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


Home » Officer Columns » Hurricane Relief Extended to Hurricanes Florence and Michael

Hurricane Relief Extended to Hurricanes Florence and Michael

  -  AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

The AFM International Executive Board (IEB) has extended hurricane relief assistance to both Hurricanes Florence and Michael. If you were a member in good standing at the time of a loss as a result of a hurricane and continue to be a member in good standing, reside in a county FEMA has designated a major disaster area eligible for individual assistance, and incurred an uninsured loss as described in the Hurricane Relief Fund application, you may be eligible for assistance from the fund. Applications are available for download through the AFM website ( under the Hurricane Relief “get help” link. After filling out an application, please follow the directions by submitting the application and all supporting documents to your local. If your local supports your application, they will forward the application and documents to the AFM for a determination. Any assistance will be made at the sole discretion of the AFM.

New AFM Emergency Relief Fund

Similarly, a new AFM Emergency Relief Fund has been created to assist members adversely affected by major disasters such as wildfires or tornadoes. Applying for this kind of assistance requires a different application (AFM Emergency Relief Fund application), which is also available for download by following the “get help” link on the AFM homepage. Please make sure you use the correct application for the type of assistance you need (hurricane application for hurricanes and emergency relief application for wildfires, tornadoes).

The AFM IEB provided temporary seed money ($10,000) from the AFM General Fund to get the AFM Emergency Relief Fund started. However, continued assistance will require donations from our members. As we distribute assistance, Hurricane and Emergency Relief Fund balances will decline. Once all monies in the Hurricane Relief Fund have been distributed, we will close out the Hurricane Relief Fund and the AFM Emergency Relief Fund will provide assistance for all types of disasters. Therefore, future donations should be made only to the AFM Emergency Relief Fund.

It is our hope that the same generosity our members demonstrated with the AFM Hurricane Relief Fund will now be extended to the AFM Emergency Relief Fund. Please note that donations are not tax deductible.

Recording Musicians Association

I recently attended the Recording Musicians Association (RMA) General Conference hosted by Local 802 (New York City). Ever-changing technology affects all of us working in the music industry but none more so than recording musicians. Digital distribution, satellite radio, video game music, and new media “direct to Internet” are just a few of the areas that are part of the changing landscape. It has become increasingly apparent that streaming is and will continue to be the predominant way recorded product is delivered to the consumer, at least for the foreseeable future.

Understanding how best to monetize this work for AFM members has been a focus of the current AFM administration. In an effort to educate the membership, the recent AFM/FIM Economy of Streaming Media Conference, held in Burbank, California, identified our best assumptions about where the music industry is headed and the challenges it presents. All this must be taken into account as we negotiate various agreements in film, sound recording, and video games. The RMA plays a crucial role throughout the negotiation process by identifying the issues that need to be addressed in negotiations and providing important rank-and-file participation at the bargaining table. I want to thank and congratulate RMA President Marc Sazer and the other re-elected or newly elected RMA officers. Working together, as we have been doing, helps to ensure a better outcome for all musicians.

Read more about the RMA Conference here and read SoundExchange President and CEO Mike Huppe’s Streaming Conference keynote speech here.