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 30, 2017IM -
Officers and members of Local 71 (Memphis, TN) are proud that their building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in May. According to an announcement from the director of the National Park Service, it was designated under Criterion A in the areas of Entertainment/Recreation and Ethnic Heritage: Black for its association with the “Memphis sound,” the Southern strain of soul music that entered into pop culture in the early 1960s.
“The modest union building exemplifies this world-famous era because its membership included Stax Recording Studio musicians who produced the original austere style, featuring melodic unison horn lines, organ, bass, and a driving beat on the drums,” the announcement says.
Local 71 opened its doors to black musicians in 1949, more than a decade before some of the other AFM locals integrated. The brick building, designed by federation member, trumpet player, and architect Bill Gaskill, has been home to the local for more than 54 years.
Longtime Local 71 member and violist Karen Casey first came up with the idea of pursuing a historic designation for the building. Looking into its history, she discovered that the union is the oldest continuously operated musicians’ union in the country.
Local 71 President John Sprott hopes that the building’s designation as a historic place will help finance needed repairs. As a historic place, for-profit partners could earn tax credits in exchange for help with renovations. Local 71 Secretary-Treasurer Laurie Pratt hopes the building will one day be a tourist destination with a small museum inside.