There’s no point in sugarcoating it. COVID-19 – or its more commonly referred classification “coronavirus” – is creating a situation worldwide unlike any we’ve seen in the better part of a century. There is the public health crisis side of it that we are in no way qualified to speak authoritatively about – other than to say follow what leading health officials are recommending in terms of limiting human contact – but it is also driving a quickly cascading economic crisis that could have longer-term and more widespread effects across the world.
For us more immediately we’ve experienced it in the near-complete shutdown of the music and entertainment industries. Any tours happening within the next couple of months have been cancelled, and pretty much all venues in countries and states currently facing outbreaks have been closed down until further notice (if they serve food some have been able to stay open for take-out/away orders). This not only affects musicians and bands, but it affects all individuals involved with the music industry as a whole, down to the bartenders and service workers who keep bars and venues running (many of whom have the double whammy of also being in bands affected by all of this).
In the past week I’ve seen the reactions from the music communities I follow and am involved in range from calm circumspection to depressed resignation to near panic. Most of what I’ve seen all over the place though is uncertainty and confusion about what will happen to them and their finances/general well-being during this period. While much of that will be determined by state and national government responses that very few of us who read this might have some influence in, there are things being done by national, state, and local organizations, governments, and collectives to set up direct assistance to the people who will need it.
With that in mind and wanting to feel productive in some way amid all of this mess, I’ve gone ahead and started compiling lists of resources and funds that musicians, service workers, artists, writers, and entertainers can access right now if they are in need of financial, medical, or housing assistance. This is by no means a fully comprehensive list, but I hope to keep it updated as time goes on. If you are aware of anything not mentioned below, feel free to contact me at [email protected] or directly message us at our Facebook page (you will receive an auto-response telling you to e-mail us, but we still monitor it for things we can reply to immediately). This list is very much USA-biased (funny how much more we seem to rely on these sorts of emergency funds in cases like these, hmm?), but if there are any comparable ones elsewhere, please share them.
In addition to the resource list, I would also like to mention that this past weekend we launched a new Heavy Blog community group on Facebook and revived our Discord server for all people who follow us in some capacity and would like to be able to directly interact with Heavy Blog staff, musicians, and other readers. With the more immediately visceral public health and economic effects of all of this at the forefront of people’s minds, it can be easy to downplay the humongous mental health toll that all of this will be having on people, either directly because of COVID-19 or due to the effects of quarantining and social distancing. We say all the time that our readership and community is one of the best out there, and we want to give everyone a chance to be a part of it and get through all of this together.
Stay safe. Be good to each other. We love you.
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General COVID-19 Resources For Musicians/Artists/Entertainers
- Creative Capital Arts Resource Guide (great resource to bookmark; where I pulled a lot of the funds you will see below)
- COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources (another great compendium that includes funds and other general information for getting through this period as a freelancer affected by the pandemic)
- Americans for the Arts COVID-19 Resource Center
- American Federation of Musicians Emergency Assistance Info
- 3arts Emergency Resources (resource portal featuring many of the same places as others but with a Chicago-specific lens)
- I Lost My Gig (ongoing directory/fund for Austin-based artists who have lost money due to the cancellation of SXSW)
- Hyperallergic Daily COVID-19 Report (good, up-to-date compendium of all arts-related things that have been cancelled or closed down due to COVID-19)
- Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund
- CERF+ Emergency Assistance
- Musicians Foundation
- NOMAD FUNDRAISER – For the Touring Crew (fund set up for tour crews affected by loss of work)
- AGMA Relief Fund (specific to members of the American Guild of Musical Artists)
- Musicares Financial Assistance (specific to music industry pros who have been involved in multiple commercial releases)
- The Blues Foundation HART Fund (specific to blues musicians)
- Jazz Foundation of America Musician’s Emergency Fund (specific to jazz musicians)
- IBMA Bluegrass Trust Fund (specific to bluegrass musicians)
- Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants
- Boston Artist Relief Fund (specific to Boston residents)
- Philanthropy CA COVID-19 Response Resources (specific to California residents)
- Local 802 Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund (specific to members of the Associated Musicians of Greater New York union)
- Springboard For the Arts Personal Emergency Relief Fund (specific to Minnesota residents)
- Seattle Artist Relief Fund (specific to Seattle residents)
- COVID-19 Oregon Musicians Relief Fund (specific to Oregon residents)
- Red Dirt Relief Fund (specific to Oklahoma residents)
- AFC Aid Services (specific to Canadian residents)
- Unison Financial Assistance (specific to Canadian residents)
- Glad Day Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers (specific to Canadian residents)
- CANADIAN Low-Income Artist/Musician Relief Fund (specific to Canadian residents)
- USBG National Charity Foundation (bartenders/service industry)
- Eater List of Relief Funds for Coronavirus-Affected Restaurants, Bars, and Food Service Workers
- Authors League Fund
- PEN America Writer’s Emergency Fund
- Dramatists Guild Foundation Emergency Grants
- Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund
FINE ARTISTS/ACTORS/OTHER CREATORS & ENTERTAINERS
- NYFA/Rauschenberg Emergency Grants (partnership with New York Foundation for the Arts and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation for visual and media artists/choreographers)
- Actors Fund Entertainers Assistance Program
- Gottlieb Foundation Emergency Grant (specific to fine artists)
- Convertkit Creator Fund
- Flesh and Bone Design COVID-19 Graphic Design Services (our good friend Brian Morgante of Flesh and Bone Design is offering his services for free or on a “pay what you can” basis to orgs, businesses, and artists for a period of time looking to raise money for COVID-19-related causes)
- NYC Survey for Nightlife Workers, Freelancers, and Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 (survey for NYC entertainers and entertainment service workers)
- Los Angeles Nightlife Alliance: Survey for Nightlife Workers, Freelancers, Businesses and Patrons Impacted by COVID-19
- Music Portland COVID-19 Impact Survey (survey for Portland musicians affected by the virus and fallout)
- Vimeo – How To Plan a Virtual Event
- How To Host a Watch Party on Facebook
- Streamlabs: How Musicians Connect With Fans Through Live Streaming
- Dome A Records Live Streaming Festival Information (Boston-based label Dome A Records is looking to create a new and potentially ongoing “festival” that will feature livestreamed performances of bands. Details are still being worked out that we will likely write about separately eventually, but you can learn more and get involved yourself by following that link)