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, 2023Heather Boehm - Theatre Musicians Association President and Member of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL)
AFM Local 8 (Milwaukee, WI) and the new Theatre Musicians Association (TMA) Wisconsin regional chapter hosted the 28th Annual TMA Conference in Milwaukee. Notable as the first in-person conference since 2019, this August’s conference was also the best attended conference in TMA’s history.
Delegates from TMA chapters around the country were joined by the AFM President Tino Gagliardi, AFM Legislative and Political Director Alfonso Pollard, AFM Touring/Theater/Booking Director George Fiddler, Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians (OCSM) President Bob Fraser, International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) Chair Meredith Snow, Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) President Stephen Wade, as well as AFM local officers and members of the AFM International Executive Board. (AFM Secretary-Treasurer Ken Shirk was unable to attend and sent a letter.)
The TMA titled officers summarized national issues. TMA Director for Travelers Angela Chan gave a comprehensive look at touring issues. Further highlights of the first day were reports from Meredith Snow (ICSOM) and Robert Fraser (OCSOM), discussing the intersection of our interests. The TMA chapter directors gave engaging reports on local theater happenings. They shared their experiences in preparing for theater negotiations and discussed common ground among pit musicians.
A highlight of the afternoon was an in-depth case study on the successful initiative for expanded orchestration of The Lion King at the Kennedy Center presented by the AFM IEB member and Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) President Ed Malaga and TMA Washington, DC/Baltimore Chapter President Patrick Plunk. Conference attendees enjoyed dinner at Mader’s German Restaurant at the end of day one.
After the board started early in executive session, the second day of the conference opened with comprehensive reports by Alfonso Pollard and TMA Director for Members at Large Lovie Smith-Wright. The rest of the TMA chapter reports were followed by thought-provoking addresses by Stephen Wade (ROPA) and Recording Musicians Association Los Angeles (RMALA) President Christopher Anderson-Bazzoli. The nomination and election of TMA officers followed.
All attendees took part in “Pamphlet B Issues and Solutions,” a roundtable discussion of pathways to improve communication, education, and information sharing at every level. Afterward, standing committee reports from the Travelers Caucus, Legislative, and Conference committees were given. Later in the morning, we held the installation of officers and adjourned.
TMA welcomes participation and involvement from theater and touring musicians on the road. Visit www.afm-tma.org for more information.