The American Federation of Musicians, representing 80,000 professional musicians in the U.S. and Canada, is celebrating its 125th anniversary Tuesday. It was founded on October 19, 1896, by a group of musicians who had gathered at the Hotel English in Indianapolis. The hotel isn’t there anymore, but the AFM is still standing strong.
“While technology and the state of the music industry has changed, the AFM’s mission has not,” the union said, kicking off the anniversary. “There have been many challenges and even some defeats along the way, but the AFM has been unwavering in its dedication to working musicians everywhere.
“From the AFM’s fledgling years to now, the issues affecting its members have been vast, including: legislation, strikes, lobbying efforts, federal funding, organizing, financial challenges, updating of agreements and scale, performance rights, payola and regulation, royalty disbursements, diversity efforts, traveling challenges, and competing in a globalized industry.
“The AFM has taken on each and every one of these issues with tenacity, persistence, and a lot of hard work. AFM members continue to benefit from all of these efforts.”
To celebrate the milestone anniversary, the AFM is highlighting its beginnings and recognizing the seven founding locals in a special commemorative supplement to the International Musician (read it here).
The celebration will continue into 2022 as 20 more locals will reach their 125th anniversary next year. The union will hold its 102nd convention in June 2022.