As COVID-19 ravaged the world with its quick and seamless affront on humans’ immune and respiratory system, musicians and the technicians that support their events have found themselves in a predicament unseen in quite some time. Most have moved to live streaming their performances, setting up virtual tip jars to help offset their lack of funding from gigs. While others are having to stop their dreams to pursue different lines of work. At the forefront is a Union that hopes to provide the tools and protection that can allow musicians to continue and possibly expand their careers. Established in the year of eighteen ninety-six. The American Federation Of Musicians has prospered throughout the years as a Union spanning the United States and including Canada. Providing safety and security to their musicians for two centuries. A brief history of AFM is as follows.
Founded in the year 1896, The American Federation of Musicians became the successor of the National League Of Musicians founded in the great state of Ohio. Being one of the latest in the world to represent musicians, they ushered in agreements, protection of ownership for artists, and the benefits consisting of health care and pensions. In the rise of the 19th century, The Great Depression caused many people out of work, making it difficult for workers to make endeavors in their music career. In 1938 with the advancement of technology new recording and producing techniques improved; allowing the AFM to establish an agreement with motion picture companies. Heading into the early 1940’s there was a nationwide strike in the hopes of securing a more beneficial royalty system for its chartered members. During that time the military brokered a deal with the AFM and their musicians to be recorded on V-discs. V-discs were strictly for military personnel. Artists provided heartwarming messages to the troops and songs of encouragement were spread throughout the ranks of enlisted men. From then onward the AFM has provided support and protection for musicians nationwide. Ensuring their members get a fair shake in the record deals they are agreeing to while also allowing the members to receive support from their peers in whatever genre the member is mastering in.
Presently with COVID-19 The American Federation Of Musicians has provided musicians with encouragement and the tools to receive funding from the Government during these times. While also being at the forefront of lobbying the government for expanding unemployment benefits and an immediate moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs. While being a musician can lead to destitution, having a Mickey Goldmill like AFM in your corner can get you in touch with the right producers while helping usher in a bright and prosperous future. You can find more information through their site at https://www.afm.org/