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.
April 1, 2021Jay Blumenthal - AFM International Secretary-Treasurer
Beginning with next month’s May 2021 issue of the AFM official journal International Musician, the production will change from Bentley-Hall, Inc. to Method Marketing, Inc. I want to thank Bentley-Hall for the many years of dedicated service and devotion to the production and design of our award-winning magazine.
To be crystal clear, we are leaving Bentley-Hall for two reasons, neither of which is due to any deficiency. We are making this change in order to reduce expenses (which is always an important consideration, particularly now as we face financial challenges due to the pandemic) and to improve synergy with AFM communications. The savings over time are expected to be significant.
With the move to Method Marketing (MM), you will notice there are many familiar names that will be involved with production, marketing, and design of the International Musician. Antoinette Follett, AFM communications director and now the International Musician managing editor, is the owner, communications consultant, and creative director of Method Marketing, Inc. The change to MM will bring the International Musician, AFM website, AFM social media pages, and other communications together in a way we have not experienced for quite some time. Antoinette has over 25 years of communications and marketing experience. She also has many years of hands-on experience with the International Musician, having worked on our magazine previously.
Honore Stockley will be the advertising manager and accounting director. Honore also has previous experience, having worked on the International Musician in the past. The writing and editing team will be comprised of former and current International Musician writers, including Theresa Litz, Cherie Yurco, Meredith Laing, and Stephen Laifer.
As you can see, there is an element of bringing the “band back together again.” I look forward to working with MM and the people I’ve come to know so well from previous experience.
The International Musician Editorial Board (IMEB) remains unchanged. It will continue to draw upon the expertise and experience of the same people as before (except for Antoinette Follett replacing Jason Emerson) and will continue to meet monthly. The IMEB will be involved fully in the decision-making of the IM’s content.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) “conducts both civil and criminal investigations of alleged violations of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and related laws. Additionally, OLMS promotes labor union democracy and financial integrity through adopting and enforcing standards for union officer elections and union trusteeships and safeguards for union assets.” I am pleased to announce that the new director of OLMS is Jeffrey R. Freund. Jeff was a member of the law firm of Bredhoff & Kaiser for over 40 years and served as AFM general counsel for many years. We wish Jeff all the best in his new position at OLMS.
Your local’s Labor-Management Report (LM-2, LM-3 or LM-4) is due 90 days after the close of your local’s fiscal year. If your local’s fiscal year coincides with the calendar year, your LM report is due March 31, 2021. There is no grace period!
If you have insurmountable circumstances that exist due to the COVID-19 pandemic and did not submit your LM report on time, you must contact the Office of Labor-Management Standards immediately to explain your situation and work out with them a date that you will be submitting your report.
The AFM audit is nearing its conclusion. As you can imagine, 2020 was a very challenging year financially. Once the audit is completed (sometime in April), the AFM 2020 financials will be available. The financials will be found in the 2020 AFM Annual Report. The report will be posted on the member side of the AFM website.
Go to afm.org, click on “For Members,” and then “Member Login.” After entering your ID and password, click on the “Document Library” tab and then click on the “Financial Documents and Annual Report” folder.
I would like to acknowledge the passing of Lloyd “Butch” McCausland. Lloyd died January 26, 2021, due to complications of COVID-19. He was vice president of Remo Drum Inc., revolutionized the drum industry, and was known as the face of Remo throughout the music industry. Lloyd organized the “International Drum Month” that led to the creation of the Percussion Marketing Council. He served as a chairman with the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) and received the PAS President’s Industry Award in 1995.