March 18, 2020
By Morgan Kaylor
The swift reaction from organizations across the music industry to extend aid and assistance to music creators in need is an important step as our industry mitigates the impact of coronavirus. Music creators across the world are feeling the economic impact of this pandemic as a result of the widespread cancellation of festivals, tours, and concerts.
To help build awareness of the options available to music creator community, we have aggregated these resources below in a “living” blog that we will update on a regular basis as we become aware of new resources. Please help us by sharing this information with fellow members of the music creator community.
If you would like to add a resource to our list, please do so by completing the form below.
- American Federation of Musicians (AFM): Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund – a charitable trust that provides financial relief to members of AFM.
- 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.
- 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
- Bagby Foundation for Musical Arts – small grants to support opera and classical music professionals.
- Blues Foundation HART Fund – for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns.
- Bluegrass Trust Fund – professionals in the business of bluegrass who are in a time of emergency need can apply for assistance from this fund.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Creator Fund – a fund where active creators who are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus can apply for financial assistance.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gospel Music Trust Fund – this fund gives financial assistance, in the event of an emergency or major catastrophe, terminal or severe illness without efficient insurance, to individuals who derive or have derived a substantial portion of their income from the field of gospel music.
- 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.
- Music Health Alliance COVID-19 Resources – a relief grant for musicians that need immediate financial support.
- 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.
- 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.
- Paetreon Artist Grant – an 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.
- SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund – members who are in an emergency financial crisis related to COVID-19 may request assistance to cover basic expenses like rent, mortgage, utilities and medical bills.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
U.S. Federal Resources
- CARES Act –
1. Individual Cash Rebates
All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers, who are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a valid social security number, are eligible for a $1,200 ($2,400 joint filer) rebate. These same standards apply to additional benefits of $500 per dependent child. Generally, the taxpayer does not need to take any action to receive the rebate. The rebate amount is phased out gradually for single filers with incomes up to $99,000, and for joint filers up to $198,000, with further adjustments for filers with children.
2. Unemployment Insurance
The CARES Act includes increased and expanded unemployment insurance (UI).
• Self-employed individuals, independent contractors, those who quit their job as a result of the virus, and those who employer is forced to close due the virus are all eligible for UI.
• The federal government will provide an additional $600 per week on top of the normal benefit provided by your state. This increase of eligibility and benefits will last four months from time of enactment of the law.
We encourage eligible members to promptly apply for UI benefits. UI is administered by states and state-provided benefits vary. Find your state guidelines and process for filing for UI here.
3. Self-Employed/Small Business Relief
The CARES Act creates a new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a $366 billion Small Business Administration (SBA) lending program intended to alleviate disruption to individuals and small businesses caused by the coronavirus.
Importantly, small businesses, sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals are eligible for relief.
How to access the PPP:
• Banks, credit unions, and other lenders approved by the Treasury Department will process and service loans under the PPP. We highly encourage members to act immediately and seek out an institution with which you have a prior lending relationship, if possible.
• The PPP will require borrowers to make a good faith effort to certify that funds will be used for businesses expenses including payroll, rent or mortgage payments, and utilities.
• Loan Forgiveness Funds used for qualifying expenses will be eligible for forgiveness. Speak with your lender about specific requirements for loan forgiveness.
We advise members to reach out to their local bank or credit union to inquire whether they will be part of the PPP. We will continue to post updates to this space as the law is implemented.
U.S. State-Specific Resources
- Billboard has compiled a comprehensive list of resources here.
- FACTOR’s COVID-19 Update – musicians can apply for funding in situations where the event or activity was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Glad Day’s Emergency Survival Fund – emergency survival fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers.