Musicians have always lived on the edge unless you’re part of the 1%, and even then you’d be surprised how tight things can be. It’s easy to fall into a hole of depression, especially when you’re isolated (believe me, I know), but there’s also a lot of help available on a National, State, and even city basis that you may be able to tap into.
The following is only a partial list from Billboard (I don’t think they’ll mind me posting here) that only covers national organizations offering help. Check out the page to find out State by State and city possibilities as well.
Above all, stay safe, stay smart and stay sane. Isolation can be a bitch so don’t let it get to you. And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
NOTE: An asterisk indicates that the resource is coronavirus-specific.
American Association of Independent Music
A2IM is surveying indie music companies about how the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting their businesses. The results will inform the organization’s discussions with the New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, as well as its investigations of federal assistance programs.
American Federation of Musicians
The AFM is calling on Congress to provide immediate economic relief on behalf of musicians and other working people in the midst of the crisis, including expanded unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures and utility shut-offs. The organization has a resource page providing more information. Additionally, disabled AFM members can apply for financial aid through its longstanding Petrillo Memorial Fund.
American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund
Any AGMA member in good standing is invited to apply for financial assistance under the AGMA Relief Fund, which has temporarily doubled the amount of assistance available to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
Americans for the Arts Coronavirus Survey
This five-minute survey was created to collection information on the financial and human impacts of the pandemic on arts and cultural organizations.READ MOREHere Are All the Live Streams & Virtual Concerts to Watch During Coronavirus Crisis (Updating)
Artist Relief Tree*
Anyone who is an artist can request funds from the Artist Relief Tree, which plans to fulfill every request with a flat $250 on a first-come-first-serve basis. The fund is currently not accepting new requests until it can secure more funding, but if you would like to be informed if and when the opportunity becomes available again, click here.
AudioAssemble.com* AudioAssmeble.com has put together a list of online remote opportunities for musicians that are available for U.S.-based musicians during the COVID-19 outbreak. Their financial resources page has short-term and long-term job opportunities, as well as governmental resources to help musicians generate revenue.
Backline was established to connect music industry professionals and their families with mental health and wellness providers. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization has established a virtual support group that plans to meet regularly via the Zoom app.
Blues Foundation HART Fund
The HART Fund helps underinsured or uninsured blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a range of health concerns.
Convertkit Creative Fund*
What began as a $50,000 fund for active creators experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 has now reached $154,000 in funding. The fund covers up to $500 per creator to help cover medical, childcare, housing or grocery needs. As of March 18, the fund has received more than 6,000 applications, and the website notes, “Our current fund will be exhausted well before we can get to everyone.”
COVID-19 Music Production Response Group*
A Facebook group meant as an “open forum for constructive debate about the effects of COVID-19 on music production industry professionals,” according to administrators. Its nearly 4,000 members (as of March 18) are sharing news updates, suggested actions, job opportunities and other resources.
COVID-19 Mutual Aid Fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC Folks (GoFundMe)*
This more than $70,000 fund prioritizes LGBTQI+, non-binary, gender fluid and gender non-conforming people of color whose livelihoods have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The first round of funding closed on March 17, but organizers say they plan to continue to raise funds through mid-April.READ MORERecording Academy Urges Congress to Support Music Community Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund*
Equal Sound, an organization that strives to break down traditional genre boundaries through events and advocacy, is inviting musicians who have lost income due to the pandemic to apply for funds. Applicants must provide proof they had a confirmed concert cancelled over the coronavirus to receive the money.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program*
In response to the pandemic, Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses around the world, including music and live events businesses. More details to come (you can sign up for updates here). Facebook also has a new Business Resource Hub to help small businesses prepare for and manage disruptions like COVID-19.
Freelance Coop Emergency Fund*
The Freelance Coop, which connects creative freelancers with business resources, created an emergency fund for freelancers adversely affected by the pandemic. Examples of funding usage are unexpected childcare costs due to school closures, client cancellations, and medical expenses due to the virus itself. As of March 18, the fund had $35,279 in requests and $5,299.69 raised, and is continuing to call for donations to keep up with demand.
Gospel Music Trust Fund
Individuals working in the gospel music field can submit a request for financial assistance to the Gospel Music Trust Fund, which grants funding in the event “of an emergency or major catastrophe, terminal or severe illness,” according to their website.
