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.
July 1, 2019IM -
by Joe Parente, outgoing AFM IEB member and former President Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA)
Fourteen years ago, as I packed my bags for the AFM Convention, I decided to run for the International Executive Board (IEB). As a local union officer and a long-time delegate, I had attended numerous prior conventions believing then, as I do now, that every local should attend the convention. My decision to run for the IEB was primarily motivated by my desire to fight on a larger scale for the rights and welfare of all members of the AFM, particularly small and mid-size locals, and a desire to participate in the process of strengthening our Federation and moving it forward.
That 2005 convention was both hectic and exciting. While campaigning for a spot on the IEB, I had the opportunity to speak with—and listen to—delegates from all corners of the AFM jurisdiction, hear about the concerns of musicians of every type and locale, and learn what an IEB member can do to help members and the Federation itself. To my pleasant surprise, I was elected to office and thus began my first of multiple terms as a member of the AFM IEB.
It has been my honor and privilege to serve on the IEB, and I am proud of all that has been accomplished over the past 14 years. However, after considerable thought, I decided to not run for re-election and to step down at the conclusion of my current term.
If I had to boil down my parting message to one word it would be this: Participate. It is critically important for every local to participate in and attend the convention. I worry about the decline of locals attending the convention and various conferences. Every musician should have a voice in the AFM, but that can only happen if locals participate and delegates speak up. When locals decline to attend the convention, the result trickles down to its membership—the members of an absent, non-participating local have no voice in the important policies and procedures discussed and agreed upon by delegates that guide the business and actions of the AFM.
If I had to boil down my parting wish to two words, they would be these: Maximum participation. It is my wish that every local sends a delegate to every future convention. That is core to the unity of our membership and for the AFM to thrive. The Federation gets its strength from its locals, and every local and member benefits from a strong Federation.
While I am embarking on a new stage of my life, this is more of a “see you later” than a “goodbye”: I remain available to help my fellow musicians and AFM members—I am only a phone call or email away. I wish all of you, the incoming IEB and the AFM, a future of success, prosperity, and progress. Thank you for an incredible and gratifying experience.