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.

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Officers Columns

Here are the latest posts from our officers

AFMPresidentRayHairW

Ray Hair – AFM International President

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    Theater Musicians Association—25 Years of Workplace Involvement

    I’ll have the privilege of attending the 23rd conference of the Theater Musicians Association (TMA) on August 20, at Local 47’s new offices in Burbank, California. TMA is the newest AFM player conference. It began its journey 25 years ago, and is now comprised of chapters organized among locals that negotiate local agreements with theatrical venues and presenters that book Pamphlet B tours.

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jay blumenthal

Jay Blumenthal – AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

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    Two New IM Initiatives for Members

    This month I would like to announce two new initiatives related to the International Musician. A member new recording listing will now be a regular section in the print magazine, (see page 22), plus the Gig Labs email blast will introduce subscribers to new gadgets and gear through a regular e-mail blast and provide a low-cost advertising option for entrepreneur members with products to sell.

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alan willaert

Alan Willaert – AFM Vice President from Canada

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    Union Contracts Strengthen Our Union in the Digital World

    Pour la version française cliquez ici.

    A recent online Rolling Stone article (“Musicians Get Only 12% of the Money the Music Industry Makes,” by Amy X. Wang) suggests that total music spending in the US is at an all-time high, an estimated $43 billion annually. Of that, Wang claims, musicians receive approximately 12%—which is apparently up from 7% in 2000. This huge disparity is blamed on “value leakage,” or more specifically, money siphoned off by various entities who are involved between the recording process and the delivery of content to listeners.

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Other Officer Columns:

Career Pathways: A Potential Bridge to Diversity

John Acostaby John Acosta, AFM International Executive Board Member and President of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA)

Increasing our presence within the community of young musicians throughout the US and Canada should certainly be a major priority for all of us. Increasing awareness of the AFM among younger generations will only improve our ability to recruit new members, expanding and diversifying our ranks.

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In Troubled Times, Stand Up and Fight Back

by Tina Morrison, AFM International Executive Board Member and
Vice President of Local 105 (Spokane, WA)

“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

—Leonard Bernstein’s response to the assassination of John F. Kennedy

We’re in a pivotal time in the history of the United States. We can agree to disagree on many things, but as musicians, we have to acknowledge the great wealth that immigrants brought to our country. The music we make and listen to every day carries the voices of many cultures intertwined to create beauty in the moment. The idea of closing our borders and shutting out the artists of our future is simply not acceptable to me. Families being separated has undertones of ideas and behavior that cannot be allowed. We have to maintain a legal, ethical program allowing for immigration. Compassion should have a place in such decisions.

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Joint Venture Agreement

Are You Using the AFM Joint Venture Agreement to Protect your Intellectual Property?

dave pomeroyby Dave Pomeroy, AFM International Executive Board Member and President of Local 257 (Nashville, TN)

How does it work?

The AFM Joint Venture Agreement is designed for self-contained bands who want to document their recordings and business relationship with a no-cost contract that protects everyone involved. For every successful band, there are many more who don’t make it, and loose ends can come back to haunt you. When you are in your creative and exploratory mode, it’s not always easy to talk business with collaborators. But at some point, it is important to make sure you are all on the same page. A handshake agreement is great until it doesn’t work, and then it really doesn’t work! Along with completing the process of publishing your original tunes, you need to protect the intellectual property rights of your musical performances as well.

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mptf advantage

The MPTF Advantage: Employment, Audience Building, Recognition

The Federation’s recently concluded Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA) has brought new life to both the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund (SPF) and the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF), which are important residual components of that agreement. As music consumption transitioned to streaming, both funds experienced declining revenue due to the precipitous drop in royalties from physical recorded product (CDs, etc.) and digital downloads, which had been the sole sources of revenue for the funds. 

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Official Journal of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada