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, Secretary-Treasurer

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Jay Blumenthal – AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

Happy Anniversary — On Our Journey Toward Increased Democracy

We are celebrating our 125th AFM anniversary. It is a great source of pride to know that we belong to a venerated union with such a long and distinguished history. There were, however, some growing pains as we evolved into the democratic union we have become. One very important steppingstone on our journey toward increased […]


The Passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

by Jay Blumenthal, AFM International Secretary-Treasurer On Thursday, August 5, we were all stunned to learn that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka passed away unexpectedly at the age of 72. Rich was the president of the AFL-CIO for the past 12 years. During the four terms he served as president, he built a strong AFL-CIO leadership […]


White House Covid-19 Task Force

This July, it became increasingly clear that the Biden Administration’s goal of having 70% of the US population fully vaccinated by July 4th was not going to be achieved. While vaccines have been available, vaccine hesitancy has slowed the rate of getting shots into arms. As of July 14, 56% of the US population had […]


Return to the NYC Office and Other Recent Events

It’s been just over 15 months since the AFM New York City headquarters was first forced to close in order to comply with federal and state COVID-19 shutdown restrictions on March 19, 2020. While the office did reopen three months later (June 2020), it was for essential staff only, with strict COVID-19 procedures in place. […]


The PRO Act Would Level the Playing Field for Organizing

Organizing is the lifeblood of any union, and with our current labor law, it is the most difficult task we face as a labor organization. It takes commitment, tenacity, and abundant resources to be successful. Organizing new workplaces brings the benefits of collective bargaining to newly organized workers, which grows our membership and creates increased […]


Paycheck Protection Program Available to Unions

While unions are organizations that strive to improve the lives of their members and protect workers’ rights in the workplace from unscrupulous employers, unions are also employers themselves. The Federation and its locals (particularly larger ones) retain many employees in order to handle the workload of the union. As many small businesses were forced to […]


A Year in the Life of a Pandemic

We are approaching the one-year mark since the onset of the COVID pandemic, which resulted in authorities declaring a public health emergency and a lockdown requiring the closure of our AFM New York City office from March 19 through June 24, 2020. The AFM Los Angeles and Washington, DC offices were closed similarly. These closings […]


We Watched as Washington Shook

As you read my column this month, much will be different in Washington, DC. Our new president and vice president will have taken office, but only after an eventful and tumultuous final two weeks of the previous administration. We all watched incredulously as a large group of malcontents descended on the nation’s Capitol, scaling outside […]


Diversity in International Musician – A Surprising Realization

The Black Lives Matter movement has raised awareness and made the need for more diversity central to the ongoing conversation. The International Musician Editorial Board thought it was an opportune time to take an introspective look at diversity within the pages of our official union publication that you receive every month as a member of […]


Election, Livestreams, and AFM Budget

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have been projected by AP, CNN, and Fox News as the winners of the recent US presidential election. At this writing, the counting of ballots continues in some states and lawsuits are being prepared and filed contesting this outcome. We have now entered the lame duck session […]








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