By Christina Ottaviano
The last couple of months have brought extraordinary change to the music industry. While there is much yet unknown about what lies ahead, the Atlanta Federation of Musicians is making every effort to adapt and prepare for an uncertain future. Office operations continue as usual, albeit remotely, with the dual goals of directing resources to the immediate needs of our membership and emerging from this crisis stronger than ever!
Among the initiatives we’ve been pursing is an earmarked fund for COVID relief for Georgia Musicians within MusiCares. To date, over $10,000 has been contributed to the fund with $5,000 of that being matching contributions from Local 148-462. If you’d like to contribute to this fund, you may do so at www.gofundme.com/GeorgiaCOVID-Musician-Relief-Fund. If you are in need of aid, you can apply for these funds by filling out the application at www.grammy.com/musicares.
In conjunction with the national office, we’ve been working with Local employers to establish a path forward in this new landscape. The American Federation of Musicians’ Electronic Media department has been working hard on solutions for this unexpectedly abrupt transition to digital performance, and talks are underway throughout the country to help our members and employers continue work in the digital realm. While there is no knowing what the timeline will be, The AFM is prepared to continue these conversations through the transition back to the concert hall.
As we continue to address the challenges of the present, we also have an eye toward the post-pandemic world. 2020 is an election year for Local 148 -462, and we encourage all of you to consider running for the office of your choice. Your voice is more important than ever in determining the direction of our Local. Nomination notices will be in your mailboxes later this month with more information on how you can participate.
A new website launch is on the horizon for late this summer. We are very excited to be rolling out an entirely new interface, complete with a repaired and improved directory, and a more intuitive and informative member portal. You may have noticed the Logo update in the header of this Podium, which is a small part of this project.
While in many ways this is a time with more questions than answers, our membership is working together to chart a course. There is no shortage of energy, creativity, and initiative among us, and one way or another, the music will play on.