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.
May 19, 2017IM -
Three AFM musicians received 2017 Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service in May. Violinist Diane McElfish Helle of Local 56 (Grand Rapids, MI) leads the Grand Rapid Symphony’s Music for Health initiative, which sends symphony musicians into hospitals to assist with patient rehabilitation and support. Since 2002, she has also worked with the String Discovery Ensemble, a violin quartet offering hands-on musical experience to 4th graders. In her 37th year with Grand Rapids Symphony, McElfish Helle also created Grand Rapid’s Upbeat pre-concert lecture series.
In addition to being a violist with The Phoenix Symphony since 1995, Mark Dix of Local 586 (Phoenix, AZ) has been active in educational and health and wellness programs including Mind Over Music (science based string orchestra programs), B-Sharp Music Wellness, and A WONDER Project Alzheimer’s Initiative.
Kansas City Symphony principal flute since 2007, Michael Gordon of Local 34-627 (Kansas City, MO) has worked hard to promote the value of music in his community through Community Connections. He collaborated with Arts in Prison to produce a series of chamber music concerts for inmates at Lansing Correctional Facility. He’s also a board member of the Northeast Community Center, which operates Harmony Project KC, a tuition-free music education program for underprivileged children.
A panel of peer professionals selected the musicians through a competitive nomination process. The awards include a $2,500 grant for each musician and a $2,500 grant to each musician’s home orchestra to support professional development focused on community service and engagement for musicians.