Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Actors and Artistes

The AFL-CIO is taking a deeper look at each of our affiliates in our regular weekly series. Next up is the Actors and Artistes (4As).

Name of Union: Associated Actors and Artistes of America

Current Leadership of Union: Gabrielle Carteris, who is also the president of SAG-AFTRA.

The 4As works to advance and protect the welfare of the people who work to entertain and inform others in person and through every medium of recording and transmission. There are five member unions that make up the 4As. Actors' Equity (AEA) and SAG-AFTRA are directly affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Three other unions are part of the AFL-CIO through their membership in the 4As: the Musical Artists (AGMA), the Variety Artists (AGVA) and the Italian American Actors (GIAA).


Musical Artists (AGMA)

Mission: To represent members and to guarantee that our nation's artistic institutions adhere to fair labor practices, securing both gainful employment and quality of life for our artists.

Current Leadership of Union: John Coleman serves as president. The other officers are: Gregory Stapp (first vice president), George Scott (second vice presiden), J. Austin Bitner (third vice president), Jane Shaulis (fourth vice president), Louis Perry (recording secretary) and Raymond Menard (treasurer).

Members Work As: Soloists, choral singers, actors, ballet dancers, production staff and related jobs.

Industries Represented: America's operatic, dance and choral heritage.

History: AGMA formed in 1936 as an organization of solo musical artists. In August of the next year, AGMA was granted a charter from the 4As to cover the fields of grand opera, concert and recital. AGMA pursued a campaign to organize artists throughout the country and the first collective bargaining agreement that AGMA successfully negotiated that fall was with the Southern California Symphony Association.

Current Campaigns and Community Efforts: AGMA maintains an active list of auditions relevant to members, provides visa consultation services and publishes AGMAzine.

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Variety Artists (AGVA)

Mission: To represent performing artists and stage managers for live performances in the variety field.

Current Leadership of Union: Judy Little serves as executive president. Other officers include Christopher Johnson (executive vice president) and Susanne K. Doris (executive secretary-treasurer).

Members Work As: Variety performers, including singers and dancers in touring shows and in theatrical revues, theme park performers, skaters, circus performers, comedians and stand-up comics, cabaret and club artists, lecturers, poets, monologists, spokespersons and those working at private parties and special events.

Industries Represented: Any performances in the variety area.

History: AGVA was founded in 1939.

Current Campaigns and Community Efforts: AGVA helps members obtain benefits beyond timer periods specifically related to shows and contracts. It also offers current and previous members assistance through the AGVA Sick & Relief Fund, which also regularly contributes to industry-related charities and presents shows to raise the funds available for relief. AGVA also provides members visa application assistance.

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Italian American Actors (GIAA)

Mission: To preserve the history and promote awareness of Italian heritage amongst its members. GIAA is committed to helping advance, promote, foster and protect the welfare of its members, not only within its own jurisdiction, but within the jurisdiction of its sister unions.

Current Leadership of Union: Carlo Fiorletta is the president of GIAA. Other officers include: Carson Grant (first vice president), Debbie Klaar (second vice president), Mara Lesemann (secretary/treasurer), Elaine Legaro (councilor), Ron Piretti (councilor), Simcha Borenstein (alternate councilor), Dana Halsted Moss (alternate councilor) and Lauren Cozza (alternate councilor).

Members Work As: GIAA is the only ethnic acting union in the United States. It is an Italian actors union for Italian speaking performers.

Industries Represented: The arts and entertainment industries.

History: GIAA was founded in 1937.

Community Efforts: GIAA provides news and casting opportunities to its members.

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