COVID 19 Creative Economy Relief Info

Updated April 27th, 2020

A number of people and organizations have stepped forward to assist musicians and other individuals involved in music who may be suffering a loss of income or a radical change of schedules due to COVID 19 virus precautions. We are listing anything that comes are way with regard to assistance for musicians and students.

A word of caution. Always investigate any organization that is soliciting donations to make sure that they are on the level. While we do our best to vette these organizations before posting their information online, we must all be vigilant about those nefarious people who are taking advantage of the current crisis.

We will update links on this page to any information we believe might be helpful.

Unemployment Insurance for Self-Employed, Independent Contractors and Gig Economy Workers

The application for unemployment insurance benefits for SELF-EMPLOYED, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, and GIG ECONOMY WORKERS will is now available online

These benefits are being offered through the new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

Eligible workers should begin the process NOW by applying for regular UI benefits. See more info in FAQs at

PUA is payable for weeks of unemployment, partial unemployment, or inability to work caused by COVID-19 related reasons beginning on or after January 27, 2020.

Be advised, however, that the system is overwhelmed. It may take numerous tries to connect to the site and the system may kick you off and you’ll have to start over. Frustrating as this might be, it is an opportunity to get some relief.

46156344_1584397854355074_r.jpegMusician’s Relief Fund

Here is an update from the musicians relief fund.

To date, the fund has raised $36,000.00 of its $30,000.00 goal. A new goal of $40,000.00 has been set

62% of the 71 artists receiving financial relief identify as a PoC, LGBTQ+, and/or disabled:

38% person of color
18% LGBTQ+ non-binary
6% disabled and/or immunocompromised

Please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home. May you continue to persevere in serving our community as you are called and able.

To date, 77 artists have applied for a cumulative total of $63,500+ in aide and the campaign has reached its goal of $30,000 in contributions. Due to the disparity of need versus resources, the fund has reluctantly elected to close the artist application window on March 27.  Consider contributing again, encourage your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, extended network to donate, invite businesses to donate. No amount is too small. Your support during this time of great isolation and challenge is greatly appreciated. Please stay safe and be well.

Composer, musician and educator Thomas Goodrich has partnered with St Johns Music Ministries of Albuquerque to manage a Go Fund Me relief fund for NM Musicians. Thomas writes:

“Many musicians are facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak resulting in closures and cancellations of music events statewide. I’ve established this Go Fund Me as a resource for New Mexico based musicians requiring financial relief. Please contribute as you are called/able; no contribution is too small. Please share this campaign with your network. Thank you!”

This fund is aimed at helping musicians of all genres in the New Mexico music community who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19, with priority given to artists of color, LGBTQ & non-binary artists, and disabled artists – but we intend to help as many artists in need as we can based on the funds we receive.

Funds will be disbursed through PayPay, Venmo, or Cash App only. Applicants are asked to provide account info for at least one of these in their application. Please share the application with any musicians you know are struggling financially right now.

Media coverage:

To contribute to the fund, go to

Quick Assist Fund from Jazz Road

This information comes to us from the Western States Artists Federation (WESTAF)

UPDATE: April 13, 2020, 1:06 p.m. ET. Please be aware that our grant service provider is experiencing some technical difficulties. If you are unable to access or complete your application at this time, we apologize for the inconvenience. Please wait a few minutes and try again. We are working with our service provider to help them resolve this issue. Thank you for your patience.

The Jazz Road Quick Assist Fund is a new, temporary emergency relief fund for jazz artists around the country who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response. Through this fund, we are offering a limited number of $1,000 grants to artists whose tours and gigs in March, April, or May 2020 have been cancelled.

Dates and Deadlines
Application Opens: Monday, April 13, 2020
Application Deadline: The process will close when funds are depleted; artists are encouraged to submit as soon as possible.
Grant Notification: Beginning Monday, April 27, 2020
Award Payments Distributed: Beginning Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Program Description
As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, performing artists were among some of the first and hardest hit. In response, Jazz Road Quick Assist Funds are available to freelance jazz musicians who have lost work throughout March, April, and May 2020. A limited number of $1,000 grants will be distributed to jazz musicians across the country to offset significant lost gig revenue.

