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


Diversity Report

A New Direction for Diversity

by Beth Zare, AFM Diversity Committee Chair and Secretary-Treasurer, Local 6 (San Francisco, CA) I wish to thank AFM International President Tino Gagliardi for his confidence in appointing me chair of the Diversity Committee. During this month dedicated to Black History, I feel called to reflect on the past and future of the AFM’s efforts […]

Black History Is AFM History: Learning from Our Past

During Black History Month the AFM celebrates Black artists whose music changed the world. From Robert Johnson’s blues to Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s pop-gospel, they are indelibly linked to a cultural framework in American history, rooted in social justice. Yet, it’s impossible to discuss AFM history and its fight for musician rights without examining the segregation […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Black Orchestral Network Launched

Black members of more than 40 orchestras came together in May to launch the Black Orchestral Network (BON) dedicated to creating an inclusive and equitable environment for Black people in the orchestral field. The group was founded on the motto: “If we increase our connection to one another, we can harness our creativity and develop […]

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, […]

Recognizing the Fertile Partnership Between the AFM and the Congressional Black Caucus

As America moves into the 2022 celebration of Black History Month, I thought it appropriate to review the intrinsic value of the active partnership between the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the AFM, as well as its overall relationship with organized labor and progressive policy. African Americans first made an appearance as elected officials in […]

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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