Applications are now open for musicians to apply for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation's 2021 Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund. The last day to apply is March 31 at noon, and you can fill out an online form at jazzandheritage.org. Those who do not have access to a computer or the Internet may call 504-558-6108 for help. Eligibility is for musicians who reside within Louisiana who have suffered a loss of income due to live events being cancelled.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is a non-profit organization in charge of the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The foundation has announced that it has started to receive applications for its 2021 Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund, a statewide relief fund made to support Louisiana musicians whose performances, jobs, and lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be divided into two portions, with the first part of funding being open to musicians and the second part of funding open for music community members. For now, applications for the first portion of funding have been opened and more information on the second portion will be announced in the upcoming months. Musicians who have already applied for the 2020 fund are allowed to apply for this new round.
Live music is one of the biggest characteristics of New Orleans's culture, and, without it, the city has faced a great devastating impact. Louisiana's live music industry has slowly been fading because of COVID, affecting not only the income of musicians, but of the people who make everything possible behind the scenes—the countless industry workers and cultural bearers.
Don Marshall, executive director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, said, "The contributions musicians make to enrich our lives are immeasurable. It's important that we recognize the centrality of music and culture in our daily lives. Now more than ever is a time to support and acknowledge the impact musicians have on our cultural continuity. The impact this fund has had on the music community has been one full of hope and perseverance." Board President Jeffrey Goldring added, "With a commitment to continuing the support for our local music community, the Foundation's board believes that the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund is timely, but most of all, necessary."
The fund was created at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 to fund grants and motivate musicians to push through this global crisis. More than 2,500 musicians and music industry workers have received relief fund grants throughout the past year, with more than $1 million being distributed.
Donations are still accepted and you can make a tax-deductible contribution to the Music Relief Fund at relief.jazzandheritage.org.