In the interest of privacy to those who have lost income, the Jazz Road team will not publicly publish a list of recipients from this fund. We will allow the recipients to choose, at their discretion, to announce their status.

Award Amount: $1,000

Note: Grant funds are taxable. Grantees must comply with all applicable city, state, and federal laws when reporting grant income.

Jazz Road recognizes the aesthetic range of jazz music and its genres, and will not attempt to define “jazz” in the guidelines.

Only individual artists (as an individual, an artist-led nonprofit organization, or an artist-led corporation) may apply to this program. An eligible artist is:

A professional jazz artist;
Age 18 or over and not currently a full-time student;
A musician who relies on performing as a significant source of income;
A musician who has had significant losses of income due to COVID-19 pandemic response and cancellations beginning in March 2020;
Based in the U.S. or its territories, and is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Previous recipients of Jazz Road Tours grants are eligible to apply for this Quick Assist Fund.

Review Criteria
Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Highest priority will go to the artists who have faced the most significant, damaging losses due to COVID-19 pandemic response cancellations.

The final grant pool, however, will reflect Jazz Road goals such as diversity and intersectionality in multiple areas including geographic, gender, race/ethnicity, age, disability, etc., as well as reach artists located in more rural, isolated areas. There will also be a priority to support artists who represent the African-American community as well as those who identify as women.

Demographic questions will be asked as part of the application process; while these questions are optional for all applicants, choosing to not answer them may impact our ability to prioritize your request.

Note: Even if you do not find yourself in one or more of these priorities — or perhaps especially if you do not find yourself in these priorities — please consider either sharing this opportunity with your colleagues who might be a priority or assisting them with an application. The Jazz Road team views this pandemic as an opportunity to offer the most assistance to those who are the most impacted, and we thank you for any help you can offer your colleagues.

Application Requirements
Proof that applicant is a professional jazz artist (links to website or a biography)
Proof of significant lost revenue (in excess of $1,000)
For musicians who rely on cash tips or otherwise unprovable income, a signed note explaining your situation will suffice

Apply Now

Jazz Road is led by South Arts in partnership with the five other U.S. Regional Arts Organizations (Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Western Arts Alliance/Western States Arts Federation. Regional Arts Organizations represent geographical groupings of states who partner with the National Endowment for the Arts, State Arts Agencies, and others to develop and deliver programs, services, and products that support and advance the arts. Jazz Road represents the first long-term formal collaboration including all six RAOs. This program is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Jazz Road Quick Assist fund launches with generous gifts totaling $445,000 in funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation.

Mask Cover Drive 2020

Brian’s Angels and Mask Cover Drive 2020 are giving us all something to do as we wait out the COVID 19 storm. Those of us who can sew are invited to join in the Mask Cover Drive 2020 and make protective gear for those people on the front lines of this pandemic. The NMMA’s Lynn Marie Rusaw is cranking out masks for Albuquerque’s Police and Fire first reponders and we would encourage you to do the same. Remember, also, to log your volunteer hours. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will credit Albuquerque and New Mexico with those hours when awarding funding to the states and municipalities. Below is a pattern and instructions on how to make the mask.

Fabric-Face-Mask Instructions

American’s for the Arts Funding Comparison Chart

Phyllis Kennedy and our friends at New Mexico Arts have posted a lot of information out there about relief funds for artists and arts organizations. This chart, released by American for the Arts, is an easier-to-digest comparison of funds, recipients, and eligibility. See link below and please share.

The New Mexico Arts website has a red banner with a link to numerous state and national resources. There are 10 pages. Do not think you should read all of them. Look at the sections. Skim the titles. Then read the ones you think would be most applicable to your business or situation. Find the abbreviated chart online at Act Table of Loan, Grant, and Compensation Opportunities for the Arts[1].pdf?

