March 13, 2020 was the day New England went silent. Performing musicians were the first out of work when COVID-19 hit, and will be the last to return. Freelance musicians fill the stages of every musical group in New England and due to the “gig” nature of freelance work, these artists were left—overnight—with no regular income, few benefits, and for many, no qualified unemployment insurance.
*Katherine plays first violin and concertmaster in many groups around New England. She is a single mom with a son in the Boston Public Schools, no other income streams, and no family nearby to help with childcare or homeschooling.
*Josh and Allyson are a young couple with a new baby, a dog with a knack for medical crises, and an aging cat. They play in orchestras in states all along the I-95 corridor. None of the state bureaucracies can agree on which one of them should provide assistance, so they are left without their regular incomes or a safety net.
*Nick is a young freelance horn player who overcame huge obstacles to be the first in his family to go to college. He has successfully established himself as a successful Boston freelancer, but he is unable to pay his rent or afford groceries, much less attend to his loans.
These are just a few examples of the new reality faced by over 4000 professional musicians in New England. Stages, tours, and concerts are projected to remain dark until at least fall of 2021. The Boston arts scene was thriving due to decades of investment and, without significant help, it will take years to bounce back. Donating to NEMRF will directly help musicians weather this pandemic. Learn more at nemrf.org.
Musicians can go to https://www.sweetrelief.org/covid-19-fund.html to apply for relief funds.
Sweet Relief is here to provide immediate assistance and we have created this DONOR-DIRECTED FUND with a limited amount of funds available to be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the Coronavirus. Funds raised will go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses to those impacted due to sickness or loss of work. Those wishing to apply must provide the following:
- A completed Sweet Relief COVID Application and submit a form at the bottom of our Request Assistance page with the filled out application attached.
- Supplementary documentation proving that at least 50% of all income comes from working within the music community
- Proof of cancellations and bookings and/or relevant medical documentation
To donate online click the MAKE A DONATION button above.
To donate by check:
Write check to:
COVID-19 Fund at Sweet Relief
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
2601 East Chapman Ave., Suite 204
Fullerton, CA 92831
If you wish to donate items, services or develop a fundraising event please contact us at email@example.com or call 949-215-9620
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. Federal ID# 95-4443269