The coronavirus pandemic has left countless members of the music community facing an uncertain future, as festivals and tours are canceled, studio sessions are called off and business travel is restricted. To help music professionals and their loved ones navigate the crisis, Billboard has compiled a list of resources at both the national and state levels, including more than four dozen relief funds.
Austin Community Foundation’s Stand With Austin Fund* Established in partnership with the Entrepreneurs Foundation, the fund was set up to support nonprofits assisting vulnerable individuals and small businesses affected by SXSW’s cancellation.
Austin Texas Musicians
The musician advocacy nonprofit formed by local artist, beloved friend, former RajiWorld client (and staff because that is how our dear little music town works), Nakia Reynoso is working to secure relief funds and resources for musicians. In the meantime, it has created a continually-updated resource list.
Banding Together ATX (GoFundMe)*
This fund was set up by the Red River Cultural District alliance specifically to support those in the Austin live music community who have been economically impacted by the cancellation of South By Southwest. That includes venues, artists, hospitality workers and others who rely on annual income from SXSW to make ends meet — those who fall under that category, may apply for funds here.
Housing Opportunities For Musicians And Entertainers
HOME provides financial housing assistance for needy aging musicians in Austin with grant assistance and other support, including referrals to additional available resources.
I Lost My Gig*
Designed to benefit Austin locals who lost work due to SXSW’s cancellation, I Lost My Gig is currently soliciting donations. As of Sunday (March 15), it had already received over 750 submissions representing over $4.2 million in lost income.
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians
HAAM provides access to affordable healthcare for low-income musicians living in Austin.
Locals struggling to mentally and emotionally cope with the impact of COVID-19 may contact the SIMS Foundation, which provides access to mental health and substance use recovery services for Central Texas musicians, music industry professionals and their dependent family members.
Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
This centralized guide was created for small businesses and nonprofits in Texas who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and are looking to apply for SBA loans. Those who have suffered “substantial economic injury” from COVID-19 may be eligible for economic injury disaster loans of up to $2 million.
Texas Music Office
Though the office isn’t offering benefits itself, it can help music workers affected by the pandemic apply for the state’s disaster unemployment assistance, which extends unemployment benefits to those who don’t traditionally qualify.
Texas Workforce Commission
Texas residents can submit an application for unemployment benefits here.
Workforce Solutions Capital Area
WFS, the nonprofit governing body for the regional workforce, is offering layoff support both for businesses and workers in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Actors Fund
The Actors Fund offers a variety of services for entertainment workers, including those in the music industry. Services include emergency financial assistance, affordable housing, health care and insurance counseling, senior care and secondary career development.
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.
A coalition of national arts grantmakers (including Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation and United States Artists) launched this $10 million relief fund, which will provide $5,000 grants to artists facing “dire financial emergencies” due to the pandemic. The coalition has also joined forces with Americans for the Arts to co-launch an impact survey to better identify the needs of artists and creative workers.
Artist Relief Project
Anyone pursuing the arts as a career (any discipline, any level of experience) can request financial support from the Artist Relief Project, which will provide applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis with a one-time emergency stipend of $200 and free resources and support to pursue alternative economic opportunities. The Artist Relief Project is an initiative by Artly World Nonprofit. It is a registered nonprofit based in Austin, with the mission to empower children, families and communities through creative arts initiatives and opportunities.
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.
ASCAP Music Unites Us*
Performance-rights organization ASCAP has launched a site to help its songwriter, composer and music publisher members stay connected and financially stable during this uncertain time. It includes information on how to receive ASCAP royalties through direct deposit, an online works registration application, access to free mental health services for ASCAP members and more.
Music education hub Audio Assemble has put together a list of online remote opportunities for U.S.-based musicians during the COVID-19 outbreak, including both short-term and long-term job opportunities. It is also raising money for its first live streaming music festival, PLUGGED IN, set for April 8-10. Musicians can apply for paid opportunities to perform during the livestream here.
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 groupthat plans to meet regularly via the Zoom app.
The Blues Foundation launched an emergency relief fund for full-time blues musicians whose revenue streams have been severely diminished by the pandemic. Find out how to request funding here. Meanwhile, the foundation’s longstanding HART Fund also helps underinsured or uninsured blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a range of health concerns.
Convertkit Creator 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.
Live Nation has donated an initial $5 million to launch this global relief fund for live music crews, and will match the next $5 million in donations as well. Check back here for the funding application to come.
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.
Foundation for Contemporary Arts*
The New York-based foundation has created a temporary fund for experimental artists of all disciplines who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. It is disbursing one-time $1,000 grants to artists who have had performances canceled or postponed. Apply here.
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.
Freelancers Relief Fund*
The Freelancers Union has set up a relief fund for freelance workers through its nonprofit subsidiary Working Today. The fund, which is accepting donations now, will provide grants of up to $1,000 per household to freelancers experiencing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic. Applications open on April 2.
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.
HealthCare.gov Special Enrollment
Though no emergency special enrollment period has officially been instituted by the federal health insurance exchange due to the coronavirus outbreak, uninsured people are being invited to inquire about their eligibility for a special enrollment in light of the virus.
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.
Larrosa Music Group Financing Program*
Larrosa Music Group has set up a special financing program for music professionals affected by the pandemic. The maximum term is one year for a maximum amount of $20,000, with interest rates ranging from 7.5 to 10 percent. The program is open to session and live musicians; anyone who collects royalties through PROs or distribution companies; and agencies, producers, record labels and publishers who manage musicians and can provide proof of cancellations of shows, recordings or other remunerated activity as well as verify income of at least $2,500 in the last 12 months. Applications are open until May 1. (Note that the web page is in Spanish but can be translated.)
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.
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.
Music workers in need of financial help during the crisis can apply for assistance at this volunteer-run website, which was set up to facilitate peer-to-peer giving. Applications are reviewed and posted within 24 hours, and 100% of all donations go directly to the affected person. Musicians are also urged to list their virtual concerts on the site.
New Music Solidarity Fund*
This artist-led initiative is granting emergency funding to freelance musicians “working in new creative, experimental or improvised music” who have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus crisis. The fund has already raised more than $130,000 and beginning on March 31, eligible artists may apply for grants of up to $500.
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.
Patreon What the Fund Grant Program
The crowd-funding platform has set up a grant program to benefit select artists who have been impacted by the coronavirus. Patreon itself kickstarted the fund by donating $10,000 and is currently accepting contributions. Grant recipients will be chosen by a board of fellow creators.
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.
PLUS1 Covid-19 Relief Fund*
In response to the devastating COVID-19 outbreak, PLUS1 has launched a PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund to coordinate our efforts to support those in our community most at risk from the pandemic. PLUS1 is working with leading non-profit organizations and several local organizations around the country to provide immediate assistance to musicians and music industry workers for medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses to those impacted due to sickness or loss of work.
Record Union Wellness Starter Pack
In coordination with industry experts, the digital music distributor created this “toolbox for wellbeing” for overwhelmed music professionals. Thought not specific to the coronavirus, the Wellness Starter Pack includes guides to mindfulness, nutrition, positivity, sleep and exercise that can help lower stress, anxiety and depression levels during the shutdown.
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.
Online music course hub Soundfly has put together a free Guide to Learning Things Effectively Online for musicians in quarantine who want to continue learning or practicing skills virtually.
SoundGirls Coronavirus Relief Fund*
SoundGirls, an organization which supports women working in professional audio and music production, is offering $100 gift cards to live event production workers who have been put out of work due to the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.”