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.
April 1, 2021Dan Beck - Trustee, Music Performance Trust Fund
In anticipation of returning to a more community-oriented lifestyle and the resumption of traditional live music performances, the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) has significantly increased its grant budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, beginning on May 1. This expanded grant budget comes with some caveats and flexible planning due to the continuation of the COVID-19 virus and its impact on live music performances. This grant budget has been set at $2.2 million, the largest MPTF grant budget in over a decade, and follows a difficult year when locals were only able to seek just under $1 million in grants.
Grants will be available at 100% for livestreaming, MusicianFest, music education, and community events through July 31, 2021. Beginning August 1, community events and music education events for the fall school term will be funded at 50%, requiring a 50% local co-sponsor. It is anticipated that live music performances, particularly outdoor events, will return to some level of normalcy by that date. The Trust Fund will continue to monitor the impact of the virus for any setbacks or delays in seeing live music flourish again. All funds for all grants, including MusicianFest, will be applied against the local’s allocation. As in past years, this helps locals plan for full use of their allocation over the entire fiscal year. Unused grant funds by non-participating locals will be re-appropriated to help support events that might exceed very small local allocations.
If you are interested in creating an MPTF funded performance, you must contact your union local for approval. The local then applies for each grant against its allocated annual budget. The MPTF does not accept direct grant proposals without the involvement of a local union office.
It is essential for locals to re-engage community co-sponsors, to multiply the impact of MPTF grants, and to re-establish the spirit and intent of the nearly 75-year-old Trust Agreement. The MPTF is supplying digital and hard-copy brochures to help union locals to introduce the availability of MPTF matching funds to bring the energy, vibrancy, and quality of life that live music events can bring back to your area. The Music Performance Trust Fund is planning to continue livestream performances even as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
The MPTF has hosted and funded over 500 livestream performances from across North America since June of last year. Musicians and music enthusiasts alike are encouraged to visit the MPTF Facebook page where these performances can be viewed. Please “Like” and “Follow” our page: www.facebook.com/MusicPerformanceTrustFund.
In addition to the local allocations, the MPTF will be continuing the Music Family Scholarship initiative this year, which is open to the immediate family of AFM members. The scholarship grants will be separately funded and will not impact local grant allocation budgets. An announcement to launch this year’s essay scholarship will be forthcoming.
We look forward to a year when live music returns triumphantly to an audience that is even more appreciative of the musicians who perform it!