AMG MEMBERSHIP HANDBOOK
INTRODUCTION AND MISSION OF THE GUILD
My name is David L Cook, and I am the Executive Board President of the Guild. For many years I had been encouraged by my peers to help start an organization that helped artists and protected them from a predatory industry. At first I tried to help other organizations to accomplish this goal, however, it became clear that these individuals did not need my help because their organizations were perfect and why fool around with perfection right? Then after having others misinterpret my offerings I finally said, “enough is enough!” So, on January 1, 2011, I and several of my other corporate friends flung open the doors of the AMG and the wheels were set into motion. Soon we hope to use the term, “The rest is history,” but right now we are too busy making the history!
So, with that said, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome each and every one of you. We hope that you will enjoy being a part of an organization that cares about you as an artist and as a person. Included in this handbook you will find our rules and outlines as to how the Guild functions. You will fully understand what you can expect from the Guild as a member and what we expect from you as a professional. It is my sincerest hope that we will experience many years of service and fellowship with each other and to move the artistic industry back into a place where artists are free of career dangers and pitfalls from unscrupulous practices.
Message from Jimmy Davis, President of the AMG Board of Directors
I would like to take just a moment to welcome you all to the Artists Music Guild. In my history as a musician I have been witness to a great many things that have caused very talented musicians and artists to fall by the wayside. The AMG is committed to helping stop this loss! With our mentoring programs and artists placement, we feel we have a great many things to offer.
As president of the Guild, I welcome each and every member to come to me if they have a comment or concern. We grow when we bind together. The Guild does not belong to me or any one person; it belongs to it’s members! I am committed to making sure that the Guild offers each artist a wonderful place to fellowship, learn, showcase and to thrive. But, I need your help to accomplish my goal. I want to thank all of you who are already members and I wish to encourage those thinking about becoming a member to not procrastinate! The Guild will someday be one of the largest artistic organizations in the country and beyond, so come on board and help us to accomplish that goal!
The Artists Music Guild was established to help in the understanding, appreciation and to advance the contributions of the arts to American culture — from the artistic genius’ of the current day; to the technical legends of the past; and to those still unimagined artistic breakthroughs of future generations. The Guild accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the artistic and cultural community as well as the general public. The Guild works in partnership year-round with artists to bring national attention to important issues such as the value, integrity, protection and impact of the arts and education. We also emphasize the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage for the generations that will follow us.
As the preeminent membership organization for musicians, producers, engineers, dancers, painters, authors and other industry professionals, our mission is to advance artistic and technical excellence, work to ensure a vital and free creative environment, and act as an advocate on behalf of the arts and it’s makers. It is the goal of the AMG to encourage members to help the Guild build an artistic brand, not only as members but as potential owners and partners of the brand. The Guild is not in place to work as a booking agent, manager or career developer, but instead as an organization that networks its members one with another and other industry professionals so that the artists themselves have a better focus on their career and can manage their careers without having to rely on others to do so. The Guild’s main function is to educate and to help artists find the right people to help them meet their career goals.
WHY DO WE ALL PAY DUES?
The Guild functions just like any other business. We offer a great deal of services and we have to pay to operate just like any other business. Not only do our members pay yearly dues, but so do our board of directors and executive board of directors. We pay these to help keep the offices functioning as well as investing into something we believe in. All professional organizations that offer the services we do have dues schedules. You would not be a part of the Grammys, Emmys, CMA’s, Oscars or Tony’s without paying dues.
RULES OF ETHICS
All active and non-active members of the AMG are required to follow the standards of personal, professional & business ethics. Following all applicable laws and regulations are expected by all members. As a member of AMG you are required to hold our values sacred and commit to doing everything within ethical means to assist any member of the artistic community that has made ethical mistakes. The AMG does not condone unethical acts and will not accept any responsibility of said acts. Most importantly, we will stand by our members as they deal with issues that arise. Continuing to make ethical mistakes could be grounds for AMG membership cancellation. AMG members are required and expected to deal with all business endeavors with honesty and integrity at all times.
The Leadership of the Guild realizes that from time to time situations will arise that will need our attention. The Guild is prepared to support its members in many different ways but will never condone dishonesty, gossip, cheating, theft or acts of cruelty toward other artists, fans, employers or any issues of civil infractions that are against the Guild’s rules of ethics and legal accountability.
