Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF)

Music! Live! And free! That’s what MPTF is all about

From small town to major metropolis, hundreds of thousands of these live musical programs take place every year in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Canada. These concerts are funded by U.S. and Canadian recording companies. The MPTF is financed by money that the Fund receives from the recording industry through a formula calculated on the sale of phonograph records and recorded tapes. A small percentage of the sales is contributed to the Fund after 38,000 units are sold. These moneys are used to compensate the musicians at rates determined by local Trust Fund Committees.

The MPTF is independent of the union and is administered by a Trustee who is named by the U.S. Secretary of Labor. The Trust Fund sponsors performances that are open to the public without charge. All kinds of ensembles are sponsored by the MPF, including symphonic bands and orchestras, chamber music, dance bands, jazz and rock combos and soloists. Performances take place in parks, concert halls, schools, hospitals, senior centers and other locations. The summer is the busiest season for MPTF jobs, but there is activity all year long.

In order to provide the best possible music, the MPTF allots work to set groups. This policy was established by the Fund’s Trustee, and it is adhered to by Local 802. Each state receives a Trust Fund allocation for its geographical area based on the membership of professional musicians in the entire state. Local 802 requests funds from the New York State allocation for performances in its jurisdiction of New York City and Long Island. Local 802 has the right to bid for the available funds in New York State, and the “bids” or projects are judged and awarded on the basis of excellence within the MPTF guidelines.

To allow the money to reach as far as possible, the MPTF requires co-sponsorship of its engagements. Co-sponsorship requirements continue to be a minimum of 50 percent, but obviously the higher the level of co-sponsorship, the more likely programs are to be approved. Most jobs receive funds from municipalities, corporations or other institutions, with up to 70 percent paid by co-sponsors. A co-sponsor’s deposit of 20 percent must be deposited in the MPTF account before a program is performed, except in the case of municipalities, where contracts for payment are acceptable.

To obtain an application for funding or for more information, call Marisa Friedman at (212) 245-4802, ext. 130, or e-mail mfriedman@local802afm.org.