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.
May 1, 2015Sam Folio - former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer
One of the first things I did in 2005, as the incoming AFM Secretary-Treasurer was to take inventory of the responsibilities of the position. I did this, of course, by reading the AFM Bylaws. The Secretary-Treasurer is also the publisher of the International Musician (IM). The IM is the official means of communication between the Federation and its members. All official business is put forth in this publication.
As I sat at my desk at 1501 Broadway in New York City, I looked across the room at the bookshelf filled with bound archives of the International Musician, dating back to 1896. Each was filled with news articles and editorials discussing and reporting the problems of the day experienced by members. As I looked at those bound volumes, I noted the changes.
Upon examining the IM in 2005 when I took office, I decided that we needed to move to a different, more readable format. We redesigned the publication to have a slick color cover, and eventually it became a full four-color magazine with more pages. I also wanted to offer more information for the everyday freelancing musician, so the “Working Musician” section was born. We’ve made every attempt to include more stories of members and present more relevant information in terms of resources and career and health tips.
The IM is now available in a digital version. While some AFM members opt to receive only the online publication, the overwhelming majority of our membership still looks forward to receiving the IM in their mailboxes on the first of each month. They regard their IM subscriptions as one of the benefits of AFM membership.
Recently, there has been some discussion about doing only an online version. However, I do not agree with this idea. I believe we need both. The New York Times and other papers of the day have both. While I get The Atlantic monthly on my kindle, and not the paper version, I still like to thumb through the Sunday New York Times and the International Musician. There’s nothing like unplugging and catching up with notable musicians mentioned in the pages of the IM.