In a world where the use of social media is prevalent, members should never make negative statements regarding the AMG, its leadership or fellow members in any social network such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Wikipedia or any other such media online or otherwise. Violations of these ethics could result in the revocation of your membership and possible legal actions. (See Conflict section)
In the area of values, the AMG encourages its members to share with and learn from one another by being an active member of the AMG social network and its functions, which consist of its annual convention and other scheduled events. In doing so we shall see an improvement in the skills and maturity of every art group or form involved, thus advancing the overall health and prosperity of our guild and the overall artistic community as a whole.
AMG PARTNERS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS
AMG takes exhaustive steps to align ourselves with business partners that could be beneficial in some manner to all of our members and their businesses. AMG partners and service providers will be held to a very high level of excellence at all times. The beauty of being an AMG partner or service provider is to give you direct access to our artistic body so that you may offer them services that they may need in the furtherance of their careers. The AMG will hold these individuals responsible for any misdealing’s they may have within our community and will work to insure the artist’s safety as well as the safety of the partnering organizations. AMG does not get involved with business dealings between the members, service providers or partners unless there is an issue that can cause harm to the whole organization. Members will be free to negotiate with the providers of their choice through their own Managers/Agents or personally. AMG participation will only happen when requested by one or both of the parties. All matters are to be held in confidentiality at all times. If a person is no longer a member of the Guild or a partner or service provider is no longer accredited by the Guild, all business dealings are to be ceased. Guild Service Providers and Partners are NOT to have any dealings with individuals (which encompass members or service providers) who do not have Guild membership in good standing. Violations of that rule will be cause for immediate cancellation of Guild affiliation.
GUIDELINES FOR AMG ARTISTS
The Guild is designed to assist artists within its membership to demonstrate the ability to create exemplary work in their chosen field. This encompasses individual professionals as well as newbies. These guidelines are established and put in place so that the organization and the member both will have a sense of order within the organization that each are involved with. For those of us who are helping to develop these guidelines we want to release the fear of artists not knowing what is expected of them and reassuring the organization that members will represent the heart of the organization. These guidelines are designed to protect both them and the company. AMG will make these guidelines a mandatory part of membership, with disciplinary implications if they step out of the rules of the guidelines.
A: Membership Dues and Fees
- The Guild requires that all members including active board members to pay dues and applicable fees on a yearly basis.
- These dues and fees are outlined on the membership page of the Guild’s website.
- Failure to pay applicable dues will result in the termination of your Guild membership and participation in any Guild sanctioned functions.
- Membership dues are to be paid no later than the 15th of January in each calendar year.
- All membership dues are automatically renewed on the 15th of January of each year. Credit card information is stored on our server’s platform and the Guild does not retain this information. Cancellation of membership or auto renew must be done in writing to our membership coordinator no less than 90 days before renewal. No refunds will be granted after January 15th for any reason. Members who are charged for membership on January 15th who are wishing to cancel their membership must still submit in writing their desire to cancel. However, their membership will remain active until the following renewal.
- Members who are performing as a group must pay for individual memberships as each person is treated as an individual and qualify for benefits as individuals. Groups with more than 3 members will receive tier pricing per additional member.
B: Participation in Guild functions
- The AMG will hold several functions throughout the year and it is a strong encouragement that all AMG active members attend or support these functions
- The AMG Convention and AMG Heritage Awards will always be held on the second weekend of November and will be housed at the Monroe Crossings Mall located at 2115 W. Roosevelt Blvd, Monroe, NC 28110
- The convention is for the benefit of its artistic members and said members are encouraged to attend the convention in support.
- Members who do not participate or miss three consecutive annual Guild conventions will not be permitted membership renewal.
- Whatever the members talent outlet, the Guild is committed to providing an outlet for that artistic medium at our conventions.
- Requests for convention fee refunds must be made before 90 days of the event or your requests will be denied. (The Guild pays for all of its convention contracts 90 days before the event.)
- Members are responsible for their own expenses such as travel, convention expenses, hotel and food. (Unless otherwise offered)
C: Mentoring in the Guild
- All professional artists who are in good standing will be required to be a part of the Guild’s Mentorship Program. This program is designed in a way that allows all professional level members to have hands on teaching opportunities to those artists in lower level membership groups.