Creative Economy Relief from the city of Albuquerque

Mayor Keller Announces $500,000 To Support Creative Economy Relief Efforts Funding and other support offered to local creatives and artists impacted by COVID-19. See the complete press release here.

City of Albuquerque Urban Enhancement Fund Arts and Culture Project Recovery Funds for Organizations
As COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the creative economy, CSD has identified $300,000 in reserves in the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund (UETF) that will be immediately directed for funding to Albuquerque arts and cultural non-profit organizations to enable them to continue to creatively provide arts and cultural programming for the community and employment for artists. The use of these funds will not diminish the upcoming FY21-22 UETF funding budget.

The funds are limited to Albuquerque city limits-based, non-governmental, non-profit organizations whose missions are to provide arts and cultural programming for audiences based primarily in Albuquerque. Institutionally aligned (friends or support organizations of local or state institutions) are not eligible.

Awards to eligible non-profits will be based on the organization’s resiliency, cultural vitality, audience engagement, ability to use funds to directly to employ artists through contract or other work and commitment towards becoming an organization of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (in keeping with the adopted 2020 UETF DEIA Statement). Applications will
be evaluated by a special UETF sub-committee. Applications open on April 6 and are due by 5 p.m. on April 14. The application can be found at

Albuquerque Creatives DIY Media
CSD is directing up to $100,000 through its Media Resources and Community Events divisions to contract with local creatives and artists to create engaging, original, and creative video content that is ready-to-air and stream on the city’s public access channels, social media, and other digital platforms. CSD seeks creative pitches for finished videos ranging from 15 to 60 minutes in length that showcase the breadth of creativity in the Albuquerque community. Project budgets will range from $75 to $2,500.

All projects should be proposed and created adhering to strict social distancing standards. Examples include but are not limited to backyard or living room concerts, dance performances or lessons, stand up comedy, monologues, history and cultural talks, and cooking, art making, and craft cocktail demonstrations or how-tos. Applications for creative pitches will open on April 6 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis through May 1, 2020. Applications can be found at Questions can be emailed to

Youth Engagement Digital Programming
CSD is directing up to $50,000 to fund contracts with local creatives and teaching artists who can create original, engaging video content designed to engage youth in educational activities connected to arts and culture that can be broadcast and streamed on the city’s public access channels and/or other digital platforms (Facebook Live, Zoom, interactive websites, etc.). CSD invites proposals for 15, 30, and 45-minute finished videos, one-time digital outreach events, or multi-session classes from artists in the Albuquerque community. Project budgets will range from $250 to $2,500. Applications for creative pitches will be open on April 6 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis through May 1, 2020. Applications can be found at

Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps
The Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps is a retooling of the Mayor’s Summer Art Institute first implemented in 1999 by Mayor Jim Baca. Now in its 21st year, Mayor Keller’s administration is refocusing the program into becoming the city’s professional level, paid summer internship program for high school aged students to apply for creative and/or arts leadership internships offered in a variety of creative disciplines across the entire city.

The Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps internship program will take place June and July of 2020 and not only prepare youth with job development skills, but would also build a foundation of creative community networks through structured cohort activities in addition to the actual internship.

Creative Quarantine
In order to stay connected with creatives and to provide artists with a connection to the community, CSD invites artists, creatives, and makers to check in and introduce themselves (via video) and report on what they are currently working on, how they are staying creative during a time of uncertainty, how access to resources may have changed, etc. Videos (5 minutes or less) can be uploaded to DropBox ( today through May 30. CSD will create compilation videos for One Albuquerque Media featuring work that will inform and inspire the public i.e. potential audiences, consumers and patrons.

These compilation videos will also distributed through other digital platforms, such as, during weekly social engagement roundups. While this effort does not come with a monetary investment, it is a unique in-kind opportunity to connect with diverse audiences.

