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, 2019IM -
by Dan Beck, trustee, Music Performance Trust Fund
After two decades of decline, the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) has reached the beginning of a new era of recovery and sustainability. The impact of the most recent labor agreement, between the major labels and the AFM, surfaced just weeks prior to the May 1, 2018 start of the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This provided the opportunity to expand our overall grant initiative and stabilize the trust’s operational base after so many years of deterioration.
Overall grant distribution grew more than 25% from $671,000 in the 2017-2018 campaign to $848,000 this past year. Total events funded also expanded from 1,846 to 2,161.
Our senior center events stayed steady at just more than 500 for the year and our community events maintained at more than 1,000 events. The significant area of growth occurred with our educational outreach. A special initiative to create new school programs was a huge success with the schedule nearly doubling from 251 to 477. This is a dramatic return to the traditional support the MPTF has provided in bringing music into the schools. Even with the significant number of AFM members who are educators, the efforts made by locals throughout the US and Canada was beyond our expectations.
One of our goals is to regrow and expand the geographic distribution of our grants. To that end, 11 locals that had previously not received our grants in several years came back on-board, bringing the total to 105 union locals served by our funding. Our objective is to continue this reconnection to more regions throughout North America.
As our grant budgets continue to grow in 2019-2020, our focus is to expand community events. Leveraging MPTF funds, while partnering with other community organizations and local government, can create positive economic and social change, not just for musicians, but for all. Music matters, and music has the power to create positive energy and growth through festivals and arts programs to engage neighborhoods and municipalities.
We look forward to exploring these new challenges in the coming months. For those attending the AFM Convention in Las Vegas, the MPTF staff will be on hand to discuss ideas and help identify opportunities to put our grant funds to work.