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#3 MFM Open Meeting Minutes Report

Date: February 23, 2016
Location: CA Music Room (NY)
Attendees: 4

MFM Open Meeting, February 23, 2016

7:15 – Sohrab began the meeting with a musical offering.

7:20 – Attendees introduced themselves. Copies of meeting agenda, mission statement & IRS 501(c)6 description were distributed.

7:25 – Sohrab explained a few details of the ambiguity of the legal status musicians have regarding categorize how they will be paid (status as employees, independent contractors, employers, etc.)

7:30 – Sohrab explained more of MFM’s procedures, goals, he explained that while MFM cannot address individual problems, it can address collective problems (e.g. if someone wants health insurance, MFM cannot provide this. But they can provide a referral through the member portal that is being built that is accessible only through members).

7:38 – Previous continued and expanded. “Professional musician” was defined as any musician who either makes their living through music, or aspires to it. “Anyone who lives from music.”

7:47 – Sohrab mentioned some people whose support he is cultivating, including Yo-Yo Ma, David Byrne, Johnny Rotten, Bruce Springsteen, Harry Belafonte.

7:50 – Sohrab brings up why musicians need to organize. The main point he made as that all musicians come to a point where they need help. MFM is attempting to set up a collective where musicians can support each other. “Music is about sharing.”

7:55 – Sohrab mentioned that part of this is for musicians to tell the public that they are professionals. Jimmy Owen mentions that the quality of one’s performance is usually enough to prove their bona fides. Discussion ensued.

8:01 – Emphasis is made that MFM makes no distinction regarding ethnicity, nationality, genre and style, or age group. All are equal, all are welcome.

8:03 – Explaining and discussion discussion about MFM’s IRS status (501(c)6 defining donations/ contributions not being tax exempt. Discussion is made about the difference between MFM’s business model and that of the musician’s Union.

MFM presents only a business league of professional musicians and has the right to be political active and lobby.

8:08 – A photo is taken.

8:09 Sohrab being up again approaching the 1%: to support MFM. Jimmy asked what would be their motive for joining. Sohrab responded “If they have a Heart!”

8:15 – Member’s benefits were discussed.

8:17 More discussion about employee / worker vs. independent contractor. Jimmy Owens speaks about the Justice For Jazz Artists (J4JA) campaign. Discussion of the tax exemption incident (clubs were not legally obligated to pay into union pension fund, despite agreeing to do so).

8:25 – Sohrab announces MFM official endorsers:

  1. Grammy Award winner: Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
  2. David Liebman (musician and educator)

8:31 – Sohrab discusses MFM’s business plan for this year

  1. Work out a business plan which will take another month
  2. Start with workshops for our members with Mark Steiner (founder of GigSalad) in April, David Liebman (jazz saxophonist, educator and writer, ex Miles Davis member) in May, Arturo O’Farrill (afro-latin pianist, band leader and educator) t.b.a..
  3. Organize a fundraiser event – MFM FEST – for end of November/beginning of December
  4. Recruit members
  5. update the members portal
  6. Get financial support by well-known professional musicians
  7. Get endorsed by well-known professional musicians
  8. Get grands, any kind of funding or contributions from other “musicians friendly” foundations or organizations
  9. Invite well-known professional musicians to the board
  10. Make member cards

8:42 – Meeting closed. Discussions continued nonetheless.

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Next Open MFM Meeting This Month!

Date: Monday, January 25, 2016
Location: CA Music Room, 218 E. 25th Street (btw 3rd and 2nd Avenues), New York, NY 10010
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

The first open MFM meeting of this year will be hosted by president and musician Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi and attended by some of the board members. The purpose of this meeting is to let musicians know that they have a “home” in NY. Make them understand that there’s an organization which is run by their own peers who care for them and understand their needs. And it’s about “US” as a business league which is represented by the MFM.

The meeting’s agenda will be announced next week, but following subject will be discussed:

1. Discuss the MFM’s mission and member code of ethics
2. Present opportunities and benefits for members
3. Discuss the importance of pay for gigs

Attending musicians are welcome to speak out about some of their issues

Every musician who reads or hears about this meeting should show up and find out whether he or she wants to be on board. MFM invites you to become a member, because it’s your home – run and financed by you – and only numbers can only make change in our musicians lives.