Technical Support for Creatives
CSD senior leadership along with experienced business coaches and consultants will staff a series of meetings for arts organizations and artists who are pursuing emergency funding opportunities (local, regional, and national) in order provide technical assistance and direct feedback on applications. In addition, the Public Art division continues to compile and disseminate short and long-term resources and opportunities for artists and arts organizations. Zoom calls will take place from 11 a.m. to noon on April 10, 17, and 24. Please email by noon on Thursday, April 9 for a meeting ID.

Other relief opportunities for individual artists include 516 Arts’ Fulcrum Fund and Arts Hub’s Artist Relief Fund. The Albuquerque Community Foundation and United Way of Central New Mexico has set up an Emergency Action Fund to support non-profit organizations struggling with lost and non-recoverable revenue expenses due to COVID-19.

DIY Video Tips on Phones and Tablets

Questions can be emailed to

This information from 516 Arts

The Fulcrum Fund516 ARTS

Fulcrum Fund to award $60,000 in emergency relief grants, providing $1,000 to 60 local artists who have lost income as a result of cancellations due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, The Warhol Foundation has authorized its re-granting partners to re-allocate their grant programs to create and administer COVID-19 emergency relief funds in their communities. 516 ARTS is temporarily refocusing our fifth year of the Fulcrum Fund grant program in order to best serve artists during this crisis. We recognize an unprecedented need for emergency funding for those who are experiencing situations of economic instability and loss. With cancellations of events of all types, artists and creatives who depend on these opportunities to make ends meet are losing vital work and thereby income. 516 ARTS is working with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to address the crisis by providing our 2020 funding as emergency relief grants instead of project grants. We anticipate that normal project-related grants funded by the Fulcrum Fund will resume in 2021. Read the press release from the Warhol Foundation.

How can I help?
You can also give directly to the emergency fund to assist artists in need


Emergency relief grants are for self-identified visual or multi-disciplinary artists (including graduate students) who are 21 years of age and older that have lost income from cancellations and closures as a result of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Artists based within an 80-mile radius of Albuquerque (including Santa Fe, Española, Grants and Socorro) are encouraged to apply. Commercial businesses and 501(c)3 non-profit organizations are NOT eligible. For complete eligibility requirements, please see the emergency grant FAQ.


Applications are only accepted online via Submittable and accessible via the “Submit Now” button below. Emailed or hand-delivered submissions will not be accepted. Applicants will be asked to upload a curriculum vitae/resumé, up to 7 artwork samples, and provide a written statement that describes how the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their economic livelihood. Applications will be accepted through April 15, with release of funding shortly thereafter.


The Fulcrum Fund is an annual grant program, now in its fifth year, created and administered by 516 ARTS as a partner in the Regional Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Since its inception in 2016, the Fulcrum Fund has awarded a total of $230,000 to 45 local artists. The Fulcrum Fund is one of 16 re-granting programs developed and facilitated by organizations in Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland (OR), Portland (ME), San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington D.C. Together these programs have supported well over 1000 independent art projects in the past ten years, granting more than 4.7 million dollars.


Tiny Census ConcertsImage

Lara Manzanares lets us know that the Tiny Census Concerts, a series of streaming performances, is taking applications for artist performances. The info on the website states:

“Inspired by NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, we are inviting YOU to join us for our Tiny Census Concerts, a series of concerts that highlight New Mexico’s favorite creatives!

Hosted by KNME’s Gene Grant, each concert will feature up to 8 artists across multiple genres including musicians, dancers, spoken word artists, and visual artists. Between each performance you’ll hear from Gene and invited guests on why your voice truly matters during this important 2020 Census.”

Artist will be paid for their performances. It may be that the US Census is funding the program, but we have not investigated this. You can find out how to apply online at

What should I be doing right now?

While you are waiting for unemployment benefits to kick in or for that fat check from the government to arrive, you might consider this other potential income sources and marketing ideas to help you prepare for the day when this all blows over.

