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    Letter from SDSA Board of Directors

    SDSA - Tuesday, March 24th

    March 22, 2020
    To our SDSA Community: 
    The shock that we’re all experiencing has led us to realize the importance of our community connection. Our Set Decorators, Business Members & Staff, Buyers, Leads, Set Dressers, Drapers, Artists, Art & Set Dec Coordinators, Student Members—every one of us in the SDSA—is a vital link.
    And we want to maintain contact.
    Isolation will hopefully keep us physically healthy, but we’re a group that thrives when we stick together. We want to open a channel of communication that’s not only from the SDSA Board, but for all of our members to reach out to one another. How can the SDSA support you? 
    We will soon launch a regular virtual SDSA meeting via ZOOM, where we can share our experiences, and enjoy fellowship while we are prevented from gathering together in person.
    Please use the SDSA Facebook Members Forum at
    If you’re haven’t already joined this FB group, just make the request and the moderators will invite you in.
    Look for Social Media posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and please check our website, www.setdecorators.orgBeginning Monday, we will be posting news as it comes in from our Prop Houses, Art Galleries, Floral Designers, Product Placement Houses, and other Business Members about important information, including changing hours, closures and additional updates to the Press/News page:
    Here are some ideas to get the conversation going: 
    • We are used to being very busy. How are you using your time? Is the weirdness of isolation getting to you, or are you honing your home yoga routine, doing some Spring cleaning, or finally learning to cook Japanese food? Are you able to get work done from home?
    Financial impacts:
    • How are you coping with this sudden impact on your finances?
    • Business members: Are there avenues to low-interest loans or business interruption insurance that you’ve discovered to tide you over? How is your staff coping? Are you able to carry any of them, even at reduced wages? Now that business is largely shut down, are you thinking ahead about strategies to ramp up again once that’s possible?
    • Set Decorators and Crew members: Some have reported getting anywhere from two days to two weeks’ pay once the shows and movies stopped prepping or shooting. Some were abruptly laid off with little or no notice. What’s your experience? Have you applied for unemployment—how was that process, is the system able to handle to intense demand?  Kudos to IATSE Local 44’s Board, which has forgiven the next Quarter’s dues. They sent out this crowd-sourced document for mostly LA area information and resources :
    • How can we band together to impact our local, state, and federal governments to include the Film and Television Industry’s freelancers and small businesses in relief programs?
    Student Members
    • Is your program able to continue remotely as you approach the end of the semester? Is online instruction working for you? What about those about to graduate—will you be able to keep on track?
    Community Outreach: 
    • The SDSA supports charities that connect to our Entertainment Industry community. Would you like to check in with those groups and see how their clients are coping?
    • Do you know anyone in our community who is ill, with the Coronavirus or anything else? Can we reach out in support?
    • How can we support our healthcare professionals?
    • A start: Some of our members’ TV shows, like GREY’S ANATOMY, THE GOOD DOCTOR, NEW AMSTERDAM, THE RESIDENT and THE ROOKIE have donated Prop and Set Decoration PPE medical supplies to hospitals, fire departments, and other first responders, including gloves, mask and gowns.
    • If you know any crew members who have the critical N95 masks in their toolkits as part of their safety equipment, or someone who purchased them online in preparation for the crisis, these are in dramatically short supply in hospitals. Please encourage donation of PPE to medical and first response facilities.
    SDSA Website: 
    • Would you like to use some of your downtime to help the SDSA keep our Website current? Examples:
    • We want to enhance our ability to record and post remote interviews. Is this an area of expertise for you?
    • Will you take the time to write that article about your work that you’ve been meaning to do but were too busy to get it done?
    • Would you like to interview a Set Decorator and write about their work?
    • Would you like to participate with a regular podcast from our members and add videos to our Vimeo channel? 
    SDSA Awards: 
    As you know, we’ve had to postpone our Awards, originally scheduled for May 3.We’re hoping for a date in August to honor Mary Ann Biddle with the Lifetime Achievement Award, along with other honorees TBA. Stay tuned as the situation evolves.
    SDSA Budget: 
    The SDSA’s financial status will inevitably be impacted along with everyone else’s, but we’ll keep supporting our supporters, by offering E-blasts gratis about the status of their businesses, and keeping their ads live for 3 months. We can re-evaluate over the summer.
    So, SDSA community... 
    Please do respond with additional ideas for content or actions that from your unique perspective would offer benefit to others in our corner of the Industry.
    Sending you resilience, and offering connection and sincere respect in this time of vulnerability. Let’s be in touch, take care with one another while this all plays out, and stay healthy in this incredibly challenging time.
    Very best regards, 
    SDSA Executive Committee:
    Laura Richarz, President:
    Ellen Brill, Vice President:
    Jon Bush, Treasurer:
    Ellen Dorros, Secretary:
    Gene Cane, Executive Director:
    Karen Burg, SETDECOR Editor:
    Executive Board:
    Natalie Contreras, Board Chair:
    Rosemary Brandenburg:
    Hernan Camacho:
    Mimi Clarke:
    Adrianna Cruz-Ocampo:
    Christina Giovacchini:
    Gia Grosso:
    Chase Helzer:
    Carol Bayne Kelley:
    Corri Levelle:
    Adrianna Lopez:
    Cathy T Marshall
    Nya Patrinos:
    Gene Serdena:
    David Smith:
    JoAnn Vara:
    Board Alternates:
    Melissa Arcaro:
    Kimberly Buckley:
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