The American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) is an AFL-CIO affiliated labor union founded in 1939 to represent performing Artists and Stage Managers
in live performances in the Variety field. The variety area of performance includes singers & dancers in Theatrical Revues and touring shows
(non-book shows), 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.
AGVA is a Member of The Associated Actors and Artistes of America, commonly referred to as “The 4 As”,which is currently under the
auspices of the DPE (Department for Professional Employees). Our 4As Sister Unions are:
AEA (Actors Equity Association), SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild merged with American Federation of Television and Radio Artists),
AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists), and GIAA (Guild of Italian American Actors - formerly IAU, Italian Actors Union).
AGVA, in accordance with industry standards and Federal labor regulations, negotiates Collective Bargaining Agreements which set and enforce
salary minimums and conditions of employment, to include safe and sanitary working conditions, health benefits, rehearsal and performance
regulations, overtime provisions, travel stipulations, vacation and sick pay, publicity, promotion and audition procedures and general work rules.
When AGVA Artists perform in venues outside of the realm of AGVA jurisdiction, their working conditions are dictated
by the Collective Bargaining Agreements of AGVA's sister unions, most notably SAG-AFTRA.
While employed under AGVA Collective Bargaining Agreements, members accrue medical, dental and optical coverage
administered by the AGVA Welfare Trust Fund, the union's self-funded Benefits Plan.
AGVA has established, long ago, the Margie Coate Sick & Relief Fund to assist Members, and former Members, who are in financial distress.
Once a need has been verified, the Sick & Relief Fund will help with a variety of bills, as well as limited emergency grants.
All grants are confidential, and are handled through a separate office to ensure privacy. Further information is located elsewhere on this website.
The AGVA Sick & Relief Fund also presents regular Variety shows, using the talents of its Members, at The Actors Home in
Englewood, New Jersey, and various nursing homes and senior centers around the United States.
AGVA members include Performers The Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood as well as the World Famous Rockettes,
all of whom perform under AGVA Collective Bargaining Agreements. Other notable AGVA contracts include
Cirque du Soleil Productions of Banana Shpeel at the Beacon Theatre, NYC, IRIS at the Kodak (now Dolby) Theatre, CA,
Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall and on Tour, Paramour at the Lyric Theatre, NYC, 'Twas The Night Before at Madison Square Garden, NYC,
as well as hundreds of Revues On and Off-Broadway and across the country. Award winning AGVA shows have included: Swing, Ring of Fire, Sugar Babies, Black & Blue, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, Jackie Mason, Dame Edna, Fool Moon, Def Poetry Jam, and others.
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