Participation in Committees, Membership Meetings & Events
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, and wish you all the best as we gear up for another great holiday season this December.
This time of year we always look back on the year, its ups and downs, and plan forward for the next year. At our last Membership meeting on November 11, we had a discussion about making more of these meetings, increasing attendance, and our sense of community in our local. After a discussion of how member participation is how we really make our union stronger, one member who had just joined this year commented: “Ask not what your union can do for you, but what you can do for your union…”
We carried this discussion on to our next Executive Board meeting, and from this arose plans to build new standing committees with the purpose of bringing our union more together and getting more done. We are beginning with a Member Engagement Committee to help schedule and plan our Membership Meetings and Orientations, and develop them into really special events. Our first of these is scheduled for the morning of February 22. We are looking for folks to help come up with ways to program the events so they bring special opportunities to our members, along with access to union business, discussion and fellowship. Please contact me or Frederick Nichelson, who has volunteered to chair this committee as we get it going. Let us know soon, as February 22 will be here sooner than we all think!
In addition we will be putting together other standing committees to help us bring folks together with shared interests and passions, all to make our Union better. It will never cease to be true that our greatest asset in this union is you, with all the talents and energy you have.
We will also be continuing our community reach-out events that we began last year. After our amazingly successful Musicians in the Park Concert that we put on last spring, we intend to schedule more of these events to showcase our members, and reach out to musicians who may not even be aware of what we do and who we are. It also helps to solidify our relationship and profile with the arts community. We will have more specifics about the dates of these soon.
Our next Meet and Greet is now scheduled at the Patterson-Appleton Center in Denton for February 6. We have had two events at this center so far, and it provides a great opportunity to speak to musicians in the Denton community and up and coming musicians who are at school in Denton – UNT, TWU, etc. I am currently in conversations about going to speak at the schools to students about our union and its place in the musical profession, in and around the time of this Meet & Greet + Jam Session.
One thing is certain, for any and all of these initiatives to work, we need the participation of our members. There is no more important role of participation than in the democratic nature of our society itself. As we are moving into an important election year, locally and nationally, we will also be forming a political committee to study how our unon can best participate in the work to represent musicians in government, from developing more support for TEMPO to raising a greater awareness of political issues that directly affect musicians.
It will also be an important year for Local 72-147, as nominations and elections will be held for all the officers, Executive Board members and delegates to the AFM Convention in the fall of 2020. We will be reaching out more and more for help and participation. Certainly, there is no truer time to ask, “what you can do your union.”
My best to everyone this holiday season!