Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

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Legislative Update

Union Privilege Builds Homes for Veterans During Spring Liaison Conference

Union Privilege (UP) understands the value of home. For years, we’ve offered mortgage grants to help our members make payments in times of hardship, and provided discounts on heating and cooling to keep those homes comfortable. Because we believe that everyone deserves a safe, comfortable, and affordable home, we’ve made it our mission to team […]


The 2014 Labor Notes Conference Educates and Energizes Worldwide Labor Activists

Labor Notes is a Detroit-based media and organizing project that has been the voice of union activists who want to “put the movement back in the labor movement” since 1979.


Update on International Travel and African Elephant Ivory

Since publication of the April IM article about African elephant ivory, specifically relating to the adverse effect of Director’s Order No. 210 (the Order), we have heard from many AFM members looking for concrete solutions.


Vienna Orchestra Faces Nazi Past

In the latest move to come to grips with its Nazi past, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will return a neo-impressionist Paul Signac painting to its rightful owners. The Nazis looted the painting from French resistance figure and publisher Marcel Koch and gave it to the orchestra in 1940. It will be given to Koch’s heirs. […]


Memphis Symphony Orchestra Saves Season

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra (MSO), which announced this in March that it was close to depleting its cash reserves, has raised enough money to finish its 2013-2014 season. MSO held several benefit concerts and received two $100,000 donations since its public appeal.


San Diego Opera Hanging On

The San Diego Opera’s board of directors may take steps to try and save the company through a reorganization plan, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report.


Oregon Symphony Sets Ticket Sales Record

The Oregon Symphony announced that it brought in more than $7 million in ticket sales this season, setting an organizational record and comprising 50% of the orchestra’s budget. Ticket sale revenue was at $5.5 million at this time last year.  As part of a contract negotiated last year, the musicians have been involved in working […]


Huston Symphony Sees Increase in New Contract

The Houston Symphony reached a four-year contract agreement calling for musician salary increases of 2.85% annually, which will bring salaries to $97,240 by the end of the term. The agreement was reached ahead of schedule and goes into effect October 5. The contract will allow for additional concerts and expanded community and education activities.


How a Strike in Washington Changed the American Orchestra

In the middle of the 20th century, managers and music directors of American symphony orchestras held autocratic power over their institutions. Nowhere was this more true than in Washington, DC, where the National Symphony was performing under its second music director, Howard Mitchell. Mitchell had been the orchestra’s principal cellist when he was appointed music […]


Grassroots Efforts Demonstrate Power of Musician Organizing

Fair Trade Music (FTM) Seattle, with support from AFM Local 76-493, has won a significant victory: musician loading zones at several major clubs. This follows a similar win by AFM Local 257 (Nashville, TN), which gained similar zones in 2011. FTM is a grassroots campaign dedicated to raising the standard of living for all Seattle-area […]






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