MusiCares, the charitable wing of the Recording Academy, which has raised nearly $14 million through its COVID-19 Relief Fund, has been forced to stop accepting new applications for aid until it raises more money, the organization announced Thursday. MusiCares staff and executives have been hard at work fundraising, but until further notice, the need has outstripped the financial resources.
Within days of the shutdown, the Academy and MusiCares formed the COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has become the de facto go-to charity for the music business, marshalling donations from nearly every major music company and distributing more than $14 million to a music community that continues to need aid — and has been receiving 500 applications per day.
Anyone seeking to donate can do so at https://www.grammy.com/MusiCares/CoronavirusReliefFund.
In a statement, MusiCares wrote:
The effects of COVID-19 have been devastating to our music community and the need for relief remains dire. While we are incredibly grateful for all the support we have received and are humbled to be in a position to help those who are so desperately in need, the fight to help those struggling in our community is far from over.
Since forming in March, the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund has raised nearly $14 million dollars to aid thousands of music industry professionals affected by the pandemic. It is the largest amount of money raised, with the most recipients helped, for any single event in our history. To date this year, we’ve vetted and approved 20,200 individuals to receive assistance. For context, that’s more than double the number of music people we typically serve in one year. But, there’s still so much work to be done.
Unfortunately, until we can raise more money for our COVID-19 Relief Fund, we can no longer accept new applications from those seeking assistance. While our goal is always to provide support to everyone in need, we are currently bound by the funds available.
We aren’t giving up and continue to work relentlessly to raise additional funds, while furthering our commitment to provide leadership in other ways. These initiatives include continuing our advocacy work in Washington D.C., providing guidance for artists as they navigate this new territory, and fostering discussions with a broad group of leaders about the future of our industry.
As an industry and a community, this is one of the most trying times we’ve ever faced, but we know that music can unite us in our struggle to console, entertain and provide some levity during dark times. We are committed to facing the challenges ahead alongside all those who have and will join our cause.
As MusiCares currently does not have an executive director, the effort has been led by interim Recording Academy president/CEO Harvey Mason jr. and chair/Amazon head of music Steve Boom, who spoke with Variety about their work last month. In an interview Wednesday, Mason emphasized both how generous the donations, which have come from nearly every major music company, have been, but also the level of need.
“We’re still getting 500 applications a day [for aid] and we’re doing a lot of fundraising,” he said. “The need is great and it’s not slowing down: We’ve raised almost $14 million and it goes right back out the door, so the next phase will be to do another fundraising round — we went to the streamers, labels, PROs, companies and artists have been very generous and we’re so thankful for that, but there is another level and layer of fundraising that we’re approaching now and it’s going to be very important for us to continue giving aid to people that need it. This is something we’re going to be working on for a long time to come.”
Since it was founded in 1989, MusiCares has distributed more than $70 million to musicians and music people in need.
If you wish to support its efforts, visit: https://www.grammy.com/MusiCares/CoronavirusReliefFund.