- Members in need of mentoring have the responsibility of contacting responsible board member to officiate proper placement with professional members.
- The purpose of this program is to allow starter artists and artists without formal training the opportunity to hone their skills and learn the values and secrets of the trade that will help them in the years to come through their careers.
- The mentorship program is not to be taken lightly or to be abused by any member.
Professional members may be asked to allow lower level members to help in the following areas:
- Opening concerts when in a specific area
- Help in the sale of product and the setting up of product tables
- Helping in the setting of the stage and performance areas
- Helping to guide in the issues of booking and promotions
- Teaching artists the proper way to dress appropriately for respective artistic outlet
- Suggesting how an artist should address an audience in a concert or artistic outlet setting
- The choosing of proper performance materials
- Teaching and mentoring at public and private schools
- Teaching and mentoring during the AMG conventions or functions
Professional members shall not be permitted to do the following:
- Use or abuse any services of a lower level member
- Suggest anything that may cause an ethical issue or be of wrong character for any member of the Guild
- Engage in any activity that would cause a hardship to the lower level member
- Give any type of legal or career advice that could harm that members reputation or ability to earn a living in their respective field
- Allow a lower level member to act in an inappropriate manner while representing the Guild
- Engage in the rebuke of a lower level member without the council and approval of the Board of Directors
- Divulge or share any information about any artist that is said or shared during the time of mentorship.
- All relationships between the artists and mentors will be governed by the rules of ethics section as stated in this handbook.
Professional members are to be the epitome of respect and honesty. It is the responsibility of ALL professional members to help in a way that builds character in ones craft as well as the Guild.
- All conflicts between Guild members, Service Providers, Board Members or outside issues are to be handled amongst yourselves.
- Should an issue arise that cannot be handled between parties it must be brought immediately to the president of the board of directors. The president will act as a mediator and try to resolve the issue without the use of the Executive board of directors
- Should the president be unable to resolve the issue, he will be required to refer the issue to the executive board of directors for final resolve. The decision of the executive board of directors will be final and non-appealable.
- Should you get into a conflict with a fellow member, you are not to make public statements regarding the conflict and you will not be permitted to spread rumor of the conflict within the membership. Any evidence that leads the board to believe this has transpired will be dealt with immediately and offending member (possibly both parties) may have their membership revoked.
- Conflicts that arise between members, partners or service providers that are referred to the board of directors will be dealt with in an expedient and professional manner. Once resolved it will be the responsibility to the Guild to help restore relations between offending parties as to promote and produce a healthy working environment.
Rules for Awards
RULES AND PROCEDURES:
You do not have to be a member of the Artists Music Guild to submit entries for the Heritage Awards however you will not be able to vote once submissions have been accepted. Only active Guild members will be able to participate in the voting process.
The Call for Entries will allow each voter to nominate up to 10 people in each category. Multiple submissions will be deleted. All submissions will be tracked for quality purposes.
Once you have submitted your Call for Entries ballot you will not be able to change or modify it in any way. The Guild reserves the right to remove or disqualify any entry that is inappropriate or not entered properly into the right category.
NOMINATIONS ARE NOT RESTRICTED TO JUST AMG ARTISTS!
You may nominate any artists or groups inside or outside of the Guild.
Artists participating in the Call for Entries process are not permitted to campaign for nominations or votes. Individuals caught participating in such activity will be automatically disqualified from the ballot.
EXPLANATION OF AWARDS PROCEDURES:
1. The general public, along with Guild members, are allowed to submit their suggestions for artistic Call for Entries. Call for Entries begins January 1st and ends at midnight on March 1st.
2. Once the Call for Entries deadline has been met, the submissions will be prepared by the Guild Artistic Board and will be reviewed for eligibility. Eligibility dates are from Jan through the following Jan. If the submission does not meet the Guild’s quality guidelines or standards it will be removed from nomination consideration.
3. Once the Call for Entries are been properly screened, they will be placed into a separate voting format and made available to Guild members only.
4. Once the deadline for voting, on the second round of nominations, has been completed the Guild’s artistic committee will review and place the top ten nominees into a ballot format and submit them to the President of the Guild’s Artistic Review Committee. The names of the top ten nominees will be released to the members of the Guild and the general public.
