Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
March 25, 2015IM -
by Dan Beck, Trustee, Music Performance Trust Fund
The inaugural performance featured Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash (member of Local 802) and a performance by noted New York guitarist and singer Richard Frank (member of Local 802) at University Settlement Neighborhood Center. Nearly 100 older adults joined the celebration, singing and dancing to the music of their lives
Music is a powerful connector. For older adults, music can have a positive impact on their mental and physical well-being. That’s why the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF), Film Fund Trust Fund, and National Council on Aging (NCOA) are teaming up to bring live music to senior centers across the country.
MusicianFest will stage up to 500 free performances at senior centers in an effort to bring the positive impact of music into the lives of older adults. Although these are small, solo musician performances, there will be 500 paid performances from these small block grants. They will begin as soon as possible, and are expected to conclude by June 30 of this year. The program has a great potential overall impact for the AFM and the MPTF.
National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) are vibrant community organizations. They serve a diverse group of older adults, from those who are healthy and active to those with multiple health issues. They support seniors on limited incomes who seek access to services and activity to maintain a healthy life. The music and live performances can have significant impact on the lives of these older adults. We are proud to be a resource for putting talented professional musicians in these senior centers.
“I’ve experienced the joy live music can bring to a rapt audience at a senior center, and it’s hard to deny the power of song,” says Maureen O’Leary, program manager of NCOA’s NISC. “We’re pleased this partnership will bring professional-caliber performers into the lives of thousands of older adults across the country.”
The MusicianFest program will be coordinated between the senior centers, NCOA, and the AFM locals. We have great confidence in the AFM’s experience to make things happen and the NCOA has similar confidence in the leadership of their member senior centers.
As you know, the MPTF has had many challenges over the past several years, particularly in the steady and aggressive decline in annual revenue. A big goal of this campaign is to create a high quality, comprehensive program that showcases what the MPTF can do with the talent and organizational abilities of the AFM. (We are still in discussions to expand the campaign to Canada.) We hope to attract a corporate co-sponsor to help us continue this program next year, and perhaps in the years ahead. NCOA has many corporate partners and it is possible that showcasing this campaign could stimulate interest among them.
Although these are small grants individually, we ask the locals to help us in making them a priority to get scheduled and completed successfully. I believe that all of us, working together, can create a collective impact that brings meaningful attention to the work of the MPTF, NCOA, and to the musicians of the AFM who make it happen.
The MPTF’s Vidrey Blackburn and Samantha Ramos have been reaching out to the locals where we have approved NCOA senior centers involved. Should you have any questions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact me directly at 212-391-3950.