All performing artists have experienced tremendous disruption as a consequence of restrictions required by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Singers can help raise awareness of the situation by participating in surveys, such as the Americans for the Arts economic impact survey; they can seek compensation for coronavirus-related losses from several relief funds, including one administered by BSR; and they can work to keep sharing music through several online platforms.
This is a growing document that will be updated periodically. We welcome any additional contributions to this list!
- New grants currently suspended, may resume later in April: The Boston Singers' Relief Fund, administered by BSR, offers grants to New England-based singers who are in need, including a special emergency relief fund to compensate singers up to $500 for lost income.
- New, available April 8, deadline April 22: The Massachusetts Cultural Council COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals offers $1,000 grants to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures.
- The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 and $1000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
- The Boston Music Maker Relief Fund was established by The Record Co. to provide financial relief to Boston area music makers experiencing lost income as the result of performance cancellations related to COVID-19. Small grants of up to $200 will be paid rapidly on a first come, first served basis to affected artists and groups.
- The Cambridge Community Foundation Artist Relief Fund provides one-time relief of up to $1,000 to arts organizations and artists who live, work, create, and/or perform in Cambridge.
- The Creative Portland Artist Relief Fund hopes to offer $500 stipends to help artists make ends meet, with the application process opening on March 30.
- The Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund (PEAR Fund) and the Keep Your Distance Festival: compensates for lost income for artists who have played a gig for Passim (or taught in the School of Music) in the last 10 years. Artists receiving grants record a video for the Keep Your Distance Festival which is featured on the website.
- The Seacoast Relief Fund is for musicians in the greater Portsmouth N.H. area who have lost gigs, lost income, and lost opportunities. A board of local musicians will distribute the funds.
- The Vermont Community Foundation has established the VT COVID-19 Response Fund to support nonprofits that are particularly equipped to address community impacts of the spread of the novel coronavirus in Vermont.
- The Artists' Relief Tree is a relief fund for artists affected by cancellations due to COVID-19. Anyone who is an artist (of any kind) can request $250, provided on a first-come-first-serve basis (as of March 24, applications are temporarily frozen).
- The Early Music America Relief Fund offers a check for $250 to those who are actively engaged in historical performance as a source of income (while funds last, on a first come, first served basis). EMA membership is not required.
- The New Music Solidarity Fund (applications accepted beginning March 31) is a new initiative designed to help new/creative/improvised music freelancers whose livelihood has been threatened as a result of performances which have been canceled during the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of $500 are given on a first come, first served basis to everyone in need.
- The CERF+ Emergency Grants and Resources for Artists focus on assistance for those infected with the virus who require intensive medical care.
- The Musicians Foundation provides grants to U.S. musicians in any genre in a time of acute need due to personal, medical, dental, or family crisis, natural disaster, or other emergency situation (they do not write checks directly to musicians).
- The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund provides support and temporary financial assistance to AGMA members. Grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis, based on need.
- The Grammy Foundation has a MusicCares Emergency Relief program
- The Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is waiving service fees for artists with crises related to COVID-19. They also have an article about "Force Majeure" clauses for dealing with canceled gigs.
Other Sources of Information
- Creative Capital's List of Arts Resources During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- COVID-19 & Freelance Artists
- Massachusetts Nonprofit Network page has extensive links to aid agencies and advice and resources for coping with cancelled events.
- State Cultural Councils (often include useful employment and social service links):
- Billboard Magazine's State-By-State Resource Guide for Music Professionals (leading off with some good national resources)
- New 3/29/20: Audio Assemble offers a list of Financial Resources for Musicians and the PLUGGED IN live streaming music festival, employing artists, and providing relief during the COVID-19 outbreak—lineup announced around March 30, festival starts April 8, prizes based on daily voting.
- Emmanuel Music's Heath Marlow offers Thoughts on musicianship during social isolation, suggesting ways to reach out to listeners online
- An article by Christopher Macklin: A Historically Informed Approach To Music In Times Of Pandemic (from Early Music America)
Music in the Time of Coronavirus
- Rockport Music provides "virtual concerts:" through their video library
- The Metropolitan Opera offers free streaming of an encore presentation from the Live in HD series on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day
- Shut In and Sing: Country / Folk / Americana singers and songwriters
- Stay at Home Online Music Festival
- Facebook group: Keep the Music Going
Federal Government Assistance (and other legislation)
First, see the graphic in the right column for a "snapshot guide" for everyone who has lost work (even if you don't normally qualify for unemployment). Then sign up for the Americans for the Arts COVID-19 Relief Package Briefing and "Virtual Check-In" on Tuesday, March 31 at 3:00 p.m. (will be recorded).
- Americans for the Arts analysis of support for the arts in the legislation
- The Council of Nonprofits goes over the bill, noting Direct Payments to adults of $1,200 or less and $500 per child ($3,400 for a family of four), excluding high-income individuals, to be sent out in weeks; and Expanded Unemployment Insurance, including coverage for workers who are furloughed, gig workers, and freelancers and increasing payments by $600 per week for four months on top of what state unemployment programs pay.
State Government Assistance
- Massachusetts Government Information on Unemployment and Coronavirus