Help Musicians, a near-century-old charitable organization that supports artists during times of financial difficulty, is offering £500 ($610.12) checks to musicians who’ve been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Compensation will be dispersed from the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, and musicians who’re “suffering significant financial hardship” can apply for aid by filling out an online form. Help Musicians has set aside £5 million (roughly $6 million) for the charitable undertaking.
The application’s questions appear relatively straightforward; basic eligibility inquiries, including one’s age, citizenship status, musical capabilities, and more can be answered with a simple click. Additional questions and a request for proof of high-level musical skill, either through a resume or video footage, follow.
Help Musicians will inform applicants of their acceptance or denial in 10 or fewer days, and funds will be transferred via direct deposit into approved individuals’ accounts. Artists can apply for the £500 Coronavirus Financial Hardship payment only once, and similarly, each UK musician is eligible to receive just one payment from the support program.
Help Musicians is among several organizations that are assisting artists amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Music Producers Guild (MPG) called for the government to distribute support payments to music technicians and producers, and earlier today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that freelance workers will be eligible to receive 80 percent of their monthly salary until the country resumes normal operations.
Stateside, the Senate’s colossal stimulus package sets aside funds for an array of freelance and gig workers, including musicians; the House will vote on the legislation tomorrow. The Recording Academy and MusiCares, Rihanna, and Spotify, to name some, have made multimillion-dollar donations to coronavirus relief efforts.
In other encouraging coronavirus news, a veteran epidemiologist, Neil Ferguson, indicated today that the UK will likely suffer far fewer COVID-19 casualties than he initially anticipated. Last week, the professor painted quite a grim picture of the situation, though he’s since come to believe that the crisis is manageable.