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


Lovie Smith-Wright

AFM Diversity Committee Chair and Member of Local 65-699 (Houston, TX)

The AFM Diversity Committee: 20 Years Strong

In 2003, at the 95th AFM Convention, the original Diversity Council, which was appointed by AFM International President Steve Young in 1996, was given official status as a standing committee of the AFM and was renamed the AFM Diversity Committee. With Otis Ducker as committee chair, it was granted the authority and privileges of other […]

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AFM Diversity Committee Encourages All Locals to Participate in Diversity Awards

by Lovie Smith-Wright, AFM Diversity Committee Chair and Member of Local 65-699 (Houston, TX) The AFM Diversity Committee has been hard at work preparing for the 102nd AFM International Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) training has been a big part of our discussions over the last two years, and […]

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Diversity Awards Open to All AFM Locals

The AFM Diversity Awards were created in 2005 to recognize outstanding examples of diversity within the AFM. For every action there is a reaction, which over time becomes our history. That was the basis for creating the awards. During every AFM Convention since 2005, a time has been set aside to reflect and present Diversity […]

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Juneteenth Music Plans and Collaboration with Locals

Before I share with you what the AFM Diversity Committee has been up to, I would like to thank AFM President Ray Hair for appointing three incredibly resourceful people to serve on the AFM Diversity Committee: Local 618 (Albuquerque, NM) President Tracey Whitney, Local 7 (Orange County, CA) President Edmund Velasco, and Local 571 (Halifax, […]

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AFM Diversity Awards­—Recognizing Outstanding Examples of Diversity

The AFM International Convention is a time for us to look forward. Key issues facing member musicians are discussed and resolved. Officials are elected to ensure the AFM’s continued longevity and success. But the convention is also a time to reflect and honor locals and members who have gone above and beyond the call of […]

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AFM Diversity Programs—Consolidating Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada is committed to creating an inclusive environment where diversity will be valued and celebrated; where members, leaders, rank-and-file, and staff are inspired to contribute to the growth of the Federation. We envision our organization as one where the leadership reflects and affirms the diversity […]

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A Brief History of the AFM Diversity Committee and Its Achievements

As I began to ponder what my article on diversity would be for this month, the history of the AFM Diversity Committee came to mind. In 1996, President Steve Young appointed the Diversity Council. The steering committee at that time was: Alfonso Pollard (AFM staff), Deacon John Moore of Local 174-496 (New Orleans, LA), Tammy […]

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