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

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 […]


Time to Restore the US as a Welcoming Nation

Recently, AFL-CIO transition documents (currently in draft form) contain numerous recommendations for the next US administration, one of which includes a recommendation to restore our identity as a welcoming nation.


Resources for Union Members Experiencing Financial Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the already lengthy pandemic continues, we are seeing governmental support come to an end, putting increased financial stress on musicians who are out of work. The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO has put together a resource list that may be helpful to you based on your individual situation. Health Insurance (Medicaid) and ACA Health […]


Union Plus Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program

If you and your family are mostly hunkered down due to the coronavirus, you may want to consider taking advantage of an amazing opportunity from Union Plus. A program Union Plus is currently offering can be life-changing for those who have a desire to complete their college education (bachelor’s degree) online at little or no […]


AFM International Executive Board Votes to Endorse Biden for President

On Friday, August 7, the AFM International Executive Board (IEB) met by Zoom meeting to discuss the possibility of endorsing a candidate in the upcoming US presidential election. All IEB members were present for the meeting. The IEB is very much aware that we have a diverse membership that has views that cover a wide […]


NYC Beginning to Come Alive!

Having lived in New York City for over 40 years, I’ve learned that a very important part of what makes this vibrant, pulsating, multi-cultural city so special is the people who live here and the tourists who visit. During normal times, walking around the five boroughs of New York can be like a world tour. […]








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