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.
October 1, 2022Alfonso Pollard -
For the past 37 years the AFM has led the charge on Capitol Hill to secure funding to keep the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in place. Now, we need your help contacting your senators. AFM members whose employers depend on annual grant allocations from these federal arts funding agencies to help keep jobs alive are encouraged to participate in this critical email campaign to effectively fund the NEA and NEH.
The Arts, Entertainment, and Media Industry (AEMI) Coordinating Committee, of which the AFM is an executive member, is urging the senate to approve $207 million for the NEA and NEH, an amount that was already passed by the House in July. Currently, the draft Senate FY23 Interior Appropriations bill includes only $195 million each for the NEA and NEH.
Many AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees (DPE) affiliate union members in the arts, entertainment, and media sectors earn their living working on NEA and NEH-supported productions, programs, and performances. Even more union creative professionals who currently work in the commercial parts of these industries benefited from the nonprofit arts and media sector’s role as a proving ground to establish their lifelong careers.
Endowing each agency at $207 million ensures that these institutions can continue to support good-paying, family-supporting jobs for creative professionals, including members of DPE unions, in every state and congressional district. Through grants, seed money, and technical support, the two agencies help put people to work on artistic and educational content that is available to Americans of all means, geographies, and abilities. NEA and NEH-funded programs help veterans heal from the invisible scars of war; they inspire the next generation of creators and innovators; and deliver content that unites people across small towns and big cities.
Union creative professionals are credited with making the difference in getting the House to approve $207 million in FY23 funding for the NEA and NEH. “We are going to make the difference in ensuring that the Senate approves this funding level for the arts,” says DPE Assistant to the President/Legislative Director Michael Wasser. “It’s important that we urge the Senate to approve $207 million because Senate appropriators have recommended a lower level of $195 million.”
AEMI also emphasizes that the fully funding of these agencies is especially critical to the recovery of the arts and entertainment industries, as well as to local economies, after COVID-19’s economic devastation.
Union members are encouraged to use the Action Network petition to ask their senators to support $207 million for the NEA and NEH in FY23. You can send a message to members with this link: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-the-senate-to-support-increased-federal-arts-funding or scan the QR code.
The Senate petition is scheduled to run through at least the second week of November and votes are not expected on a full funding bill before the post-election lame duck session.
Thank you for your help and for your valued membership!
It’s a midterm year, and on Tuesday, November 8, all 50 states will elect representatives, 36 states will elect governors, and 34 states will elect senators, along with a wide variety of local and state officials.
Voter mobilization campaigns everywhere can harness the energy created by the wave of worker organizing happening across the country. The AFL-CIO and affiliate unions built the infrastructure to sustain worker outreach and electoral organizing beyond November through 2024, to give working people a powerful voice in the statehouses, the US Congress, and the 2024 presidential election.
Election Protection, is a national, nonpartisan coalition that works year-round to helps voters make sure their vote is counted and provides assistance at all stages of voting—from registration, to absentee and early voting, to casting a vote at the polls, to overcoming obstacles to participation. For assistance with voting participation, a voter helpline can be reached at: 866-OUR-VOTE or www.866ourvote.org.