COVID Financial Relief Resources for Artists & Musicians

Tonje Thilesen The Hum COVID Resources Musicians Artists
Photos by Tonje Thilesen

Hi folks, I’m Rachael Pazdan, a Brooklyn-based concert promoter, event producer, and founder of The Hum Series. Like all of you involved in music and the arts, whose worlds have come to a violent, screeching halt, I’m experiencing a heavy dose of the “daily dreads”. This charming checklist includes spells of loneliness and craving for human contact, fear, depression, and the queen of the dreads, anxiousness. Anxiety has ruled my world for a while, but my daily worry session about the future of live music has cranked my anxiety up to level 500. And as this forced quarantine makes us prisoners to our own apartments, we can’t just do what we (I) did before when we (I) experienced some anxiety (distract yourself with work!). We’re bound, forced to examine our coping mechanisms as this pandemic takes a microscope to our personal vulnerabilities.
In our previous human lives, before we lived in a dystopian Black Mirror episode, the work that was most fulfilling for me was bringing people together to listen to music. I’ve been grieving this outlet and I believe I miss this more than anything else (although…sex was fun too. Single people, remember sex??). Last night I hit another low point after reading this little gem in Consequence of Sound, which piggybacked this NYT feature about how concerts won’t realistically resume until fall 2021. The anxiety hampster wheel is a ROCKIN’!
Luckily this morning, my accountant (of all people) sent me this wonderful list of COVID financial relief resources for artists. And BINGO, a flicker of joy ignited as I realized I could share this very helpful list with all of the artists I’ve been missing so much (Mindy being one of them). So here you are, Tom Tom Magazine followers, my accountant’s list of financial resources for artists during COVID-19! I sincerely hope it can bring some relief to your lives, and please let me know your findings (I’m on IG at @partyofpaz).
  1. American Federation of Musicians (AFM): Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund – a charitable trust that provides financial relief to members of AFM. (https://www.afm.org/petrillo-memorial-fund/)
  2. American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund – financial assistance for artists. Through March 31, due to the devastating toll the coronavirus has taken on AGMA members, the AGMA Relief Fund will temporarily double the cap of financial assistance available to AGMA members in need. (https://agmarelief.org/)
  3. Artist Relief Tree – a relief fund for artists affected by cancellations due to COVID-19. • Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund – a fund for US-based BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists and administrators. (https://www.gofundme.com/f/artsleadersfund?fbclid=IwAR1yNBFOBl18Oy9KysozAdpQFfZeKN6Wq82ZMpVnlOqF84USeauRDhtnYEY
  4. Bagby Foundation for Musical Arts – small grants to support opera and classical music professionals. (https://actorsfund.org/resources/bagby-foundation-musical-arts)
  5. Blues Foundation HART Fund – for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. (https://blues.org/hart-fund/#about)
  6. Bluegrass Trust Fund – professionals in the business of bluegrass who are in a time of emergency need can apply for assistance from this fund. (https://ibma.org/bluegrass-trust-fund/apply/)
  7. CERF+ Emergency Assistance – grants and/or brokered assistance for artists that have experienced a recent, career threatening emergency, such as an illness, accident, fire or natural disaster. (https://cerfplus.org/get-relief/apply-for-help/craft-emergency-relief-fund/)
  8. Come Together: Support Group for Production/Crew – online support groups that create a safe space for the industry to come together and access support and resources. (https://variety.com/2020/biz/news/coronavirus-crew-tv-film-shutdown-pay-1203536098/)
  9. The Creator Fund – a fund where active creators who are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus can apply for financial assistance. (https://www.thecreatorfund.com/)
  10. Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund – musicians who have lost income due to a canceled gig as a result of the coronavirus outbreak can apply to receive money. (https://equalsound.org/project/corona-relief-fund/)
  11. Freelancer COVID-19 Emergency Fund – a fund for creative freelancers who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 virus to apply for temporary assistance. (https://freelancecoop.org/emergencyfund/)
  12. The Haven Foundation – immediate relief funds and/or assistance for creators that have experienced a recent, unforeseen emergency or triggering event that has significantly and adversely affected the qualified person’s ability to produce, perform and/or market his/her work. (http://www.thehavenfdn.org/)
  13. Music Health Alliance COVID-19 Resources – a relief grant for musicians that need immediate financial support. (https://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/194887/music-health-alliance-provides-covid-19-and-tornad)
  14. Musicians Foundation – all professional musicians, regardless of their genre or instrument, can apply for themselves or a family member if they meet the qualifications listed on this site. (http://musiciansfund.com/) 
  15. Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund – if you have performed or taught at a Passim facility in the past 10 years, you can apply for relief from this fund. (https://www.passim.org/pearfund/)
  16. Patreon Artist Grant – application where artists affected by Covid-19 can get support. • Recording Academy and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund – music industry professionals may apply for lost income due to the cancellation of scheduled gigs or performances due to coronavirus precautionary measures. (https://www.patreon.com/)
  17. Sweet Relief COVID-19 Fund – funds available to apply for that can be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the coronavirus. (https://www.sweetrelief.org/covid-19-fund.html)
  18. Symphonic: Help Support Independent Musicians – artists can complete the application to be featured on Symphonic’s donation webpage; every time the page is refreshed, a different artist will appear for a user to donate. (https://symphonicdistribution.com/supportmusic/)
  19. Virtual Festival – a collaborative effort to help artists survive during difficult times using technology to gain exposure and provide opportunities for fans to support via Venmo and PayPal. (https://www.facebook.com/VirtualFestival2020/)

For further resources, this is Pitchfork’s list. 

God speed, and see you on the other side.

Tonje Thilesen The Hum COVID Resources Musicians Artists

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