Lew Waldeck was a tuba player with the New York City Opera Orchestra who had a pivotal role in the formation of the AFM Symphony Department (now the Symphonic Services Division) and served as its first director. After Lew died in 2004, Live Music Awareness, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with ties to the Musicians’ Association of Hawaii, Local 677, established the Lew Waldeck Fund to promote and fund the kinds of labor-related projects and activities that Lew advocated during his lifetime.
With the recent passing of longtime ICSOM and AFM SSD counsel Lenny Leibowitz, Live Music Awareness has renamed and expanded the Lew Waldeck Fund to become the Lew and Lenny Legacy Fund. The mission of the Lew and Lenny Legacy Fund is to inspire, incite and fund progressive union activities and projects within the symphonic and labor communities.
As funds allow, the Lew and Lenny Legacy Fund seeks to engage in projects such as:
- The restoration, enhancement, and duplication of various union-related educational audio and video material of Lew Waldeck
- The filming and the production of a comprehensive video library of historical orchestra growth and struggles, as told by the local labor activists and pioneers
- Assisting meaningful internal organizing projects within orchestras and locals
- Assisting orchestras involved in public relations projects
- Training musicians in developing lobbying/political skills
- Educating incoming symphonic members about subjects such as orchestra labor history and labor in general.
The Lew and Lenny Legacy Fund is currently discussing with ICSOM, OCSM, and ROPA a project that would fund sending one of their representatives each year, on a rotating basis, to a Labor Notes conference, a highly energetic training camp for labor activists. This year’s Labor Notes conference will be held in Chicago May 4–6. Further information about Labor Notes and the conference can be found at www.labornotes.org. Anyone wishing to nominate someone to attend the Labor Notes conference or having questions should contact ICSOM Chairperson Bruce Ridge.
ICSOM delegates and members of ICSOM orchestras are encouraged to contribute to the Lew and Lenny Legacy Fund. Those who would like to contribute may do so through PayPal at www.livemusicawareness.com or may send checks payable to Live Music Awareness to:
Live Music Awareness
c/o Musicians’ Association of Hawaii
949 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814