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 » SphinxConnect Welcomes Participants in Person

SphinxConnect Welcomes Participants in Person


The Sphinx Organization welcomed hundreds of musicians, industry leaders, educators, funders, diversity advocates, and administrators to take part in its annual SphinxConnect conference, held at its home base of Detroit, Michigan. In 2022, the arts organization celebrated its 25th anniversary with a virtual conference, but returned to in-person sessions for their January conference.

The 2023 theme was “Impact.” It featured sessions and guest speakers on the topics of diverse programming; organizational hierarchies; pay equity; mental wellness; philanthropy; pedagogy; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in educational and performance institutions; and more.

Opening the conference was violinist and First Prize Junior Laureate of the 2020 Sphinx Competition Amaryn Olmeda and a performance and interview with opera singer Denyce Graves-Montgomery. The closing plenary featured Michael R. Jackson, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway show A Strange Loop. The Sphinx Competition Finals Concert capped off the event, with performances by the finalists and the Sphinx Symphony, led by Maestra Kalena Bovell.

Begun in 1997 by MacArthur Fellow, violinist, and poet-journalist Aaron P. Dworkin for the development of young Black and Latino classical musicians, Sphinx has evolved into a catalyzing force for systemic change. The organization, which has become famous for its annual competition, provides nonprofit outreach programs for classical music education in under-resourced areas across the US. Sphinx is a movement that has galvanized change in the landscape of classical music, with $10 million invested in artist grants and scholarships, a digital imprint of 60 million, and an alumni roster of more than 1,000 artists and leaders.

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