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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Organizing, Recent News

State AFL-CIO Conventions Pass Resolution for Entertainment Contracts

This year, Oregon, Washington, and Illinois State AFL-CIO Conventions have all adopted resolutions requiring affiliate unions to hire union performers and use union contracts for entertainment.  In 2005, a SAG-AFTRA resolution passed the Oregon AFL-CIO convention, requiring affiliate unions to hire union performers—including musicians—and use union contracts. But, over the past decade and a half, […]


Painting Appointed AFM Director of Electronic Media Services

AFM President Ray Hair has named John K. Painting as AFM Director of the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD) and Assistant to the President, following the unexpected passing of EMSD Director Pat Varriale in May. “I have immense respect for John and his thorough knowledge of AFM’s media agreements,” says AFM President Ray Hair. “During […]


Disney Studios Honors Former AFM EMSD Director with Memorial Scholarship

The $500 scholarship for outstanding performance in music was organized by the Walt Disney Studios Music Team to recognize Varriale’s 48-year career as an advocate for musicians and his work as AFM EMSD director.


Music Performance Trust Fund Student Scholarships

Applications for 2022 Music Performance Trust Fund scholarships are being accepted through July 15. 


Patrick Varriale: A Legacy of Dedication to Electronic Media Services

We tragically said goodbye to AFM Electronic Media Services Director Patrick Varriale who died suddenly on May 13. If you knew Pat Varriale, you knew of his deep love and dedication to the AFM, its member musicians, and his colleagues. He never missed an opportunity to recognize those who worked with him and looked out […]


Honoring Our TEMPO Champions

Launched in 1961, the AFM Taskforce for Employment of Musicians Promotional Organization (TEMPO) Fund, is the US restricted, nonpartisan political action fund established by the AFM International Executive Board, and designated to support members of both federal, state, and local legislators. For over 60 years, we have depended on these champions to support the causes […]


As Industry Shifts to Streaming, RMA Fights for Fair Compensation

In November, we will be going back to the table with the major film and TV studios, negotiating on behalf of the thousands of musicians whose livelihoods depend on preparing and performing music for motion pictures, broadcast TV, and streaming shows. This multi-billion-dollar corporate industry has been shifting steadily to streaming. Just this year, Amazon […]


102nd AFM Convention Rescheduled for 2023

The 102nd Convention of the American Federation of Musicians will be held at the Westgate Hotel & Casino (3000 Paradise Road; Las Vegas, NV 89109), beginning Monday, June 26, and concluding Thursday, June 29, 2023,


Orchestras and Musicians Stand with Ukraine

Within days of the first the Russian attack on Ukraine in February, support for the Ukrainian people fighting for their freedom began to ring out in performing arts venues worldwide. From the Ukrainian national anthem performed by the Metropolitan Opera and Orchestra while the opera house was lit up in blue and yellow, to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recording and releasing a video performance of “Prayer for Ukraine,” musicians at countless AFM orchestras are using their art form to raise awareness and promote solidarity.


San Antonio Musicians Continue Strike Amid Broken Negotiations

Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony continue their strike, pushing for a fair contract for 72 full-time musicians. The musicians, members of Local 23 (San Antonio, TX), went on strike September 27 in response to management’s imposed contract that reduced the number of full-time musicians and cut wages. They have rejected the symphony board’s last offer […]








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