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 6, 2019Jay Blumenthal - Secretary-Treasurer
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.
It’s been a long journey to get to this point but it feels great to be settling into a new, bright, and comfortable space. It makes you feel good to walk through the entry doors with our AFM seal prominently displayed. We have a beautiful reception area with two built-in wall display cases for AFM memorabilia. Also, we are now blessed with two conference rooms (an eight-person and a six-person). This allows us to have negotiations in the boardroom with the conference rooms available for caucuses.
We are located at Times Square—the crossroads of the world. Most visitors to New York City do make it to Times Square, so visiting the AFM should be very convenient. As I said in an earlier column, this is your new home. I’m happy to give you a guided tour, time permitting. I truly look forward to seeing you.
Our auditors worked assiduously to finish our annual audit so we were able to complete and upload our LM-2 report to the Department of Labor. The audit information is needed for the 2018 AFM Annual Report, which should be at the printer by the time you read this column. Year-end 2018 is our second consecutive year showing strong financial results. It’s really not rocket science. Building new revenue streams and maintaining existing ones, while keeping expenses in check wherever possible, leads to a healthy bottom line.
The 2018 AFM Annual Report and the convention Recommendations and Resolutions book have been formatted and we await their return from the printer. The 101st AFM Convention delegate credentialing is well underway. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Assistant Secretary Jonathan Ferrone at email@example.com. The 101st Convention dates are June 17-20 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino in Nevada. Registration is Sunday, June 16 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Monday, June 17 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The AFM has negotiated preferential rates with the Westgate Resort and Casino. The hotel rate will be $99/night + $20/night resort fee + 12% tax. Room reservations can be made by calling Westgate reservations at 1-800-635-7711 and providing the AFM’s special reservations code of SAFM9R.
I would like to thank all of you for being so understanding during our move to the ninth floor. When large organizations move, there are bound to be some hiccups. We certainly had our share. Our telephone lines, which come up from the basement of our building, were unintentionally cut. Getting the lines restored took some time. Your understanding and patience was deeply appreciated. Thanks again!