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


Officer Columns


by Dusty Kelly, International Executive Board and Executive Director Local 149 (Toronto, ON) I have been an adherent to the concept of solidarity for as long as I can remember. It’s with me when I am on the picket line, it’s with me when I am in negotiations, it’s with me when I am organizing, […]

Our Ongoing Mission to Improve the Livelihood of All Musicians 

As I write this column, orchestras and musical ensembles across the country are wrapping up their holiday concerts and preparing to spend some time with friends and loved ones. I begin 2024 with a spirit of renewed focus for an ever-improving workplace for our members, whether that is in a recording studio, on stage, in […]

Subways, New Yorkers, and Musicians 

I’m a native of the Pacific Northwest, born and bred. We of that soggy land always viewed places like New York City as evil, dark, and scary nether regions, to be avoided at all costs. So, when I moved to New York City for the first time to take a job with the AFM in […]

Unions on the March: Facing New Challenges and Opportunities 

Today there is renewed energy and determination in labor organizing efforts across North America. We may be able to attribute this to a post-pandemic response by workers who are fighting back against increasing inflation and stagnant wages. Looking at the landscape of labor unions across the nation, while our sector is mostly harmonious, recent strikes […]

FMSMF: A New Year Rings in a New Fund  

January not only rings in a new year but it rings in a new chapter in the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund’s evolution.   Over six years ago, the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund (FMSMF) began a multi-year process of transformation—starting with an in-depth review of every internal business process. We performed an exhaustive study of […]

It’s Been Quite the Year!

Just four months into my AFM presidency, I can say that it has been quite a year. At the beginning of the year, I was honored to be designated a “Labor Power Player” by the news sites amNY and PoliticsNY, perhaps this was foreshadowing as to how busy I was about to become. As Local […]

The Mayan Calendar and Us

The Mayan calendar was said to “end” on December 21, 2012, and with it would come the end of the world. Or so said the Western societal New Age Q-Anon-ish popular belief. As that supposed doomsday drew nearer, I happened to be keeping company from time to time with a First Nations elder in Southern […]

Well, What Do Ya Know?

As of this writing, the federal government has introduced Bill C-58, which is the culmination of decades of work by the labour movement in Canada. It aims to ban the practice of employers bringing in replacement workers during a contract dispute. There are two main components to the bill. The first makes it illegal for […]

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 […]

Unite in the Fight for Fair Pay and Working Conditions

As fall sets in, it brings the season of heavy negotiations. Currently, we are in the process of bargaining a new theater contract, also known as Pamphlet B. In order to stand up to the producers and secure better economic terms and protections against employment erosion, we need to remain united across the board. This […]