5. The Guild’s accountants will choose, at random, twenty-six professional members of the Guild to act as a voting committee. These twenty-six individuals will not know who their fellow judges are and all judges who are chosen will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement agreeing not to speak to anyone or to acknowledge being a judge participating in the voting procedures. The twenty-six judges will assemble a panel of five judges to act as their voting committee. The five judges may NOT be a member of the Guild or have any association. The lead judge will not be permitted to encourage or suggest who the other judges are to vote for. They must simply present the passcodes and rules to the panel and let the panel vote at their discretion. The membership must NEVER know who these individuals are.
6. Once the voting committee has been selected, the top ten nominees from each category will be required to submit an exemplar of their work to the President of the Review Committee. Nominees can submit their work in Mp3, Mov, YouTube, CD or DVD formats. The President of the Review Committee will then compile all examplars and will deliver them to members of the voting committee.
7. The voting committee will grade each entry on a scale of 1-10. (10 being the best and 1 being the least favorite). Once the voting member has graded the submission they will fax or mail their ballot to the accounting firm of Hilton and Helms PA.
- Note: You will not send the ballots back to the President of the Review Committee or speak to any members of the Committee or AMG membership about your votes! You will only consult with them if you have any questions on how to vote or if there is a technical issue with one of the submissions.
8. Once all 26 members of the voting panel have returned their ballots and ensure that their five panel board has done the same, the head of the accounting firm will calculate all the votes and will narrow them down to the final five nominees and recipient. They will then certify the top five nominees and the winner which will be announced during the awards show broadcast.
9. The final five nominees, along with the winners, will be announced during the awards show and not before. (If you are in the top nominees list, you will not know if you have made it to the final top five until the night of the awards broadcast. Additionally, no artist can be considered in multiple categories without justification and qualification. A new artist cannot be considered for Male or Female Vocalist unless they have achieved substantial media coverage and airplay on mainstream radio outlets that would generate substantial income to the artist.)
10. All nominees are required to be in attendance. Every effort will be made to notify each nominee. Refusal to confirm or inability to contact will result in disqualification of nomination. Only Retro Artists of the Year are permitted to not be in attendance as this award can be given posthumously in many cases or the artist has retired and unable to travel. However, every effort must be given to securing the artists appearance.
Pastoral and Travel Care Services
The Guild is very aware that artists are always traveling and never getting the chance to receive the proper pastoral care or counseling they need. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian artist or a secular artist; times on the road get hard and sometimes very discouraging. The Artists Music Guild is proud to offer its members 24 hour a day Pastoral and Counseling care. Ministers and counselors can be found in all 50 states and are available to counsel and minister with you. Please contact our Care Director so they may place you with the appropriate minister or counselor according to your location. Pastors and Counselors participating in this program must be a member of the Guild.
If you have a specific religious preference, please let our Care Director know upon speaking with them. We have all denominations and even secular counselors for those artists who do not have religious preferences.
Artists Confidentiality Agreement (Artists Must Read and Agree Before Membership Can Be Approved!)
The undersigned acknowledges that any and all information/activities and discussions regarding fellow artists, functions or business affairs provided to them by the Artists Music Guild, Inc. (hereafter known as Company) throughout their membership and beyond as an Artist, is the intellectual property of the Company, and shall be considered strictly confidential. The undersigned agrees not to disclose said information without the express written permission of the Company. The undersigned may not discuss the Company or any of its Directors/Officers or Fellow Members either while in membership or after their departure.
It is acknowledged by the undersigned that information furnished by the Company today and in subsequent conversations between the parties regarding any and all information about the Company or any of its activities or board of directors, is in all respects confidential in nature, other than information which is in the public domain through other means, and that any disclosure or use of same by the undersigned, may cause serious harm or damage to the Company. In the event that the undersigned discloses information which proves damaging to the Company, it is understood by the undersigned that the Company will pursue all legal recourse to recover losses from the undersigned.
It is further understood that as an Artist within the Company, it will be the common practice of the Company to enter into relationships with businesses interested in conducting business with the Company. As such, the Company may need to enter into “confidentiality agreements” with these businesses. These businesses may request or be asked to authorize a confidentially agreement, of which you as an Artist would agree to honor the terms of said agreements.