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.
May 16, 2014Sam Folio - former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer
Our financials are being prepared for the annual report. AFM members will be able to read the 2013 Annual Report and the LM reports at AFM.org in early May.
Total current AFM assets: $14,328,749.
All filings were done early and timely. A few years ago, the AFM was in a financial down-spin to the point of possibly going out of business. As you know by following my column, the Federation made cuts and made all possible areas into profit centers. It presented a compelling plan to the 2013 AFM convention. The promises were kept by the AFM International Executive Board (IEB) and the plan was well received by delegates.
You may recall that we owed the relocation fund almost
$3 million. I am pleased to report that we have paid back
$1 million plus interest in 2014 to the relocation fund, leaving only $500,000 due the fund. We are actively pursuing the purchase of space so as to relieve us of $700,000 per year rent and possibly turning rental expenses into rental income. There will be more details on relocation as things unfold.
We saw income over expenses of $670,000. Also, it should be noted that the convention expenses are charged in the year in which the convention occurred, 2013.
Some funds restricted as of December 31, 2013 are: Touring Musicians Strike Fund $936,098 and Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for sick and disabled musicians $606,880.
Detailed financial information is available online. The Federation is healthy once again!
As a closure to this month’s column, I would like to ask AFM members to recruit nonmembers they play with or know into the AFM, whether they are musicians who have let their dues lapse or musicians who have never belonged. Membership is particularly important for any musicians with recordings, downloads, streamings, or any electronic media catalogues. The AFM and other associated funds are collecting money from multiple sources, some of which can only be distributed to members. Other funds are awaiting distribution and can’t be made available due to poor addresses.
If ever there was a time to belong to the AFM it is now. We have millions of dollars pending distribution and other funds from foreign sources that foreign collectives will only forward to members. It is a peculiar position to be begging musicians to join the AFM so that they may maximize their benefits.