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

The Too Much Information Age

The downside of the information age is that far too often there is just simply too much information. The constant barrage of images, data, and noise coming at us from every angle makes it an ongoing challenge to extract the meaningful from the trivial, but that is exactly why music, art, and creativity still matter.

Carry-on Talks with DOT: We Have Liftoff

By the time this column is published, the AFM and the US Department of Transportation (DOT) will have convened a second historic meeting at DOT headquarters in Washington, DC, to address the difficulties professional musicians face when traveling by air with musical instruments. Our initial meeting was convened in July by DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx […]

Canadian Update: Local 145 Trusteeship Ends

AFM Local 145 (Vancouver, BC) has been removed from trusteeship and control of the AFM according to a September 11 BC Supreme Court ruling. The trusteeship and controversy began in June 2013, when it was discovered that Local 145 had entered into an agreement with the owner of Vancouver Film Orchestra (VFO) in relative secrecy, […]

CFM Moves Forward with a Full Dance Card

One year into this term of office, we look back on a year of internal conflict and turmoil on the Canadian scene. While continuing to look for the best solutions for all concerned, there is much work to be done, especially in the area of negotiations.

Is It Time for a Coverage Check-Up?

When was the last time you looked at the fine details of your insurance policies to make sure you are getting adequate coverage, and not over-paying for that coverage? The US Small Business Administration recommends annual reviews of insurance policies. Below I have detailed some insurance policies designed for musicians and offered to AFM members.

What’s in a Family?

The answer to that is plenty! Our union, like most families, is not perfect; it is within that imperfection that we usually are able to work out some of our issues and grow. If this is true about biological families, it is also true of our AFM family.

NLRB to Issue Complaint Against Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in the Absence of Settlement

by Jennifer Garner, AFM Counsel On March 14, I filed a charge against the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with Region 18 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), alleging unlawful interference with the administration of a labor organization.

Games the Employers (and Agents) Play

Even before it received rank-and-file approval late last month, the AFM’s new Video Game Agreement was already in use in Los Angeles, despite a crusade against it by an assortment of Hollywood employers and composers who were offended two years ago when the International Executive Board jettisoned a 2006 agreement because it contained inferior wages […]

2014 TMA Conference Welcomes Its Newest Chapters

The 19th Annual Theatre Musicians Association (TMA) Conference was held at the Holiday Inn, Fort Worth, Texas, August 11-12. TMA Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter President and Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX) member Brian Brown, Local 72-147 Secretary-Treasurer Stewart Williams, and myself welcomed the attendees.

Understanding the New “Making Available Right”

At the June International Federation of Musicians (FIM) executive committee meetings, a central topic for discussion was streaming and the possibilities of properly monetizing this delivery system for musicians’ benefit. As the major labels and independents make deals with providers for access to their catalogues, compensation to the artist is all over the map in […]