Grants available for professional musicians in New England and New York’s Upper Hudson Valley
As already stated, we’re going to beat the drum in support of our favorite show venues until drummers can get back to beating them in front of us night after night.
In addition to continued coverage of the scene and situation and memorable show recaps we’ll be running in the coming weeks, we also invite you to join us at Dorchester Art Project on Dec. 3 and Dec. 5, when music writer Brian Coleman and friends will give socially-distanced visual tours through Hub concert history for his Buy Me, Boston book release (we have some free tickets for Dig members if you act fast).
Also, we’re here to help keep readers up to date with news on the business, employment, and legislative fronts. For starters, last week the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) announced a partnership with the similarly-named National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF) “to Preserve and Nurture the Ecosystem of Independent Live Performance Venues and Promoters Throughout U.S.”
“While NIVA remains the advocacy, sponsorship, and membership trade organization branch of the cause, the Foundation has been created to focus on separate, supplemental initiatives, such as the Emergency Relief Fund,” NIVF President Hal Real said in a statement.
“While we wait for Congressional support that would allow our industry of independent venues and promoters to survive, I’m excited to be working with the National Independent Venue Foundation on next steps that, once we are back in business, will allow every member of our community the equal opportunity to thrive,” added Tobi Parks, NIVF vice president and owner of xBk Live. “It’s more than just that feeling of being in an audience, surrounded by other fans of all backgrounds who are connecting in that moment. Our goal is to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in all levels of our industry – from fans to artists, employees to owners, and beyond.”
More specific to our region, the New England Musicians Relief Fund (NEMRF) launched a new fundraising drive in hopes of distributing $200,000 to musicians in need in time for the holidays.
“Eight months in, push is coming to shove. For some of us, it is already ‘game over.’ For others, it is a struggle to redefine what we do,” violinist and single mom Katherine Winterstein said in a statement from the fund. “For all of us, it is a question of who we are and what we serve.”
“Without assistance, some musicians will leave the industry,” added Hazel Dean Davis, a horn player and NEMRF founder. “We created NEMRF to help musicians weather the COVID-19 shutdown, but even as we devote all our resources to this current crisis, we realize the need for a safety net will extend beyond the virus.”
Professional musicians in New England and New York’s Upper Hudson Valley can apply for grants at nemrf.org/apply. Anyone looking to donate should visit nemrf.org/takeaction.