAA, formerly Italian Actors Union, IAU). These are our sister unions,and we are all branches under the same parent union - “The 4 A’s. Each of these unions gets its operating Charter from the 4 A's (AFTRA also has a separate Charter from the AFL-CIO).
AGVA, in accordance with industry standards and Federal labor regulations, negotiates, sets and enforces salary minimums, as well as conditions of employment such as, rehearsal & performance hours, overtime provisions, safe & sanitary work conditions, travel stipulations, vacation & sick pay, publicity & promotion, audition procedures, and general work rules.
AGVA members accrue medical, dental and optical coverage while employed under our contracts, as well as beyond the term of the contract & after the period of time actually worked, based on the benefits plan of the AGVA Welfare Trust Fund, the union’s self-insured Plan.
AGVA also offers its current and previous members emergency aid through the AGVA Sick & Relief Fund. Once a need has been verified, the AGVA Sick & Relief Fund will pay a variety of bills such as rent, utilities, telephone, etc. as well as give emergency grants. All grants are confidential and these grants are handled through a separate office to ensure privacy. Information about this is located elsewhere on this website or through the AGVA Sick & Relief Fund office at 212-675-1003 Ext. 105.
The AGVA Sick & Relief Fund also regularly contributes to other industry-related charities which benefit AGVA members such as the Actors’ Fund, Episcopal Actors’ Guild, Catholic Actors Guild, Better Wellness, the New York Health Fair, Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, Central Labor Rehabilitation Council, St. Malachy’s Actor’s Chapel, various telethons, etc.
The AGVA Sick & Relief Fund also presents regular variety shows using the talents of AGVA member performers (for which they are paid a fee for expenses) at various senior citizen facilities, hospitals, care centers, schools, and public service locations throughout the country. Information about appearing in/or booking these AGVA Sick & Relief Shows may be obtained from the AGVA offices in New York and Los Angeles or on our website.