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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Articles, Orchestra News

ROPA Delegates Discuss Diversity and Organizing in Phoenix

During the first week of August, delegates representing orchestras from all corners of the nation convened in Phoenix, Arizona, for the 33rd Annual Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) Conference, hosted by Local 586 (Phoenix, AZ) and Arizona Opera Orchestra, with activities centered at the Westin Downtown Phoenix Hotel. ROPA’s annual conference is one of the most important benefits of ROPA membership. Information gleaned the conference assists with negotiating, organizing, and understanding the current state of the orchestral world.


Diversity and Inclusion: More than Buzzwords for Symphony Orchestras’ Future

For orchestras to have genuine relevance to their communities, each must bring authenticity to the task, finding ways to connect with both traditional audiences and individuals who have yet to experience the wonder of the symphony orchestra. Each of our orchestras is situated within a geographic community that has its own unique history, demographics, and needs for enrichment of the soul. We, as union musicians, can join together in support of diversity and inclusion in our symphonic workplaces.


Film Brings Together World Drumming, Rock Star Composer, and Dallas Symphony Orchestra

On September 19 the documentary film Dare to Drum, featuring numerous Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth) AFM members, was launched on iTunes and Amazon.


Musicians “Broke, Out West”

At the core of it all was the ongoing effort to get an agreement with the Western Canadian Music Alliance (WCMA), the entity that operates the BreakOut West music festival (BOW).


Nurit-Bar-Josef

Nurit Bar-Josef: Behind the Scenes with the National Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster


When Nurit Bar-Josef of Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) was selected as concertmaster for National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) at age 26, she was the youngest concertmaster ever appointed to a major symphony orchestra.




Nightlife Office and Advisory Committee

If this office is to be impactful, and if other municipalities are to follow New York City’s example, the Nightlife Office must work with locally elected community leaders and administration to develop regulatory mechanisms that empower the director to protect performers who are otherwise unsupported and unprotected.


Bandleader and Jazz Pianist Lorraine Desmarais Takes Charge

Lorraine Desmarais of Local 406 (Montreal, PQ) made her solo debut as a jazz artist at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1983.


The Stars of Lyric Opera, MPTF Supports Free Concerts in Chicago

Now a joyous end of summer musical tradition in downtown Chicago, the Stars of Lyric Opera annual free concert got its start at the turn of the new millennium.


Federal Arts Connection

This is a source for information relating to federal grant making, performance, education, and research opportunities for musicians interested in project funding and international travel as artistic representatives of the US.


Donate to AFM’s Hurricane Irma Relief Fund

On September 6, Hurricane Irma passed just north of Puerto Rico with ferocious winds of 185 miles per hour as a category 5 hurricane, then roared past Cuba and ashore onto the US mainland Sunday, September 10, battering the entire state of Florida with an enormous reach of more than 400 miles.








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