Category Archives: Features

New Study Finds Unions Increase CA Worker Earnings by $18.5 Billion Annually

The Union Effect in California #1: Wages, Benefits, and Use of Public Safety Net Programs is the first report in a three-part series that explores how unions improve the lives of all working people in California, both union and non-union members.

These findings are publishing as the U.S. Supreme Court just handed down a ruling in Janus v. AFSCME that threatens to weaken public sector unions. Continue reading

Legacy of a Leader: Serena Kay Williams

Secretary/Treasurer Emeritus Serena Kay Williams holds Local 47 dedication day programs from 1950 and 2018, both of which she attended. (photo by Tom Pease)

Serena Kay Williams made history as the first woman officer of AFM Local 47 when she was elected Secretary in 1984, a position she held until her retirement in 2007. Here we recall her legacy as a trailblazing musicians advocate and union leader.

Serena Kay Williams was born April 9, 1921 in Kansas City, Missouri. Serena’s father, who was born in Liverpool, England, came from a musical family. In fact, Jascha Heifetz was her grandfather’s nephew. Her mother, who came from Russia, also counted many artists in her family. Serena’s parents owned a deli in Kansas City. Their cooking was so renowned that her father was crowned the “Chili King of Kansas City” using her mother’s recipe.

When Serena was 4 her parents moved to Los Angeles because of her mother’s health. Serena cared for her mother, who was very ill, and even was issued a special driver’s license at the age of 12 so she could take her mother back and forth to the hospital. Continue reading

‘Make It in the USA’ Video Contest Winners Announced

A powerful hip hop anthem about the pride a man takes in a long day’s work. A haunting ode to the hands that built American industry. A fast-paced celebration of American-made products. And a passionate plea for companies to invest in the USA. These are the four winners of the United Auto Workers’ “Make it in the USA” contest, which called on entrants to create videos focused on the value of manufacturing and buying products domestically.

To see the winning videos and learn more about the contest, click here. Continue reading

A Truly Grand Opening

(Linda A. Rapka)

Close to 300 musicians, dignitaries and friends turned out on the evening of May 21, 2018 for the official Grand Opening Dedication Ceremony to commemorate the new home of American Federation of Musicians Local 47 at 3220 Winona Ave. in Burbank.

This past summer, our union began our relocation from Hollywood to a beautifully renovated building in Burbank. With Phase 1 of construction recently completed, we were ready to celebrate in style! Continue reading

John Acosta to be Honored at Black Business Association ‘Salute to Black Music’

We are proud to announce that Local 47 President John Acosta will be honored by The Black Business Association, the oldest ethnic business organization in the State of California, at its annual Salute to Black Music Awards Dinner.

Held in recognition of African American Music Appreciation Month, this year’s theme is “The Business Behind the Music.” The event takes place Tuesday, June 19 at the California African American Museum. A reception opens at 6 p.m., and the program commences at 7 p.m. Continue reading

Looking for Health Insurance?

Special Enrollment might be the answer. The Actors Fund can help

Questions about Covered California or Medi-Cal? Wondering what changes are happening with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Do you still need health insurance or face a penalty for being uninsured? How can you get health insurance before the next Open Enrollment?

The Actors Fund’s Health Services program can help answer these questions. Remember The Actors Fund assists everyone in the performing arts and entertainment and that includes musicians. Continue reading

Looking for health insurance?

Looking for health insurance? Special Enrollment might be the answer. The Actors Fund can help.

Questions about Covered California or Medi-Cal? Wondering what changes are happening with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Do you still need health insurance or face a penalty for being uninsured? How can you get health insurance before the next Open Enrollment?  Continue reading

Lucia Micarelli: Balancing life on the concert stage and the scoring stage

Violinist and sometime-actress Lucia Micarelli not only adapts well to change, she thrives on it. Born in Queens, New York, to a Korean mother and Italian-American father, by 3 she was already immersed in dance, piano, and violin. After moving to Hawaii at age 5, she debuted as a soloist with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra a year later. In 1994 she left Hawaii and returned to New York to attend the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, where she studied violin for seven years. Following her education, Lucia was asked to join a number of tours and is known for her performances with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Jethro Tull, Josh Groban’s “Closer and “Awake” tours, and with Chris Botti. In 2010 she obtained two union cards, joining both AFM Local 47 and SAG-AFTRA. In March, Lucia spoke with Overture’s Linda A. Rapka on a break during her live tour promoting her PBS Special, “An Evening with Lucia Micarelli.” Continue reading