Independent Venue Week*
Non-profit organization Independent Venue Week has compiled a list of indie music venues that have launched GoFundMe and other fundraising campaigns to stay afloat during the nation-wide closures.
International Bluegrass Music Association’s BlueGrass Trust Fund
Current or former bluegrass music professionals can apply here for financial grants and loans, which are generally between $500 and $5,000. The association has also created a coronavirus-specific resource page.
Jazz Foundation of America Musicians’ Emergency Fund
This fund offers financial support, housing assistance and pro bono medical care for musicians who have made a living playing blues, jazz and roots music.
League of American Orchestras
America’s only national service organization devoted solely to orchestras, the League has set up a landing page of resources to assist affected orchestra workers during the pandemic, including advocacy campaigns, fundraising resources, a discussion group and more.
The “peer-to-peer wealth distribution” service is a tool for salaried workers to donate funds across a database of freelancers, service industry and gig economy workers who are impacted by coronavirus health and safety restrictions.
Artists and bands who have been displaced from touring due to the pandemic can list their merchandise on this site to help offset lost revenue — with zero charges or fees. Apply to be added to the site here.READ MOREIn Seattle, America’s Coronavirus Ground Zero, Music Venues Face Uncertain Future & ‘Massive Debt’
The Recording Academy and its charitable foundation MusiCares have committed $2 million in total to a COVID-19 Relief Fund, established to assist those in the music community who have been affected by the pandemic. People can donate and apply for assistance by navigating to the fund’s official web page.
Music Health Alliance
The Nashville-based Music Health Alliance provides healthcare support services to uninsured members of the music industry.
The New York-based nonprofit established a new emergency grant program in response to the pandemic, offering all eligible applicants up to $200 each. After receiving an “immense volume of applications,” the foundation placed a temporary hold on all applications on March 13. Check this page for updates.
Music Maker Relief Foundation
The foundation, which provides ongoing support to American artists 55 and older who live in chronic poverty, also gives out emergency grants to artists in crisis. It is now soliciting donations to ensure the stability of vulnerable elderly musicians during the pandemic.
NOMAD Fundraiser for the Touring Crew (GoFundMe)*
Touring manager Frank Fanelli is aiming to raise $20,000 for touring crew members and roadies who have lost income due to gig cancellations and postponements. Donations close at the end of March.
Pinetop Perkins Foundation’s Assistance League
PAL provides financial assistance to elderly musicians for medical and living expenses. Preference is given to blues artists, though musicians in other genres may be eligible depending on available funds.
SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund*
SAG-AFTRA members who are in an emergency financial crisis related to coronavirus may request assistance to cover basic expenses like rent, mortgage, utilities and medical bills. To apply to the fund, members must have paid their dues through October 2019.
Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
The Small Business Administration has designated COVID-19 as a qualifying event for economic injury disaster loans. However, you must be located in a “declared disaster area” to apply for assistance. Check if your state qualifies here.READ MOREHere’s How Celebs Are Helping Out During the Coronavirus Pandemic
In light of the crisis, music finance firm Sound Royalties is allocating $20 million to offer a no-cost royalty advance funding option through April 16. Songwriters, performing artists, producers and other creators with royalty income can apply for cash advances on a one-year repayment schedule, cost-free.
Sweet Relief COVID-19 Fund*
Sweet Relief has established a donor-directed fund to be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the coronavirus. Funds will go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses for those who get sick or lose work due to the pandemic.
Tour Support, a mental health nonprofit for the live music industry, is offering independent touring contractors whose tours have been postponed or cancelled one month of free online therapy through Better Help (apply here). In addition, Shading the Limelight is offering the Tour Support community two free weeks (March 17–28) of emotional wellness coaching (email [email protected] for an appointment). Check the Tour Support Twitter for more updates to come.
Viral Music — Because Kindness is Contagious*
Independent musicians are invited to use this more than 21,000-member Facebook support group to connect with music fans. “Use this joint to post links to your merch store, online shows, Patreon, or online music lessons,” organizers write. “If you’ve had a gig cancelled, post the city and your Venmo/PayPal — many of us would love to pass along our ticket refunds to you.”
Royalty Exchange is reducing the commissions from the sales on their site from 15% to 10% over the next 90 days to directly benefit artists who sell on their platform.
Once again, there are more resources for help available on a State and city level, so check out Billboard for the full list.