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


Home » Officer Columns » AFM Builds International Solidarity

AFM Builds International Solidarity

  -  AFM International President

If we have learned anything over the past few years it is the importance of building solidarity and alliances both nationally and internationally. In today’s interconnected world, the music industry transcends borders. Musicians tour globally, collaborate internationally, and can easily reach fans around the world.

We look to organizations like the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) to build global solidarity. FIM, founded in 1948, has 70 members spread throughout 60 countries. By forming alliances with international union counterparts, musicians can create a stronger voice to address issues that impact their livelihood.

The AFM has long been involved with this voice for musicians worldwide. I personally have been an AFM delegate to FIM going back to 2011. It is always an honor to represent the AFM on the world stage.

A significant majority of music that is consumed globally is the product of American musicians and it is important that we make sure our voices are heard and that we are compensated fairly for our work. I will be attending the FIM Congress in Bucharest in May and will report back when I return. In October, FIM will also be hosting the International Orchestra Conference in Malmö, Sweden. I am proud to report that AFM Symphonic Services Division (SSD) will take a principal role in the conference, led by SSD Director Rochelle Skolnick.

As part of a global economy, it is important to advocate for strong international policies and protections for musicians on topics such as the use of artificial intelligence, fair compensation for streaming, regulations related to travel, workplace protections that effect all musicians, and international royalty collection and copyright protections. As a nongovernmental organization, the AFM holds influence for the potential of creating fairer compensation, improved working conditions, and a more equitable landscape for musicians around the world.

To that end, once again, the AFM will be participating in a United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Conference on the Global Digital Content Market in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference will take place in April, and I will be joined by Jennifer Garner, AFM in-house counsel. Garner has been working with the AFM for more than a decade on issues of royalty collection and intellectual property rights. Because of the amount of music our members create and distribute, it is important that we are well represented.

Also on the international front, there will be a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) webinar on “Travel Rules for Protected Species and Musical Instruments” on May 7 at 3 p.m. (EST). Crossing international borders with musical instruments that contain protected species, such as ivory, rosewood, tortoise shell, and other endangered material requires special permits and advanced planning.

Held in collaboration with the League of American Orchestras, the free one-hour session is open to AFM members. It will provide updates on requirements for musicians traveling abroad with their instruments from US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) experts. USFWS is the agency that implements CITES in the United States. The event will not only review the basics but also provide important insights into ways you can support conservation by being informed of rules specific to musicians and their instruments. Watch for a registration link at a later date.

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