The COVID-19 pandemic has dismantled live music in Boston for the time being, but it has in no way shut down the music scene. A part of this is due to the many funds and information that have been created to support different parts of this community. These possible, usually one-time, payments or links to possible work opportunities are nowhere near the level of aid that the Boston music community currently needs, but are important recourses while new ways of staying afloat are being searched for.
Perfect sites to find funds and information on anything from live-streaming to possible freelance work are WBUR’s list, NEFA, Creative Capital, Billboard and The Boston Foundation. Most of the information relayed in this small article comes from these hubs.
Funds and support are not solely for those who perform on stage or those who create art. There are certainly funds targeted towards performers like singers and dancers, but others such as Americans for the Arts, Sweet Relief Music Fund and The Foundation of Contemporary Arts Artist Relief Fund are open to everybody in the music industry. Whether you run sound or lighting for shows, book gigs, help sell arts and crafts, or run a local label, there are funds out there for you!
Documentarians, Craft Artists, the Theatre Community; along with general support funds, many different roles in the art community have funds dedicated to them. Just one little search on the internet and you will likely find a fund for your specialty.
Many are also set up for cultures and communities that are particularly struggling during the pandemic. Women’s Foundation of Boston Response Fund, Racism is a Virus Too and Community-Wide Children’s Meals Program Grant Fund are a few worth checking out if applicable. However, many of these organizations funds close quickly.
With a little research, you’ll probably even find a fund that’s for the town or county that you live in. Essex County’s fund offers a small payment, as well as putting your information on their website for people to support your work. Somerville and Worcester have added their funds to a multitude recourse lists, but many others can be found with just a quick google search.
The Boston art community is certainly not gone and applying for aid is not a concession of defeat. Get the support you need and in the mean time, there are still opportunities for you no matter what part of the community that you fit into. There are short term payouts, long-term support, community projects, possible work and so much more. Please don’t be overwhelmed by the many links in this short piece, mainly because this hardly covers it. What it means is that whatever part of the art community you find yourself in, there is support out there if you need it.
Stay safe, people.