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Flash Letter, 12-12: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Washington Ballet's Dancers Need Your Help

Editor's Note: The following letter was issued Thursday on behalf of the artists of the Washington Ballet, who are represented by the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA).

From Alan Gordon
Executive Director, AGMA

Dancers live to dance. But their talent, their skill and the beauty they create isn't enough to protect them against injury, to protect their jobs, or to guarantee the necessities of life. Without a viable contract and forceful defense of their rights, dancers are vulnerable to injury, exploitation and discrimination.

Dancers need protection. And the Washington Ballet refuses to provide it.

Despite ongoing negotiations, the Washington Ballet refuses to provide its dancers with any reasonable level of protection against injury. The Washington Ballet refuses to provide any reasonable level of job security. The Washington Ballet refuses to provide any reasonable level of professional respect.

The dancers want just what any other employees want: A safe working environment, protection against discrimination, protection against mean-spirited, vindictive and arbitrary treatment, and a contract that guarantees their rights as employees and as great dancers.

The dancers need your help. Send an e-mail to artistic director Septime Webre, septimewebre@washingtonballet.org or executive director Jason Palmquist, jpalmquist@washingtonballet.org, and tell them that you enjoy our dancing, you want it to continue, and you share our desire for respect and a meaningful contract.

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