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 » Legislative Update » The Presidential Election Season Has Begun

The Presidential Election Season Has Begun


Throughout the 2024 primary and caucus season, culminating in the summer conventions, Democratic and Republican presidential candidates will court American voters in their quest to win the coveted honor of being nominated by delegates to represent their states and their party as the chosen candidate for president of the United States.  

At the time of this printing, Donald Trump was declared the winner of the Iowa and New Hampshire Republican caucus. Nevada caucuses will also play out this month, as well as the South Carolina ballot primary. Visit for links to election tools, deadlines, dates, rules, and links for every state.

Key to the culmination of the presidential electoral process, the Republican National Convention is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 15-18. The Democratic National Convention will take place in Chicago, Illinois, August 19-22.  

AFM officials in these respective cities are working hard to secure the use of AFM musicians for the live and televised/recorded segments of these conventions.

It’s important to note that voters will use two distinctly different election platforms: in-person, face-to-face caucus sessions in some states and a primary ballot box process in the remaining states. All 435 House seats are up as expected, bi-annually, and this election season, 33 US Senate seats, are up for election or re-election as well. In addition, a plethora of down ballot state seats on ballots are to be filled.

As voters, AFM musicians share similar concerns to other Americans on matters such as the economy, childcare, taxes, education, and other “bread and butter” or “tabletop issues.” Fortunately, your union maintains a full-time legislative-political office that focuses on and reports directly to you. On an ongoing basis AFM President Tino Gagliardi, Secretary-Treasurer Ken Shirk, and the AFM International Executive Board speak about important legislative matters specific to your professional livelihoods, and hopefully help strike a balance for you and your family. These AFM leaders and their senior staff aggressively engage these issues as a matter of course so that you can continue your busy schedule of music making.

Again this year, we will highlight important legislative issues, which once passed, will allow you to make clear economic choices for your career. Some of these issues may well seem a rehash from a year ago because the wheels of “legislative sausage-making” grind slowly. Meanwhile, the AFM National Legislative Office maintains a vigilant approach toward a resolution.

We are also vigilantly engaging legislation governing the use of generative artificial intelligence, new creative artist funding sources beyond our usual support of the National Endowment for the Arts, new copyright legislation, as well as maintaining active engagement with the White House Office of Public Engagement. You can learn more about these activities at:

Again, we welcome your input, engagement, and generous support of our TEMPO program, which helps make all the difference in our efforts.  

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