The Recording Academy and MusiCares’ $14 million COVID-19 Relief Fund has been depleted, and the organizations have temporarily ceased accepting new applications for financial support.
As first reported by Digital Music News, the Recording Academy and MusiCares debuted the COVID-19 Relief Fund back in March, in an effort to help music-community members who are struggling financially amid the novel coronavirus crisis. Both organizations (MusiCares is the Recording Academy’s charitable wing) kicked the fundraising initiative off with a $1 million donation.
In the interim, the COVID-19 Relief Fund raised an impressive $14 or so million, thanks to contributions from individuals, as well as companies including SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, and many others. Some 20,000 music industry professionals and performers have been assisted with the funds, according to MusiCares, but more capital is required before additional aid can be distributed.
Until donations replenish the COVID-19 Relief Fund and enable MusiCares and the Recording Academy to resume dispersing cash, the organizations will continue to advocate for government assistance, guide musicians, and develop long-term plans for the revitalization and growth of the music industry, according to MusiCares’ statement.
MusiCares hasn’t yet specified an exact timetable for the COVID-19 Relief Fund’s resuming normal operations.
Companies, artists, and other segments of the music community are stepping up to support those who are being hit hardest – medically and financially – by the COVID-19 pandemic. Post Malone’s livestreamed Nirvana-cover concert recently raised approximately $3 million for coronavirus relief, while Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z are among the prominent artists who’ve pledged multimillion-dollar coronavirus relief packages personally or via their charitable organizations.
Collection societies and organizations, for their part, have also been successful in raising funds to help those suffering because of the pandemic. Earlier this week, for instance, PRS for Music reached out to Digital Music News and revealed that it had secured $2.6 million for its members.
Yesterday, the Recording Academy announced that Valeisha Butterfield Jones will serve as its chief diversity and inclusion officer, on the heels of an ugly dispute with former CEO Deborah Dugan.