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.
January 7, 2019IM -
by Dan Beck, Trustee Music Performance Trust Fund
The new year presents an opportunity for AFM locals and the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) to begin to regrow our programs across North America and increase our impact on communities. We are in a position to expand our support to performing musicians who influence the cultural fiber that is so vital in every community.
The Trust Fund has survived two decades of slow and painful decreases to our annual grant budgets. Many locals that once actively participated in creating MPTF events now have new leadership that has never experienced our resources. While many locals have continued to enjoy our allocations, many are now relearning about opportunities that are readily available.
The MPTF is adjusting to the new avenue of revenue growth made possible through streaming royalties. We can now collaborate with AFM membership to create new, dynamic events. These events are a source of supplemental income for musicians. They also stimulate the impact of the AFM, its members, as well as the MPTF, upon the social fiber of the arts in cities and towns across the US and Canada.
We have begun to get aggressive in our efforts to put more funding on the streets. Along with continuing to fund current educational programs at 50%, we have offered 100% funding for new, creative, need-based school programs. With this special allocation, we hope to emphasize and prioritize locals who have not been recent MPTF recipients. Although we originally budgeted this additional fund to the tune of $100,000 for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, we are happy to report we have now extended it to $150,000.
We have also raised our participation level to 50% across the board for all other events, including parks, festivals, and other free public events. We believe this level of commitment will provide greater leverage to stimulate proactive involvement from local community sponsors.
Some locals wish to maintain our 30% commitments where local sponsors are already assured. This will help those locals stretch their MPTF allocations most effectively. Additionally, the MPTF has recently offered increased support for new Jazz Appreciation Month events for this coming April. This is on a first come, first serve basis.
The key to our growth is not simply opening up the faucet. We want to expand the use of our funds to create the best quality new programs possible. If our funds seed more participation from other organizations for higher profile events, then everyone wins.
We encourage you to send in photos that demonstrate the impact of MPTF events. When people are informed and see high quality events, new impetus and participation can happen. We have new momentum. Leverage our help to engage your community.
The easiest way to apply for a grant is to seek the assistance of an officer or representative from the AFM local in your geographic area. They are often experienced in the Music Performance Trust Fund application process and can also be helpful in planning and organizing your event.
For more information about the Music Performance Trust Fund visit our website: musicpf.org.