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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Officer Columns, Secretary-Treasurer

LM Reports—What AFM Local Officers Need to Know

On January 9, Ken Shirk, assistant to the AFM president, Jon Ferrone, AFM assistant secretary, and I met with the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) of the US Department of Labor (DOL) for our annual Voluntary Compliance Program (VCP) meeting. Lorenzo Harrison, OLMS director of program operations, Joy Mitchell, district director (New York District Office), […]


Build Audiences with MPTF— Musicians Will Beat a Path to Your Door

As previously reported, new streaming and licensing revenue from the sound recording industry via the Federation’s 2017 Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA), has infused new money into the AFM-EP Fund and has revitalized both the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund (SPF) and the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF). MPTF, throughout its more than 70-year history, […]


As Streaming Increases, the Rights of Performers Internationally Is Making Progress

A recent article in Music Business Worldwide quoted some impressive statistics released in BuzzAngle’s yearly report. For the first time, on-demand streams in the United States eclipsed the one trillion mark, with 705.9 billion being audio and 304.1 billion video. Over the previous year, that represents a total increase of 32% in audio and 10.6% […]


Organizing and Recruitment: Striking a Balance

For most of our union’s history, we have existed under a service model. Our leaders bargained legacy agreements, members ratified them, and locals administered those agreements. If a member had a claim or dispute on a job, a local officer or staff member (sometimes with the assistance of an AFM staff member) would pursue that […]


Agreement Reached with Motion Picture-TV Film Producers

I am pleased to report that on November 22, after weeks of intense negotiations beginning in March of this year and continuing in October and November, an agreement was reached with major Hollywood-based film producers and their Television Film counterparts. The agreement extends the existing Theatrical and Television Motion Picture Film Agreements for two years […]


Do Safe Harbor Provisions Effectively Provide a License to Steal?

There are many reasons why working men and women join a Union. The ability to act and bargain collectively is one of the most important. Time and again we have seen that our strength and power is directly related to our ability to act collectively rather than individually.  The same holds true when we act […]


MPTF Working Toward Another Successful Make Music Day in 2020

In 1982, France’s Ministry of Culture dreamed up an idea for a new kind of musical holiday. They imagined a day where free, live music would be everywhere: street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, store fronts and mountaintops. And, unlike a typical music festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join and play […]


2020: Fighting For the Right to Make a Living

Much has been written in the past several months, by President Hair and others, about the motion picture/TV film negotiations that have commenced once again in Los Angeles


AFM Budgeting Process Begins for 2020

Budgeting is not an exact science, but rather a best guess estimate based on past actuals and the expectations for the upcoming year.


A Month in the Life of a Union Officer

“Now that I’m a union officer at both the local and international levels, the work can be just as exhausting and daunting, but fulfilling as well.”








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