Changes at the Music Performance Fund

Membership Alert

Volume CVII, No. 12December, 2007

Change is in the air. If you’ve applied for Music Performance Fund money in the past, reduced funding is making it critical that you apply much earlier than ever before. It’s important that you’re aware of the changes so that you don’t miss any chances to apply for funding. Here are the details.

Most Local 802 members know that funding for gigs has historically been available from the Music Performance Fund for performances that are free and open to the public.

But now, the fund is going through some major changes, mostly caused by losses in the record industry.

In fact, the Music Performance Fund and the record industry have always been locked in a close relationship. Record companies pay a small royalty from each record sale to the MPF. The fund then co-sponsors live music, which creates work for musicians.

Except that now, due to the widespread proliferation of downloading, the Music Performance Fund is losing money.

The fund has determined that instead of relying on the record industry, it must branch out and win grants from major corporations and government arts foundations, like the NEA.

In order to do this, the fund needs creative proposals from musicians in order to show how important live music is.

This is how it affects members of Local 802:

  • In the past, the MPF would dole out a specific amount of money to each AFM local, based on membership numbers. That guaranteed funding will not continue.
  • Instead, the MPF will first determine how much money it has to share with musicians. Then, it will fund specific proposals.
  • Priority will be given to proposals that are likely to win outside grants. Two examples of these kinds of proposals are jazz in the schools, and classical concerts. If you can write proposals for these kinds of performances, you might be able to win funding.
  • As always, gigs must be free and open to the public. Also, as usual, the MPF doesn’t pay you for the entire gig: you must find co-sponsorship.
  • All funding for the period May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2009 will be determined in advance. Now is the time to start planning. The sooner the better.
  • As a Local 802 member, you apply for funding through 802’s MPF administrator, Olga James, at (212) 245-4802, ext. 152. She has all the details.

Whether you’ve never applied for MPF funding before, or if you have applied many times, Local 802 is here to help. Don’t miss out.

For more information on the Music Performance Fund, see