How You Can Help Classical Musicians And Organizations During The Coronavirus Crisis

Courtesy of Colorado Symphony
Boettcher Concert Hall, home of the Colorado Symphony in Denver, sits empty during the Coronavirus shutdown

Updated March 18, 2021

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt by the music industry for years to come. Yet no one can argue how valuable music is to our health and sanity during these trying times. If you are grateful for the solace, joy, or peace that music is bringing you right now, consider taking action in one of the many ways we mention below.

How You Can Help as a Classical Music Lover

  1. Donate directly: Visit the website of your favorite orchestra, ensemble or musician's Facebook page. Chances are they've made it clear what they need. If not, ask what their Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App account is and send them something. As a radio station that runs on 95% local and listener support, we can confidently say every little bit helps.
  2. Buy a gift certificate, ticket for a future show or season, or forgo the refund from a canceled performance.
  3. Buy music or merchandise directly from musicians, ensembles, and venues.
  4. Check out The Symphony Spot, a directory provided by the League of American Orchestras with links to support and listen to orchestras all over the country.
  5. Donate to any of these funds: ReFUND CO, Colorado Artist Relief Fund, Rocky Mountain Music Relief, Artist Relief, or Sweet Relief.
  6. Share your actions: Feel good about donating and encourage others to do the same, share a link to a fundraiser on your Facebook, Instagram, or other social media account.

Resources for Individual Musicians

American Guild of Musical Artists
AGMA is the labor union that represents artists from numerous disciplines that create America's operatic, dance, and choral heritage. Members of the union can apply for the AGMA Relief Fund.

Artist Relief
Artist Relief is distributing $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19. Applications are now open for Cycle X, which closes at 9:59 p.m. MT on March 31.

Colorado Arts Relief Grant
Grants of up to $2,500 designed to assist arts, culture, and entertainment artists and crewmembers who are experiencing income loss due to government-mandated closures and have been unable to generate meaningful income to replace income lost through the cancellation of events, classes, performances, and other related work. Also available for Arts businesses and organizations. Applications are currently closed.

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts
The CBCA works to advance Colorado’s creative economy by connecting business and the arts. They have a robust list of resources for musicians and organizations seeking advocacy, research, training, and economic relief.

MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund
MusiCares grants short-term financial assistance for personal or addiction needs that have arisen due to unforeseen circumstances. Funding may be awarded for needs such as rent, car payments, insurance premiums, utilities, medical/dental expenses, psychotherapy, addiction treatment, sober living, and other personal expenses.

Music Health Alliance COVID-19/Tornado Relief Grant
Emergency financial assistance is available for music professionals who are unable to pay their basic living expenses (health insurance/food/health care) over the next two months. The site also provides resources on what to do if you are a musician who has lost their employer-provided health insurance, how to apply for new health insurance and unemployment benefits.

Music Minds Matter
Music Minds Matter is a Colorado based nonprofit committed to supporting the brain health and mental wellness of music communities everywhere. Currently, the organization hosts free weekly digital meetups with music industry professions to talk about many topics relating to mental health.

Sweet Relief COVID-19 Fund
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund provides assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Their COVID-19 donor-directed fund is available for musicians and music industry workers affected by the Coronavirus. Funds go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses to those impacted due to sickness or loss of work.

See additional resources collected by Indie 102.3

Resources for Classical Organizations

Colorado Arts Relief Grant
Grants designed to assist arts, culture, and entertainment businesses and organizations that are experiencing income loss due to government-mandated closures and have been unable to generate meaningful income to replace income lost through the cancellation of events, classes, performances, and other related work. Funding can be used to cover any business expense. The funding amount will be based on the size of the organization's cash operating revenue loss from 2019 to 2020. Applications are currently closed.

League of American Orchestras Resources
The League of American Orchestras is offering free webinars on how orchestras can create effective fundraising campaigns during this time. A list of resources for legal advice and government assistance is also available on their website.

What did we miss? If you have a suggestion to help musicians or organizations right now, please send an email to [email protected]