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, On the Cover

Belinda Whitney

Belinda Whitney: Tapestry of Support Shapes Compelling Career


Violinist Belinda Whitney of Local 802 (New York City) has forged an exciting and diverse career. She’s currently concertmaster and personnel manager for The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, concertmaster for the Broadway show My Fair Lady, performs with the Harlem Chamber Players, plus does a wide range of commercial gigs.




The Shifting Face of Arts and Entertainment Policy and Power in Washington, DC

As I noted in the May International Musician, federal arts and entertainment policy experienced a seismic shift in leadership in Washington, DC, when Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Democratic co-chair of the House Arts Caucus passed away unexpectedly in March.


Orchestra Librarians: Unrecognized Musicians No More

If you are a musician in an AFM represented symphony orchestra, you rely upon the services of one or more professional music librarians who ensure that you have legible, accurately marked sheet music on your stand at all rehearsals and performances, and that parts are made available to you in advance so you can arrive at the first rehearsal for a new program prepared for the work ahead. For some musicians, that is the extent of their interaction with their orchestra librarians.


AFM Updates Sexual Harassment Policy

Sexual harassment is a form of illegal discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the March AFM International Executive Board meeting, the board adopted an updated sexual harassment policy that is unambiguous and instructive. The policy applies to all AFM employees whether they work in our New York City, […]


The AFM-EPF and the Multiemployer Pension Crisis

The United States currently faces a worsening multiemployer pension crisis. One recent report estimated that 114 multiemployer pension plans across the country will become insolvent over the next two decades.


House Judiciary Committee Unanimously Passes the Music Modernization Act to Send to the Full House Floor

The Music Modernization Act (HR 5447) was passed by the Judiciary Committee on April 11 who then sent it to the full House floor. This bill is the first piece of comprehensive copyright, music licensing legislation to come out of Congress in the past 30 years.   House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (center) speaks […]


The Truth About Foreign Royalties

Recently, the AFM has received a huge number of requests to waive its mandates to collect and distribute foreign royalties on behalf of US recording musicians through AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund (the Fund).


Why We Should Advocate for Larger Pit Orchestras

I received many insightful comments from musicians across our Federation after my November 2017 column addressing the downsizing of touring musical orchestras. Most of the comments suggested ways to educate the public about this issue in order to have them demand larger orchestras to enhance their theatre experience.


Aldo Mazza: Educator Builds Bridges to Cuban Rhythms and Culture

Percussionist Aldo Mazza of Local 406 (Montreal, PQ) is an Italian-born Canadian educator specializing in Cuban rhythms and music. With his wife, violinist Jolán Kovács, he founded KoSA Academy in Montreal.


Coming to a Library Near You?

I find it fascinating to track the different paths people create to give music away. The new kid on the block in Portland is the public library system. If they’re going to do it here, given the intra communication of national and state library associations, you can bet it’s likely to pop up in your town.








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