In the nick of time: Resources for musicians

Posted 4/24/20

By now, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic has sunk in. We are in this for the long haul.

This article is devoted to highlighting some of the resources that are available to musicians who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

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In the nick of time: Resources for musicians

Posted

By now, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic has sunk in. We are in this for the long haul.

This article is devoted to highlighting some of the resources that are available to musicians who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

First off, self-employed musicians may be eligible for two programs through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently passed by Congress and signed into law by the president to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. These are the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance. Information on both of these programs is available at gonm.biz/about-us/covid-19-response.

Second, musicians may be eligible for unemployment benefits based upon a loss of income. These benefits will soon be available to self-employed workers, independent contractors and gig economy workers. More information can be found at dws.state.nm.us/COVID-19-Info.

A number of funds have been created to specifically help musicians. Some of these existed before the pandemic hit. Others have been developed in response to the current crisis.

Artist Relief (artistrelief.org) is a collaborative effort by several national arts grant-makers who have partnered to create a fund to distribute $5,000 grants to artists who are "facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19." These artists include musicians. There is a rolling monthly application process, and funds will be distributed through September 2020.

The Recording Academy, best known for producing the Grammys, is providing aid through its charitable arm. MusiCares (grammy.com/musicares/get-help/musicares-coronavirus-relief-fund) provides grants up to $1,000 for professional musicians who can demonstrate work that was scheduled and lost because of the pandemic.

Equal Sound (equalsound.org) launched a Corona Relief Fund to help musicians who have lost income due to a canceled concert. The application process includes providing a W-9 and evidence that a concert was confirmed and canceled due to the COVID-19 situation. Relief is given in the form of a $500 grant.

Musicians Foundation (musiciansfoundation.org) is providing one-time $200 grants to musicians impacted by the coronavirus. To be eligible for this fund you must file taxes as a musician.

Jazz Foundation of America (jazzfoundation.org/housing-emergency-assistance) helps jazz and blues musicians with emergency help for housing or other crises. The Blues Foundation's HART (Handy Artists Relief Trust) Fund (blues.org/hart-fund) supports musicians and their families with a variety of health needs, including acute, chronic and preventive as well as dental care and funeral and burial expenses.

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund (sweetrelief.org/covid-19-fund.html) invites musicians and music industry professionals to fundraise for themselves and their peers using their COVID-19 Fund @ Sweet Relief peer-to-peer platform.

For those musicians who want to continue getting your music out into the world, SoundCloud (soundcloud.com) is now providing a link on your profile page, so you can direct fans to your favorite method of financial support (e.g. Kickstarter, Patreon, Bandcamp, PayPal). SoundCloud is also stepping up to provide free promotional support by featuring five musicians per week for the rest of 2020. Simply tag your SoundCloud upload with #GetMorePlays to have a chance at being selected.

Spotify (artists.spotify.com/blog/spotify-covid-19-music-relief) is also working on launching a way for artists with profiles on their site to fundraise on their own behalf.

Finally, for those who are struggling emotionally, this is a normal response to the uncertainty we are all faced with during this time. Remember there are resources to help you navigate through the particular stresses that are affecting you. These include the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line. A message on website (nmcrisisline.com) states: "The New Mexico Crisis and Access Line is here to support individuals and communities during this time. As a professional mental health line, we maintain a solution-focused approach built on validation, normalization and access to resources. This model has prepared us to appropriately respond not only to mental health concerns, but also the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak."

The crisis line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at (855) NMCRISIS (855-662-7474). It is staffed by clinical professionals.

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