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



jay blumenthal

Jay Blumenthal – AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

    Division in a Union Is Like Kryptonite

    It’s a challenge writing this month’s column since
    it is being written before the AFM Convention and published after the
    convention. Having attended many AFM conventions, I’ve learned that much can
    happen. There are often several unanticipated twists, turns, and unexpected
    issues that come before the delegates. This is all part of the democratic
    process. At times it can get quite messy, but ultimately it’s a very healthy
    process for our union.

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    2019 AFM 101st Convention Coming Soon!

    The 2019 AFM 101st Convention will be held at the Westgate Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Registration will begin Sunday, June 16, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and continue on Monday, June 17, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. preceding the opening of the convention. Once registered, AFM delegates will receive a convention bag with a printed copy of the 2018 AFM Annual Report (which includes the audited financials), the printed AFM 101st Convention Recommendations and Resolutions book, a printed AFM 101st Convention Book and a list of names and addresses of establishments in Las Vegas using live union music (provided by Local 369). In addition, the bag will include a thumb drive containing electronic copies of the 2018 Annual Report, 101st Convention Recommendations and Resolutions book, 2019 List of Locals, 2019 Local Officer Resource Guide, 2016 AFM Bylaws, and the previous Official Proceedings. The bag will also contain various convention souvenirs.

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    We’re In!

    The long-awaited move to our new office space
    happened April 1. The construction timeline to build out the new space was very
    tight, so things went right down to the wire, which created plenty of angst and
    nail biting. The AFM International Executive Board (IEB) meeting scheduled for
    April 2 was the first official meeting in the new space. While the vast
    majority of the construction work was completed, some work continued into the
    next month. The “punch list” (things needing further attention to make sure
    everything is working properly) will be addressed during April/May.

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    New Directive from USCIS

    The AFM (along with other unions) plays an important
    role in the nonimmigrant visa application process for foreign artists desiring
    to enter the US temporarily to perform and tour. Each application for an O
    or P visa must include a consultation letter generally provided by a labor
    union. There are times a union may find the applicant does not meet the
    criteria necessary to provide a favorable consultation letter. Cases of
    fraudulent use of these letters have occurred where the union’s letterhead is
    copied, dates are changed, and even signatures are forged to acquire the needed

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    The Perfect Storm

    In the first half
    of 2019 our New York Office is facing “the perfect storm.” A confluence of
    Federation events, culminating with our June AFM Convention, will be
    challenging to say the least.

    During February
    and March we conduct the annual audit and submission of our Labor-Management
    report to the Department of Labor. While totally normal, this is always a busy
    time that puts our finance department into overdrive. 

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