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.
November 1, 2022IM -
by Heather Boehm, Theatre Musicians Association President and Member of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL)
There is a lot to report from the Theatre Musicians Association (TMA). We’re deeply engaged in our mission: “… to promote the respective interest of theatre orchestras and their member musicians, both full-time and part-time; both local and traveling; to enhance communications among these theatre orchestras and their locals; to exchange information and address problems of mutual concern; and to pursue any other activities conducive to the general welfare of its members in accordance with the Bylaws of the AFM.”
In August, we held our 27th Annual Conference virtually—hopefully for the last time—on Zoom. It featured discussion and presentations from AFM President Ray Hair, AFM Secretary-Treasurer Jay Blumenthal, AFM Legislative-Political Director Alfonso Pollard, AFM Diversity Committee Chair and TMA Member at Large Lovie Smith-Wright, Local 802 (New York City) President Tino Gagliardi, AFM Touring/Theatre/Booking Division Director George Fiddler, and AFM Organizing and Education Director Michael Manley.
Each TMA director gave a report on their traveling, city, or regional chapter. DEI Consultant Tania Richard joined the roundtable discussion “Playing Shows with Challenging or Triggering Content.” TMA Chicago Area Chapter Secretary-Treasurer Trevor Jones and Board Member Chuck Webb led a side-by-side playing opportunity and subbing workshop at Chicago State University on August 8. It was held in partnership with the South Side Jazz Coalition, with support from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, as well as the AFM Freelance Services Division.
We were joined by International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) Chair Meredith Snow, Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians (OCSM) President Robert Fraser, Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) President Stephen Wade, Recording Musicians Association (RMA) President and Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) Vice President Marc Sazer, and RMALA President Christopher Anderson-Bazzoli.
We held our titled officer and delegate elections for the coming year. Special thanks to the conference committee: TMA Philadelphia Chapter Director Sue Lerner of Locals 21 (Wilmington, DE) and 77 (Philadelphia, PA), Patrick Plunk of Locals 40-543 (Baltimore, MD) and 161-710 (Washington, DC), Tony D’Amico of Locals 9-535 (Boston, MA) and 198-457 (Providence, RI), our indefatigable Secretary-Treasurer Mark Pinto of Local 9-535, Vice President Bob Suttmann of Locals 77 and 802, and Legislative Committee Chair Paul Castillo of Locals 47 and 353 (Long Beach, CA).
The AFM’s Pamphlet B/SET agreement Health and Safety Protocol negotiations are ongoing. The Pamphlet B Survey Committee—Matt Brown of Local 802, Julie Ferrara of Local 802, Katie Holmes of 256-733 (Birmingham, AL), Kane Mathis, Kevin McNaughton of Local 389 (Orlando, FL), and Eric Stockton of Local 802—has been hard at work over the last few months preparing a bargaining unit survey with Michael Manley. The Federation will commence full negotiations with Disney Theatrical and the Broadway League in Summer 2023 for a successor Pamphlet B/SET agreement.
Since January 2022, TMA presented five roundtable discussions on electronic replacement with chapters in Washington, DC/Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pacific Northwest, and San Francisco. We look forward to upcoming presentations for our Boston and Southern California chapters. TMA thanks our sister player conferences ROPA, ICSOM, and OCSM for the opportunity to speak with your delegates over the summer. We also spoke at the Eastern and Western Conferences. We thank the AFM International Executive Board for the opportunity to join the June meeting to discuss current theater issues.
During the coming year, we hope to deepen our relationship with musicians across the Federation. We will continue to establish new chapters from our members at large in order to build a bigger table at our monthly board meetings and expand representation for traveling musicians. TMA will continue to support theater musicians across the country by providing a sense of community and empowering negotiation committees with shared resources and contract data.
The greatest resource we have is our members, and we welcome all perspectives. There’s never been a more important time to join TMA. I hope you’ll consider joining and helping to empower our community of theater musicians with your voice. Please reach out if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do for you.