The Record Co. launches ‘Boston Music Maker Relief Fund’

Photo Credit: Omari Spears

UPDATE, March 27, 2020: This fund has been re-named the “Boston Music Maker COVID-19 Fund.”

As Boston musicians face numerous show cancellations due to coronavirus concerns, The Record Co. has established a grant fund that aims to help those same creatives make up for lost income. 

The Boston Music Maker Relief Fund launched this evening (March 12), offering Boston-area acts the chance to apply for small grants of up to $200 on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Non-artists are also welcome to donate to help support these grants. Two donors have already raised $10,000 for The Record Co.’s new initiative. 

“This fund is important because music makers in the freelance gig economy rely on the income they get from shows to make ends meet,” Maria Bartolotta, community manager for The Record Co., tells Vanyaland. “Imagine spending hours upon hours working on your craft — practicing and creating, and then more hours being your own manager, your own business, lining up gigs. And then when it’s almost showtime, aka payday, you’re left scrambling. Music does so much to strengthen our communities and economy, and it’s important to take care of the people who make music for us.”

The rollout of the relief fund comes at a critical time; in the past week, most Boston artists saw the cancellation of at least one of their events (if not more) due to the coronavirus, and the trend of concert cancellation came to a head today when Live Nation announced that the company plans to pause all tours through the end of March.

“You have to help, you have to help quickly, and you have to make it easy for people to get help,” adds executive director Matt McArthur, who also cited that many musicians live paycheck-to-paycheck. Without any upcoming gigs, musicians might not find themselves a “next paycheck” for days, or even weeks.

The guidelines for applying for a grant from the relief fund are as follows, as stated on The Record Co.’s website:

Grants will be made on a first come, first served basis and additional funds will be released as they are available.

Music makers can:

  • submit 1 request per artist or group
  • receive a grant for the amount of lost performance revenue up to $200
  • receive funds rapidly upon approval via Venmo or Paypal

To qualify for a grant from the Boston Music Maker Relief fund, music makers must:

  • live in the Greater Boston area as defined by The Boston Foundation “Catchment” Area.
  • have experienced lost income from a performance cancellation related to COVID-19

Apply for a grant here, and donate to the Boston Music Maker Relief Fund here.