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

    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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    Union Election Transitions

    In the December 2016 issue of the International Musician, I devoted my column in part to union election transitions. It seems like a good time to revisit the topic. We think of December as the month that brings the year to a close and January as a month that sets the stage for new beginnings. Many union elections take place in December, and from time to time, new union officers are elected to take the reins of their local. On occasion, the election can be preceded by contentious campaigns that leave the outgoing officers feeling unappreciated.

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    Looking Back on 2018 and Ready for an Exciting 2019

    As 2018 comes to a close and we begin a new year,
    it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the past year and plan for what will be
    coming in 2019. All in all, 2018 was not as financially robust as 2017, but I
    am predicting the year will end with a comfortable surplus for the AFM. Of
    course, actual numbers will not be known until our auditors complete their work
    in April.

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    Hurricane Relief Extended to Hurricanes Florence and Michael

    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.

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    AFM New York Office Plans for Move in 2019

    As many of you know, the deal to fulfill the AFM dream of owning a floor in a building in lower Manhattan to house our AFM headquarters fell through at the eleventh hour. Down to one last negotiation point, the seller made the purchase contingent on our buying two floors instead of one. This was not possible as a two-floor purchase was not in our price range and we simply did not need that much space. Since there was no other property for sale that met our space requirement and price point, we began looking at spaces to rent.

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