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


President's Message

AFM Launches Workplace Safety Initiatives

Since becoming AFM president, I have met with members all across the Federation and there is one common theme: if we want to grow, if we want more work opportunities, and a more inclusive industry, we need to change the culture and how we do business. Safe Workplaces In the following months the AFM will […]

When Crisis Is Opportunity

Whether it be on a local or national level, changes in industry practices—or in a union that represents the employees in that industry—generally come slowly. An institution with many constituent parts will rarely move far from the status quo, lest that institution get too far away from its perceived existential center and thereby alienate the […]

Harness Collective Power to Organize Work in Venues

For professional musicians who perform in nightclubs, hotels, and restaurants, access to the protections and benefits of AFM contracts suffered a setback decades ago, which remains with us to this day. A 1982 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling, known as the Caribe Hilton decision, dealt a major blow to the AFM’s ability to bargain […]

The Chess Match Between Canadian Airlines and Government

by Allistair Elliott, AFM International Representative for Canadian Locals In 2019, a new Passenger Bill of Rights provided musicians some protection when travelling with instruments on airlines in Canada. This was a significant step that, for the first time, recognized musicians with instruments on Canadian airlines as a specific group. It created an accountability structure […]

AFM Builds International Solidarity

If we have learned anything over the past few years it is the importance of building solidarity and alliances both nationally and internationally. In today’s interconnected world, the music industry transcends borders. Musicians tour globally, collaborate internationally, and can easily reach fans around the world. We look to organizations like the International Federation of Musicians […]

A Couple of Things

Musical Equipment Insurance Program Update In February, I gave an update on the search for a replacement carrier for the AFM’s instrument insurance program. AIG/New Hampshire, the previous carrier, pulled out of the business at the end of 2023, offering one-year renewals only to those participants whose policy dates fell earlier than December 31, 2023. […]

This Spring, Focus on Improving Work for Musicians

by Tina Morrison, AFM International Executive Board Member and Local 105 (Spokane, WA) Executive Board Spring is here and for many it feels like a time of renewal. Those of us who live in the northern regions venture cautiously outside, looking for signs of budding leaves, listening to birds’ spring songs, and noticing how the […]

Visa Updates from the Canadian Office

en français : Du Bureau canadien, le point sur les permis de travail by Liana White, AFM Canadian Office Executive Director We have recently streamlined processing to provide greater transparency on P-2 visa processing, by upgrading our data tracking system. In addition to better tracking, we now provide automated status updates throughout the processing of […]

AMPTP and Pamphlet B Negotiation Updates

I am pleased to announce we’ve reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers Association on the most recent Basic Theatrical Motion Picture and Basic Television Motion Picture contracts. After the initial 10 days of negotiations in January, we returned to the bargaining table February 21 and 22 determined to […]

Arts Councils – Public Funding Traffic Managers

Every major city in North America has an arts council—some type of public service organization whose mission is to disburse dollars, usually public funds, in support of visual or performing arts. These fund granting councils are staffed by professionals but depend on volunteers from the community to assist in allocating those funds and deciding which […]

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