American Guild of Variety Artists

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American Guild of Variety Artists
Full name American Guild of Variety Artists
Founded 1939
Members 2,800
Country United States
Affiliation AFL-CIO
Office location New York City, New York

The American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) is an American entertainment union representing performers in variety entertainment, including circuses, Las Vegas showrooms and cabarets, comedy showcases, dance revues, magic shows, theme park shows, and arena and auditorium extravaganzas. There is some overlap between the jurisdictions of AGVA and Actors' Equity.

AGVA was the successor to the American Federation of Actors organized by Sophie Tucker and others in the late 1930s, and affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. In 1939 the AFL dissolved the AFA due to financial irregularities, and issued a new charter to AGVA (although some members went to Equity instead).[1]

When actress Penny Singleton (who had been active in supporting the 1967 strike of the AGVA-represented Rockettes against Radio City Music Hall[2]), was elected president of AGVA in 1969, she became the first woman to be president of an AFL-CIO union.[3] The current Executive President is poet, songwriter, composer, and singer Rod McKuen, who has held the post for the past 19 years.

Its offices are in New York and Los Angeles.

Georgie Award[edit]

AGVA awards the "Georgie Award" (after George M. Cohan) for variety performer of the year. Past winners include:


  1. ^ "Sophie Spanked", TIME July 24, 1939
  2. ^ "Accord is reached in Rockettes strike"; New York Times, Oct. 13, 1967
  3. ^ Singleton biography