The pandemic has temporarily terminated in-person gatherings and has made people move to virtual and online settings. While some people have found the transition relatively easy and comfortable, others have been struggling. In particular, the music industry, including musicians and music industry workers, has taken a huge toll with the cancellation of live performances.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation has opened up a 2021 Jazz and Heritage Music Relief Fund, which is a statewide relief fund to support Louisiana's music community. The fund is now accepting applications from music industry workers who have lost a portion of their income due to the pandemic and cancellation of live events. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, April 6, at 12 a.m. and funding determinations will be decided after the deadline has passed. The funding is aimed at supporting people who have not been able to find additional employment during the pandemic and, as a result, are experiencing economic hardships.
While it is important to support and fund local musicians, it is just as important to consider the industry workers who work behind the scenes to keep the music alive. It is clear that musicians have been struggling during the pandemic, but people that manage and schedule music events are just as vital in helping the music industry return to normal. A music industry worker includes music producers, tour managers, music publicists, and a wide variety of other careers within the music industry. This fund will help New Orleans and other communities in Louisiana to start to return to a normal lifestyle once the pandemic is over. The goal is to get the music industry up and running as soon as possible.
To be eligible, an individual must be a current Louisiana resident, 18 years or older, have proof that a substantial part of their income relies on live music performances, and be a professional music industry worker who has been employed for at least one or more years in Louisiana. Individuals who applied for the fund in 2020 are allowed to apply for new funding this year.
Also, musicians who have not yet applied to the 2021 Jazz and Heritage Music Relief Fund for musicians are encouraged to do so before noon on Wednesday, March 31.