March 16, 2017


President Trump and some members of Congress have discussed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). As outrageous as this may sound to musicians—many lawmakers support this plan.

Many orchestras, festivals and theaters would be irreversibly harmed without NEA support. We need to tell Congress that the NEA is critical to the success of symphonies, theaters, music education, and other arts programs in all 50 states.

Make your voice heard today. Send a message urging your member of Congress to save the NEA.

January 01, 2015

AFM Applauds DOT Release of FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012


New York, NY—December 30, 2014 the US Department of Transportation (DOT) released the long-awaited final administrative rule which fully implements Section 403 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012 – the law authorizing musical instruments as carry-on baggage onboard US air carriers. This historic accomplishment was led by the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada and made possible through efforts by several longtime AFM allies in Congress, as well as AFM Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) officers and rank and file members. The AFM was also assisted by the Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, and by other music industry partners.

During the past year, the DOT has been engaged in dialogue with musicians of the AFM, as well as representatives of airlines and industry associations, to address the difficulties musicians face when traveling by air with musical instruments. Airlines are now required to allow small musical instruments, such as a violin or guitar, to be carried into the cabin and stowed in approved stowage spaces, if available, and/or under the seat.

“We applaud the efforts of Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and our AFM allies in Congress for the new administrative ruling on the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012,” states AFM International President Ray Hair. “For many years, AFM members have been subject to very arbitrary and contradictory size and weight requirements imposed by each airline for musical instruments that are carried on board the airplane or checked as baggage. Airlines will now follow a consistent policy for all musicians traveling with instruments.”

The airlines are now required to train air crews, gate agents, counter agents, and baggage personnel concerning appropriate procedures necessary to comply with all FAA musical instrument transportation policies. The full ruling can be accessed at:   (21 page printable pdf to carry with you)

July 16, 2014

Fair Trade Music Standards Get Good Vibrations

The following article comes bearing good vibes to the national music community! It should be noted that this article originally published in (covering honorable pay for musicians) was NOT written by a musician! Furthermore, Fair Trade Music Seattle gets a little recognition for its accomplishments, as well as Portland. Keep it coming!


Good Vibrations: Towards a Fair Trade Standard for Live Music
By Daphne Carr on July 14, 2014

Remember a time when we didn’t use the words “organic” or “sustainable” during pretty much any discussion related to cultivating resources? That time did exist, but because environmentalists won our minds, we now think about nearly all resource use in ecological metaphors. What would it take for us to have a similar evolution in thought when it comes to labor—specifically musical labor?

Digital media scholar Yochai Benkler has written about borrowing the metaphors from the ecological lexicon developed by environmental activists for mobilization in fights about culture. What metaphors can we use in music to talk about the ethical practices of our community? While it could be a cheeky rhetorical game to use the environmentalist metaphor for musical labor (musicians are the megafauna we want to give a good life in an ideal habitat), I see the most possible action in using the framework of the global fair trade movement to talk about the ethical treatment of musicians.

Fair trade deals with the ethical treatment of labor in the production and supply chain rather than the ethical sourcing of materials, so it works well for a field like music, where the primary product is good vibrations….

KEEP READING this article at

January 30, 2012

Supreme Court Says Congress May Re-Copyright Public Domain Works

"Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday..." Read more

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June 24, 2011

Music Saves Lives

Music National Service aka MusicCorp supports music as a strategy for public good. Launched in 2009 in only four US cities, the city of Seattle is happily represented in this “musical Peace Corps”. MusicianCorps recruits, trains and places musicians in high-need settings in order to strengthen communities, develop 21st century skills (like teamwork, discipline, perseverance, risk-taking, critical thinking, etc.) and spread music wherever music can reach, teach or heal.