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


Alfonso Pollard

AFM Federal Focus: NEA Funding and International Travel with Instruments

This month’s column focuses on two critical issues that directly impact your business as an artist. The first is funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The second relates to updates to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) […]

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US Department of Labor Features Black History Month Labor Panel

On February 28, representatives from several AFL-CIO Arts, Entertainment, and Media Industry Coordinating Committee (AEMI) affiliates engaged in a panel discussion at the US Department of Labor entitled “Making Equity Real: Creating Career Pathways and Good Jobs in the Arts.” Hosted by Julie Su, acting Labor Secretary, and Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, National Endowment for […]

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Your Money: Musicians’ Federal Policy Updates

On January 31, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) published its long-awaited rules on O and P visa fee adjustments. The AFM and national arts community are currently reviewing the rules. Critical questions on interpretation remain. AI White House Executive Order On October 30, 2023, President Joe Biden signed and released a far-reaching executive […]

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The Presidential Election Season Has Begun

Throughout the 2024 primary and caucus season, culminating in the summer conventions, Democratic and Republican presidential candidates will court American voters in their quest to win the coveted honor of being nominated by delegates to represent their states and their party as the chosen candidate for president of the United States.   At the time of this printing, […]

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Artificial Intelligence: The AFM and Federal Policy

As the AFM looks to protect our musicians from the threat artificial intelligence (AI) poses to their livelihoods, we are working with the federal government to help develop legislation to serve that purpose. In addition to threats to copyright, sales, and licensing, AI could be used to compose and perform music. Some countries have developed […]

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It’s Time to Prepare for 2024 Elections

Presidential and congressional elections will be held Tuesday, November 5, 2024. The first Republican Presidential caucus takes place January 15, 2024 in Iowa. Now is the time to prepare. In the September International Musician, I outlined the monumental legislative successes you achieved over the past 10 years. Each of these wins created added value to your […]

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Political Advocacy: The AFM Member Path to Career Certainty

As the nation moves toward the 2024 general election, it is time to organize ourselves for success. Over recent years, AFM members have ramped up efforts on Capitol Hill to promote legislation affecting their lives. Soon, you will be confronted with making election and lobbying choices that will directly affect your career. Let’s look at our internal […]

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The American Music Fairness Act’s Impact on Symphony Musicians

The AFM adage, “There is strength in unity” certainly applies in our quest to move the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA) through the US Congress. Many musicians are under the misunderstanding that this legislation applies mostly or only to popular musicians whose creative works are performed on AM/FM terrestrial radio. This could not be further […]

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Know Your Bow: Tips for Owners and Users of Pernambuco Bows

The AFM continues to work with and support international efforts to update the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) treaty. The reform, led by League of American Orchestras Vice President for Advocacy Heather Noonan, in cooperation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, examines more effective ways to […]

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Diversity: Courage Through the Lens of the AFMand the American Labor Movement

Make no mistake, the AFM’s commitment to justice, inclusion, and gender equality remains a solid cornerstone of the institution. Following the decades-old mandate set down by the AFL-CIO, brothers and sisters who seek strong and just representation within the American labor unit—regardless of race, gender, or culture—are welcome. We should be proud of the AFM’s […]

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