Sunday, December 16, 2012

Emergency Funding for Musicians and Singers

A short while back, we had an entry on emergency help for writers--people in a financial tenuous line of work.  Maybe even more dicey is the music business, and some charities have sprung up to help singers and musicians in need of emergency financial help.

One is the Society of Singers, which offers emergency financial help for professional singers-which they define as someone who has made their primary livelihood in singing for at least five years.  For help, contact them at 818.995.7100, extension 104.

For musicians of any genre who need help, there is the Musician's Foundation, which offers help for current living or medical expenses.You need to have worked at least five years as a musician to be eligible, and you must submit documentation proving that your primary employment is as a musician.

Musicares, a part of the Recording Academy, is a charitable organization that helps those in the music business with severe financial need.  See this site for its qualifications.

There are a couple of resources for artists in particular genre.  The Jazz Foundation of America provides emergency help to jazz and blues artists in need of financial help.  But the help is beyond cutting a check: artists who contact them are put in touch with a social worker who assesses their situation and how best to financially help them.  They estimate that about 1900 jazz and blues artists are helped by their program each year. Call (212)245-3999 for more information.

For older classical musicians, The Musician's Emergency Fund was established to keep the wolf from the door.  Contact executive director Marie Ashdown at P.O. Box 1256, FDR Station, New York, NY 10150-1256.

Country music musicians, singers, songwriters and others in the business as a full-time profession can get help from the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund in Nashville.  It accepts referrals from individuals in the country music industry and other musical emergency help groups. 

The Rhythm and Blues Foundation has financial and medical assistance programs for R&B artists who charted records from the 1940s through the 70s, and programs for artists from Universal Records and Motown who charted during that period.

For older musicians, singers and composers, or those with severe medical needs, Sweet Relief has a program to help with financial needs.  Artists must have recorded at least three times, or in the case of composers, been published at least three times, or written music that has been recorded at least three times.  See the website for more information.

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