Happy Holidays from AGMA

Published December 22, 2022   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas


We hope the final few days of 2022 are kind to you and that you find some time to rest and recharge.

It's overwhelming to contemplate all we've been able to accomplish this past year at AGMA.

In 2022, AGMA members, supported by negotiating staff, bargained more than forty collective bargaining agreements at signatories across the country, standing together in solidarity to improve the working lives of artists and to change our industries for the better. We organized new bargaining units nationwide; the stage managers at Des Moines Metro Opera and the dancers at Saint Louis Ballet won their unions in 2022, and the dancers at Texas Ballet Theater and Ballet Memphis and the choir at the Philadelphia Orchestra will follow soon in early 2023. 2022 also saw AGMA appoint a new National Executive Director, complete our first-ever demographic census, fight for NLRB funding and tax fairness that will strengthen the labor movement and make life easier for working artists, and open its National Headquarters in New York City. Last but definitely not least, we launched a first-of-its-kind joint labor-management initiative with OPERA America to work to eradicate sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination from the opera industry. 2022 was definitely a year filled with things to celebrate and be very proud of.

AGMA is on the rise and people are taking notice. As a result, we’ve earned an even bigger seat at many tables within the labor world. And we're only just getting started. 

The last few years have been an uneven mix of brutal and beautiful. AGMA made it through the most trying time in the history of the performing arts, and it's been a balm seeing our members return to work at a slow, steady, and safe pace since 2020. There has been tremendous cost, but there has also been joy, community, and hope.

AGMA's strength will always be our members, supported by our elected leadership and professional staff. Thank you for standing up for one another and standing together when it was needed. Thank you for using your voices and platforms. Thank you for being union advocates and recognizing the value of collective power and solidarity. Thank you for calling us in when we've needed to hear it too. We're all learning and unlearning and will continue to improve and grow as a union as we enter 2023.

2023 will be a big year for AGMA, as we administer a national election, debut our new anti-racism modules, continue to confront systemic changes in the performing arts, and work to improve the labor movement, our industries, and our shared world.

We wish everyone reading this a very happy holiday season and a healthy new year! And AGMA Artists: Keep an eye out for information about AGMA's upcoming 2023 State of the Union. 

See you next year, 

AGMA President Ray Menard

National Executive Director Sam Wheeler