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

April 17, 2020
Boettcher Concert Hall, home of the Colorado Symphony in Denver, sits empty during the Coronavirus shutdownBoettcher Concert Hall, home of the Colorado Symphony in Denver, sits empty during the Coronavirus shutdown
Boettcher Concert Hall, home of the Colorado Symphony in Denver, sits empty during the Coronavirus shutdown

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. Donate to any of these funds: Colorado Artist Relief Fund, Denver Metro Area Artist Relief Fund, Rocky Mountain Music Relief, Artist Relief, or Sweet Relief.
  3. Buy a gift certificate, ticket for a show in the fall, or forgo the refund from a canceled performance.
  4. Buy music or merchandise directly from musicians, ensembles, and venues. 
  5. 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.
  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 I, which closes at 9:59 p.m. MDT on April 23.

Colorado Artist Relief Fund
The grants are being made available on a rolling basis to individual artists in all media who live in Colorado and whose incomes have been adversely affected by the pandemic due to cancellation of events, classes, performances and other creative work. The Colorado Artist Relief Fund prioritizes lower-income artists and artists who have no other source of income.

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.

Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund
A grant of up to $500 for musicians who had a confirmed gig cancelled due to coronavirus for which they will not be paid.

MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund
Music industry professionals may apply for grants up to $1000 to compensate for cancelled work that was scheduled and lost. 

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

COVID-19 CO Creatives Relief Grant
A one-time grant available for arts organizations in Colorado with an annual operating budget of less than $1 million. Award amounts of $4,000 - $8,500 are available for Colorado-based 501 (c) 3 arts organizations, that have received Colorado Creative Industries funding in the last five years, and have a minimum cash operating budget of $25,000. Deadline for application is May 13, 2020 at 4 p.m.

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.

National Endowment for the Arts - CARES Act Grants
The NEA is currently accepting applications for CARES Act Grants through April 22, 2020. Grants cover salary support, artists fees, and facility fees for organizations.

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