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.
March 1, 2023
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. […]
January 1, 2023
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 […]
December 1, 2022
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 […]
November 1, 2022
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 […]
October 1, 2022
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 […]
September 1, 2022
As technology and the music industry evolve, so must we. It can be hard to look ahead while you are trying to make the present happen, but it is essential to try. How a musician makes a living these days can be very different than in the past. Rather than having one main gig, many […]
August 1, 2022
The following is based on my own opinions and is not meant to represent the opinions of our union administration or the AFM International Executive Board (IEB). While I suspect some will frown upon my commenting on the recent decision by the Supreme Court, I am of the view that the union movement is a […]
July 1, 2022
What an amazing time this is, complete with dramatic challenges and remarkable possibilities. Plague, war, and social and economic upheaval coexist with a real desire to change the work-life balance and find meaning beyond accumulation. There seems to be an enhanced awareness of individual needs, which must be balanced against others’ needs. We are in […]
May 1, 2022
The shared experiences that come from the creation, reproduction, and live performance of music bring people together in ways that no other art form can. Two people who cannot speak the same language or are miles apart philosophically can be united, if only for a few moments, through music. A hit song broadcast on the […]
April 1, 2022
Spring in our Windy City always brings the anticipated opening of outdoor venues with numerous concerts throughout the city. This year marks the 88th season of the Grant Park Festival with concerts on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from June 15 through August 20. With programming that includes symphonic and choral works and diverse pop attractions, it is the largest and longest running festival in the United States, featuring concerts that are free and open to all.