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.
June 1, 2022Alfonso Pollard -
Launched in 1961, the AFM Taskforce for Employment of Musicians Promotional Organization (TEMPO) Fund, is the US restricted, nonpartisan political action fund established by the AFM International Executive Board, and designated to support members of both federal, state, and local legislators. For over 60 years, we have depended on these champions to support the causes of professional musicians both in the US Congress and state capitols across the country.
However, the real champions of the fund are AFM members who voluntarily and generously give to the TEMPO Fund to support the overwhelmingly expensive campaigns of Democratic, Republican, and Independent members of the various legislatures. Member generosity helps continue our legacy and move the work of our union forward.
For decades, many of you have been regular supporters of the fund, giving consistently and reminding your AFM colleagues of the fund’s importance. We thank you for that! We honor you. We want you to join us in celebrating some of our more senior union members whose decades-long work ethic stands out, helping to keep the fund buoyant and relevant.
Honoring One of Albuquerque’s Own
We have celebrated some of our more senior members before. Notably, on May 17, Local 618 (Albuquerque, NM) President Tracey Whitney, honored member Ted Rush for his approximately 70 years of exemplary service to the AFM as a member musician, activist, and one of the primary TEMPO advocates. He has worked with the fund almost since its inception.
On that special evening, members of the local gathered to celebrate 96-year-old Rush’s historic, selfless work. AFM President Ray Hair thanked Rush for his dedicated service and the AFM National Legislative-Political Office awarded him a plaque for his meritorious service to our TEMPO Fund. Rush’s daughter joined the ceremony, traveling all the way from London, England, to be by her dad’s side.
We also recognize the diligent work of our national TEMPO Chair and Local 94 (Tulsa, OK) Secretary-Treasurer Tammy Kirk—along with local officers and members in AFM locals in Detroit, Chicago, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Tampa, Washington DC, Portland (OR), Nashville, Spokane, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Orange County, and many others. Their efforts are greatly appreciated.
The Tangential Effects of Your Generosity
The Federation works hard to give recognition to members who go above and beyond for the good of our organization. It is estimated that AFM members have contributed more than $7.8 million cumulatively to this nonpartisan fund in support of your careers since its beginning. The AFM TEMPO Signature Program began in 2014 to refresh and rebrand the 60-year-old TEMPO program. It has raised over $97,000 in nine years.
This is just one tool your union uses to advance and support your career. The solidarity behind these voluntary contributions is extraordinary. It is an excellent example of how the work of a few reflects positively on the lives and careers of all of us and our families. Thank you all for your invaluable membership and for your most generous gifts.
Disclaimer: This article is not a solicitation for a contribution. AFM TEMPO makes contributions and expenditures in federal, state, and local elections. You must be a member of the union’s restricted class to contribute. All contributions are voluntary, and an individual member may refuse to contribute without any reprisal. We regret, AFM members from Canada are prohibited from contributing to this US based fund.