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.

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Officer Columns, President's Message

Ray Hair – AFM International President

Born of Common Purpose, Our Vision Still Stands

October marks the 125th Anniversary of the American Federation of Musicians. This column describes the founding of the AFM, introducing a special anniversary supplement included in this issue of the International Musician. I hope you enjoy this historic look back at the beginning years of our union. It was October 1896, 125 years ago. Musicians […]


Broadway Is Back on the Road

by Ray Hair, AFM International President I am pleased to report that the Federation has completed negotiations with the Broadway League and Disney Theatrical Productions for an extension to the Pamphlet B Touring Theatrical Musicals and Short Engagement Touring (SET) Agreements and for a comprehensive Health and Safety Manual (“Safety Manual”) applicable to all musicians […]


The Reopening: Anxiety, Excitement, Uncertainty

It’s been 17 months since the COVID pandemic brought live entertainment to a screeching halt around the world. Emergency government regulations, mask mandates, and social distancing regimens are being relaxed in the US, but conditions are still in flux. Canada is only now beginning to ease lockdown restrictions. One of the longest indoor-dining bans in […]


Riding the Third Rails: Making the Case at WIPO for Performer Streaming Remuneration

This month, my guest columnist is Texas attorney Chris Castle, who works on a variety of matters in the nexus of music, technology, and policy. His most recent public policy study for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) addresses the systemic economic unfairness proffered by Spotify, Apple Music, and other interactive streaming platforms toward musicians. […]


Broadway Tour Discussions Begin as Pandemic Recedes

More than a year after the COVID outbreak prompted the lockdown of global population centers, halting public gatherings, darkening entertainment venues of all sizes, locking out musicians and performers, and eliminating thousands upon thousands of jobs, wheels are now in motion for the reopening of the live entertainment industry and a mid-summer return for concerts, […]


The American Rescue Plan: In Unity There is Strength

As I write this column (March 12, 2021) the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, with its relief provisions for multiemployer pension plans, has passed the Senate, was approved by the House of Representatives, and was signed into law by President Biden. If there were ever a day to celebrate the power of collective action and […]


The AFM-EP Fund, Benefit Reductions, and Legislative Relief

Participants in the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund were notified in January that the Fund filed a second application with the US Treasury Department to reduce benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA). This month, I’ll explain the decision by the Fund trustees to file another MPRA application, the difference in […]


January 6: Violence Has No Role in Our Democracy

On January 7, I issued the following statement in the aftermath of the mob attack on our capitol: “The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada condemns in the strongest terms the mob assault upon the US Capitol building, which was an attempt to subjugate our democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer […]


Biden-Harris Victory is a Win for Working People, Unions

The American Federation of Musicians congratulates President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for their victory in the November 2020 general election. Our union endorsed the Biden-Harris ticket because their campaign agenda promoted the protection of American workers, and committed to strengthening worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions. As I’ve mentioned in this column […]


TV Negotiations Finish with Streaming Residuals Win

I am pleased to report that on October 22, 2020, after years of false starts, interruptions, and delays, the Federation reached agreement with representatives of CBS, NBC, and ABC for a successor Television Videotape Agreement, subject to ratification by the members. Negotiations for this agreement spread over four years. The previous agreement expired on February […]








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