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ASCAP, BMI and SESAC Create Songwriter-Focused Fund for MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Effort

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Courtesy of the Recording Academy

Performing Rights Organizations, including the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and SESAC announced today that they are contributing to create a special fund as part of the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund to support music creators who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

While the COVID-19 Relief Fund was created to help all music industry workers in need, the funds collected from the PROs will be focused on helping their respective songwriters, composers and lyricists. Members and affiliates of each contributing PRO are encouraged to apply for a grant through the COVID-19 relief fund via www.musicares.org.

Since the fund’s establishment in March, with initial seed donations of $1 million each by MusiCares and the Recording Academy, millions more have been raised with the support of numerous partners.

However, more is needed to meet the ever-growing demand.

Harvey Mason Jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said: “It’s inspiring to see every sector of the music industry band together during a time of need. With the help of these latest contributions and the generous donations over the past few weeks, we’ve been able to garner more than $10 million to provide aid for music people across all genres, crafts and disciplines affected by the coronavirus pandemic. That said, the need is still so great and these times remain critical for music people.”

Steve Boom, Chair of MusiCares, added: “We’re thrilled to see the continued support from organizations to help all the people who were depending on their next gig to make ends meet. There is still much more work to be done, and we hope that those who have supported us will continue to inspire others to do what’s needed for the music industry during this unprecedented time.”

Elizabeth Matthews, CEO of ASCAP noted: “Songwriters, composers and lyricists are the backbone of the music industry — not only is their craft vital to our creative culture and so many other businesses, they also help to lift up humanity in moments like these. We thank our fellow PROs for joining together with ASCAP to create and support this specially created fund through MusiCares and the Recording Academy that will provide our music writers with the emergency relief grants they need at this difficult time.”

Mike O’Neill, President & CEO of BMI said: “The MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund is an important resource for songwriters and composers, who, like so many, have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. BMI is grateful to be able to contribute to this initiative and help in some small way to ease the financial hardship of music creators during this trying time. We are happy to join ASCAP and SESAC in supporting this vital effort and we thank them, the Recording Academy, and MusiCares for helping all of our writers. The creative community is resilient and will continue to inspire the industry as we get through this together.”

John Josephson, Chairman and CEO of SESAC, said: “We recognize the profound impact which the COVID-19 pandemic and state mandated shutdowns are having on songwriters as well as the global music community. We’re pleased to be joining with ASCAP and BMI to support MusiCares’ expanded funding in support of songwriter and composer applicants. It’s essential that we do all we can to make sure that our creators have the resources they need to navigate this crisis and continue practicing their craft.”

The MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund was created by the Recording Academy and MusiCares to provide monetary support to music people in need due to the cancellation of income-generating music events and other industry work opportunities. Beyond the fund, all Recording Academy Chapters have committed to fundraising in their local communities. Additionally, the Recording Academy appealed to Congress to further protect musicians, performers, songwriters, and studio professionals such as self-employed gig workers who are impacted by cancellations due to the ongoing pandemic. The Recording Academy and MusiCares will continue to provide resources to those in need.

If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, visit: https://www.grammy.com/MusiCares/CoronavirusReliefFund.

If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit: musicares.org.