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, 2018IM -
Author Bruce Ridge, a member of Local 500 (Raleigh, NC) served as chair of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) from 2006 to 2016. During that time of economic upheaval and social change, when orchestras were besieged with lockouts and bankruptcies, many people questioned the symphony orchestra’s value to society.
To this environment, Ridge brought an eloquent, positive message, embracing connection through social media, highlighting the value of musicians to their community, and promoting the healing orchestral music can provide. These essays and speeches recount ICSOM’s expanded role under his leadership as an advocacy organization. He addresses topics both global and personal, from the role of arts education in society to the challenge of maintaining mental health in a stressful profession. This collection of writings serves as a remarkable journal of advocacy on behalf of our symphony orchestras.
Last Year’s Words, and Next Year’s Voices: Essays and Speeches from a Decade as Chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, by Bruce Ridge, www.lulu.com.