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, 2021IM -
Make Music Day, a daylong musical celebration, attracts every form of music and every kind of musician, amateur and professional alike, from the concert hall to neighborhood events and everything in between. Make Music Day is an open invitation for people everywhere to share the joy of making music on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice.
Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, it is now held in more than 1,000 cities in 120 countries on June 21. In the US, Make Music Day is sponsored by the NAMM Foundation. Events are organized by community groups, media outlets, arts presenters, civic leaders, or anyone who champions Make Music Day.
And while many of the events are geared toward recreational musicians, the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) has been working with locals and organizers to provide grants that pay professional musicians to enhance Make Music Day experiences. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, for example, the local has created multiple Make Music Day events across the city and will provide gigs for 23 AFM musicians in a range of groups that day, from steel drums and world beat to jazz and classical.
“One event we’re participating in will have the Sol Calypso steel drums band performing at a homeless teen residence that houses over 150 teens. Rhythm Band Instruments is donating percussion instruments so the teens will be able to play and keep the instruments—all of which are easily transportable,” says Tracey Whitney, president of Local 618 (Albuquerque, NM). “There is nothing more soul-affirming, after being socially distanced for a year, than making music!”
In Philadelphia, Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA) members will be playing in various locations including Harriet’s Book Store, where the owner is opening her shop that day in support of Make Music Day.
While some are individual performances, other events are specially designed for mass music-making. This year, there will be a global musical memorial to the pandemic’s devastation called “This Moment in Time.” Working with musicians and cultural partners worldwide, massive gongs will be placed in public spaces. At each location, a musician will play the gong for one uninterrupted hour at noon, marking the incalculable loss of the past year.
The nonprofit Make Music Alliance serves to promote music participation, providing tools to help manage events in each community, and foster collaboration, mentorship, and mutual support. More details and schedules of virtual and in-person events can be found at www.makemusicday.org