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 » Musicians Foundation: Offering Support to Professional Musicians and Their Families for More than 100 Years

Musicians Foundation: Offering Support to Professional Musicians and Their Families for More than 100 Years

  -  AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

Founded in 1914, Musicians Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to musicians and their families in times of need, crisis, or transition.

Now, I hope I’ve gotten your attention because this is an organization that has been dedicated to supporting professional musicians for more than a century.

Musicians Foundation was incorporated by the New York Musicians Club The Bohemians. Members and supporters over the last century have included many distinguished artists and philanthropists such as Pablo Casals, Jascha Heifetz, Elkan Naumburg, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arthur Rubinstein, Gustav Schirmer, Charles Steinway, Isaac Stern, and Arturo Toscanini. Legacy gifts have been an important resource of funds for Musicians Foundation aid grants.

Who Is Eligible?

In order to be considered for an aid grant from Musicians Foundation, a candidate must have worked as a professional musician for at least five years and paid their taxes in the United States. Applicants must submit tax statements demonstrating that their principal income is derived from work as a musician. A screening committee reviews all grantees to confirm the validity of each individual application, including review by a physician in cases of medical need, as well as evaluation by a licensed social worker.

How Does It Work?

That said, for those who meet the requirements, Musicians Foundation has provided support nationwide to thousands of musicians across all genres. It offers the assistance necessary for them to weather financial difficulties and personal setbacks with dignity and security. Funds raised through concerts, events, annual dinners, and bequests, as well as generous individual donations, have enabled Musicians Foundation to spend a century giving back to the people who make the music, reflecting on its “shared source of joy, inspiration and incomparable, irreplaceable artistry.”

Support includes one-time assistance for periods of acute need (medical crisis, crime victimization, etc.), as well as ongoing help for long-term costs, including nursing home and hospice care. Funding is given in the form of direct payment to vendors, such as medical practices, housing rental authorities, and insurance companies.

How to Donate/Apply

Visit to learn more about Musicians Foundation and read its latest news and true stories of support. There you can apply for support or, better yet, make a donation.

If you have any questions about the application or the application process, call or email Musicians Foundation at (212) 239-9137 or

musicians foundation

Please find the clickable versions of the above links below:

Facebook page:
Pre-application (first of two parts):
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