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 » Recent News » Labor Media Recognizes IM for Excellence in the Field

Labor Media Recognizes IM for Excellence in the Field


The International Labor Communications Association (ILCA) has announced its annual communications award winners for 2022. Annually, the organization hosts what is now the largest competition exclusively for labor journalists. Articles that embody the work of the global labor movement are judged by experts in the field from across the industry. 

International Musician received six awards in several categories. Notably, IM features writer Stephen Laifer won the prestigious Max Steinbock Award, given in recognition of outstanding effort that explores an issue of concern to working families, paying particular attention to insight into the human spirit. Laifer, a member of Local 67 (Rochester, NY) and horn player in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, is a longtime contributor for the magazine. He writes on a breadth of topics and is recognized for his work in all musical genres.

2022 ILCA Awards:

Max Steinbock Award: Herb Smith: Music Is an Underrated Path to Social Justice,” by Stephen Laifer (May 2021)

Saul Miller Award (1st Place): “David vs. Goliath: Musicians Take on HBO—and Win,” by Stephen Laifer (August 2021)

Best Analysis (1st Place): Local 77 Moving from Transactional to Transformative Unionism,” by Stephen Laifer (August 2021)

Best Profile (3rd Place):Michelle Seto: Chamber Orchestra Musician Comes Full Circle,” by Stephen Laifer
(July 2021)

Best Editorial or Column (3rd Place):Freelancers: Joining the AFM Could Be the Best Move You Ever Made!” by AFM President Ray Hair (November 2021)

Print Publication (3rd Place): International Musician (July and August 2021)

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