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AFTRA TAKES KEY ROLE IN FIRST-EVER “RECORDING ARTS DAY” ON CAPITOL HILL

                                     National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth
                        Leads Union  Contingent Representing Sound Recording Artists

Los Angeles, CA, September 7, 2005 – Today in Washington D.C., the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) joins the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the Recording Academy, Recording Artists’ Coalition (RAC), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and numerous other music industry groups, as well as more than 50 music professionals from across the country, in partnership with the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus, at the first-ever “Recording Arts Day” on Capitol Hill.

This unprecedented grassroots event is designed to impress upon national legislators and policy makers the important role music plays in the cultural and economic life of our nation and the need to extend that role into our classrooms through an ongoing commitment to music education in our public schools. Attending on behalf of AFTRA is National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and Washington, D.C. Associate General Counsel Terrie Bjorklund. Throughout the day, Hedgpeth and Bjorklund will join musicians, songwriters, singers, producers, and business professionals in briefings and  face-to-face breakout sessions with members of Congress to discuss issues that impact recording artists and the recording industry in general.

“This is a unique and powerful opportunity for AFTRA and its members to join with our industry colleagues and remind our national lawmakers that the contributions of creative artists in America should not be underestimated,” observed Ms. Hedgpeth. “Music is vital to this nation’s economy and cultural heritage, and AFTRA is proud to join the chorus expressing the need to protect and promote it.”

The day’s events will conclude with the Recording Academy’s 5th Annual Grammys on the Hill Awards dinner, of which AFTRA is a co-sponsor, honoring long-time AFTRA member Gloria Estefan for her extraordinary 25-year career as a recording artist. Other honorees include Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), chair of the Senate’s Songwriters’ Caucus, for his life-long commitment to education; Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), an active national advocate for artists’ rights who was instrumental in the passage of the historic Sound Recordings Preservation Act; and the Music Department of Danville High School in Danville, Arkansas, for its outstanding commitment to music education despite economic hardship in the district.  AFTRA's first Vice President, Bob Edwards, along with recording artist Dan Navarro, Washington/Baltimore Local Executive Director Pat O'Donnell and  Local Counsel Tom Powers, will also attend the dinner. 

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – affiliated with the AFL-CIO – is a diverse national union representing over 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists in 32 Locals throughout the country. AFTRA members work as actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, and disc jockeys in all aspects of the media industries including television and radio, sound recordings, commercials, non-broadcast/industrials, interactive games, and the Internet. For more information, visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.

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