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History of the American Federation of Musicians

In the mid-1800s musicians in the United States began exploring ways to improve their professional lives. They formed Mutual Aid Societies to provide members with loans, financial assistance during illness or extended unemployment and death benefits. A number of these organizations became early unions serving various constituencies, but problems arose between them due to competition. In 1896, delegates from these organizations gathered at the invitation of American Federation of Labor (AFL) President Samuel Gompers to organize and charter a musicians’ trade union. A majority of the delegates voted to form the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), representing 3,000 musicians nationally. They resolved: “That any musician who receives pay for his musical services, shall be considered a professional musician.” Within its first ten years, the AFM expanded to serve both the US and Canada, organized 424 Locals, and represented 45,000 musicians throughout North America.

The AFM Today

Every day, the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada helps thousands of musicians just like you. We are the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians. Whether negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying our legislators, the AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape.

The Denver Musicians Association

The Musical Protective Association of Denver was formed in 1890.  In 1897, Local 20 was chartered by the American Federation of Musicians. The name was later changed to Denver Musicians Association.

Today, the 650+ professional musicians of Local 20-623 live and work in parts of Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. Through the combined efforts and resources of our members, the Denver Musicians Association is committed to raising industry standards and positioning professional musicians in the foreground of the cultural landscape.

Location

The Denver Musicians Association
AFM Local 20-623, AFL-CIO


10395 West Colfax, Suite 210
Lakewood, Colorado 80215

(303) 573-1717

Copyright 2015 Denver Musicians Association

Denver Musicians Association is a 501(c)5 non-profit organization. 10395 West Colfax, Suite 210 - Lakewood, CO 80215

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