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.
December 1, 2021Dan Beck - Trustee, Music Performance Trust Fund
The Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) 2021-22 fiscal year began with a bang on May 1! After more than a year of COVID-19 isolation, professional musicians were ready to gather again and eager to perform. As the world yearned for an end to the pandemic, the commercial live entertainment industry began gearing up, even without full confidence that the crisis was over.
Based on the expectation that finding co-sponsors for admission-free events would be enormously challenging for union locals, the MPTF announced that it would fully fund all engagements for the first three months of the fiscal year. The MPTF further announced a special 100% grant opportunity for Labor Day weekend events, even though community performances returned to a 50/50 matching grant policy on August 1.
The results of these efforts have been enormous. MPTF approved over 1,700 grants and provided in excess of $1.77 million in the first six-months of the fiscal year, including more than $140,000 over Labor Day weekend alone.
Those performances comprised:
Moving forward, the MPTF will continue to fund live stream grant projects with a cost of $5,000 or less at 100% throughout the winter months, while live audiences may still be restricted in various regions of the U.S. and Canada. This is currently available to all locals within their annual allocation. Funding for locals that have met or exceeded their allocation is determined on a case-by-case basis. The MPTF implemented these various grant policy adjustments to ensure equitable distribution of grant funds, within the overall annual allocation budget of $2.2 million for the current fiscal year.
The MPTF and the entertainment community at large eagerly look forward to COVID-19 finally subsiding. We remain excited to continue our work with locals to explore and help them again benefit from the resources of community co-sponsors with the launch of our new fiscal year beginning May 1, 2022. We have designed and produced MPTF brochures to introduce the benefits of community co-sponsorships; these are available to locals upon request. Additionally, the MPTF is working on plans for new event support materials to promote events on location and online.
The MPTF has also provided a supplemental resource for AFM family members in the form of Music Family Scholarships. The program was initiated during the pandemic. It provided an additional $100,000 in both the current and last fiscal years. Awardees were announced in last month’s International Musician.
The MPTF’s documentary film, MusicianFest: Never Too Old also received its second film festival laurel via its acceptance by the LifeFest Film Festival, which is dedicated to showcasing films that reinforce the intrinsic worth of innocent human life and the profound significance of each life. We congratulate the many musicians who made the film so special. The film can be viewed on the MPTF website: www.musicpf.org.
With a staff of five and the support of two independent representatives, the MPTF continues to pursue the mission of enriching lives through music and bringing admission-free live music to communities throughout North America.