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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Secretary-Treasurer

jay blumenthal

Jay Blumenthal – AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

    We’re In!

    The long-awaited move to our new office space
    happened April 1. The construction timeline to build out the new space was very
    tight, so things went right down to the wire, which created plenty of angst and
    nail biting. The AFM International Executive Board (IEB) meeting scheduled for
    April 2 was the first official meeting in the new space. While the vast
    majority of the construction work was completed, some work continued into the
    next month. The “punch list” (things needing further attention to make sure
    everything is working properly) will be addressed during April/May.

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    New Directive from USCIS

    The AFM (along with other unions) plays an important
    role in the nonimmigrant visa application process for foreign artists desiring
    to enter the US temporarily to perform and tour. Each application for an O
    or P visa must include a consultation letter generally provided by a labor
    union. There are times a union may find the applicant does not meet the
    criteria necessary to provide a favorable consultation letter. Cases of
    fraudulent use of these letters have occurred where the union’s letterhead is
    copied, dates are changed, and even signatures are forged to acquire the needed
    visas.

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    The Perfect Storm

    In the first half
    of 2019 our New York Office is facing “the perfect storm.” A confluence of
    Federation events, culminating with our June AFM Convention, will be
    challenging to say the least.

    During February
    and March we conduct the annual audit and submission of our Labor-Management
    report to the Department of Labor. While totally normal, this is always a busy
    time that puts our finance department into overdrive. 

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    Union Election Transitions

    In the December 2016 issue of the International Musician, I devoted my column in part to union election transitions. It seems like a good time to revisit the topic. We think of December as the month that brings the year to a close and January as a month that sets the stage for new beginnings. Many union elections take place in December, and from time to time, new union officers are elected to take the reins of their local. On occasion, the election can be preceded by contentious campaigns that leave the outgoing officers feeling unappreciated.

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    Looking Back on 2018 and Ready for an Exciting 2019

    As 2018 comes to a close and we begin a new year,
    it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the past year and plan for what will be
    coming in 2019. All in all, 2018 was not as financially robust as 2017, but I
    am predicting the year will end with a comfortable surplus for the AFM. Of
    course, actual numbers will not be known until our auditors complete their work
    in April.

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