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


Executive Board Members, Officer Columns

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 […]

There’s No Culture Without Artists and No Music Without Musicians

by Luc Fortin, IEB Officer and President of Local 406 (Montreal, PQ) Often the music industry, governments, CEOs, or boards of cultural organizations consider musicians to be just another cog in a company’s wheel. Their logic seems reversed, placing the cultural product above the artist, as if the product existed independently of those who bring […]

All Theater Musicians Should Be Protected by AFM Contracts

The musical theater theme of this issue happens to dovetail nicely with my focus during much of this year, negotiating local theater agreements as the president of Local 162-710 (Washington, DC). Our local administers a number of contracts with area theaters. This year, we were able to add a new agreement to that list, which […]

Learn from the Past—Transform the Future

by Dave Pomeroy, International Executive Board and President of Local 257 (Nashville, TN) The AFM’s unique history demonstrates a steady pattern of labor and technology intersecting in ways that simply could not have been imagined by those who founded this union in 1896. The constantly evolving relationship between musicians and technology is well documented in […]

Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra/Local 161-710 Reject Disney Keycomp Request 

The agreement between AFM Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) and the Kennedy Center, covering the employment of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (KCOHO) for musical theater productions includes an article prohibiting the use of a virtual orchestra machine. This article has recently received the attention of the Disney Theatrical Group, which is bringing The Lion […]

International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month

The oppression and inequality of women became an important topic during the age of industrialization in the early 1900s. Women were becoming more active in voicing their opinion for the need for change. In 1908, they organized a march of 15,000 women in New York demanding shorter hours at work, better pay, and voting rights. […]

The Power of Music Versus the Power of Musicians

Have you heard conversations about “third-partying” the union? The concept separates the union from its members as another entity, a third party. It is a deliberate narrative that undermines our collective power. The power of the union is in our numbers, musicians banding together using consensus to work toward common goals. Hopefully, you understand that […]

Racism and Labor: Important Training to Eliminate Racism from Our Union

For some time, the Officer Education Committee, which I chair, has been working in conjunction with the Diversity Committee to put together a training program for AFM leadership, senior staff, local officers, and boards. This will eventually flow through AFM leadership to our members at large. The AFM, as well as most unions over our […]

Theaters Must Keep Live Musical Performances Live

I was attending my first International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians(ICSOM) Conference in 2011 when I learned about the Theatre Musicians Association (TMA). Tom Mendel, who was TMA president, gave a report on TMA at the conference. Afterwards, I took the opportunity to introduce myself and ask his advice about starting a chapter in […]

Workers’ Rights Amendment Is Good for All Workers

This November, the citizens of Illinois will be given the opportunity to make history. The Workers’ Rights Amendment will be the first issue on the ballot where voters will be asked to vote on giving protections to workers and unions. If passed, it will prohibit the passage of “right to work” laws and ban any […]

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