Have you filed your taxes?

Whether you worked last year part time as an actor, as waitstaff or bartender or if you worked full time as an artist and performer, you still need to file your taxes. You may have money coming to you and you can file your taxes for free. Go to

Be a scribe for someone.

If you are talented enough to read and write music, there is money to be made arranging and notating music for other artists who do not read. Film, TV and even some artists will not touch your music without a basic score and if you can provide that service for other artists at, say, $20 buck a pop, you could be providing a service for someone as well as bringing in a little cash.

Sell your merch.

If you have CDs, tees, shot glasses, guitar picks or anything else that you think your fans might want, reach out to your fan base and offer up these items for sale. Your fans do want to support you and if they can do it and get something back in return, so much the better. If you have outdated equipment, sound systems, even instruments, they can be a potential source of income. Unless it holds some sort of sentimental value, it’s just taking up space and unless you own a Stradivarius, your instrument or sound system is really not worth that much.

Since the world has gone digital, you probably have tones of CDs and maybe even some vinyl. It ain’t worth much, but it’s worth something and you can replace it with a digital subscription for about $10 bucks a month.

Why not publish your lyrics for sale online? You can publish almost anything online for free through some of the biggest online retailers without it costing you a penny. Amazon and others allow you to sell your music online and your lyrics on sale as a download could bring you additional $$$ from those people who already know how fabulous you are. You could be global. Here’s one source.

Don’t go dark.

Stay in touch with your fan base. They want to know how you are doing. You don’t need to stream live music everyday, but you can post videos from previous shows. You can upload music from your catalog to social media or links to music on your website or account on Bandcamp, ReverbNation, CD Baby, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Build you fan base.

Reach out to your fan base and have them share your music with someone who has not heard your music. Hook up with other artists of similar or disparate tastes and share your music on each others sites and social media.

Play a benefit for someone who needs your help or for a cause you believe in. Those people will become your fans.

Reach out to shut ins with music that they like via the internet. There’s nothing wrong with learning some of the Great American Songbook for those people who lived through those times. They need us now more than ever.


If you like working with other artists, reach out to them via Facetime or just by e-mail and swap lyrics, melodies and ideas. You just might find someone who can raise you to the next level.

Work on the pre-production for your next recording project.

Arrange the music and instrumentation, work on a budget and practice, practice, practice. When the time comes to step into the studio, you will be more than ready and you won’t believe the money you will be saving.

Learn something new.

Pick up a new instrument, a new vocal technique or learn how to do basic repair on your instruments or sound system. If you don’t know how to read music, now is the perfect time. There are hundreds of notation programs out there that will teach you how to read and score music. You will be better for it. There are tutorials online to teach you anything you want to know about music, from tech to technique. Always wanted to learn that one song you just couldn’t quite conquer? Whether it’s Gershin’s “Rhaposody in Blue”, Jack Casaday’s “Embrionic Journey” or the entire Vicente Fernadez catalog, now is the time. It will make you a better musician, a better artist and a better performer.

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs resource links.

Over the last several days, the Department of Cultural Affairs has received many inquiries regarding resources for nonprofits and individuals struggling due to the effects of COVID-19. Attached is a document of valuable resources—some specific to individuals, others to nonprofits. The list is dense, but rich with information. As we know, changes are occurring daily, so new programs may become available. Please let us know if there are resources that should be added to this list.

Resources During Closure

While the museums, historic sites, and cultural institutions of DCA may be closed to visitors, that does not mean that you and your friends and families cannot explore our wonders across the state! It is the mission of DCA to continue to share the extraordinary cultural diversity of New Mexico. Please follow—and share–the links within this release to uncover exciting opportunities for learning and adventure. The DCA family is wholeheartedly committed to the department’s mission, and they are working tirelessly to create new ways to bring these experiences to you.

The proposed COVID 19 relief bill would extend benefits to gig economy workers.

Although details of the bill have not been released, gig economy workers, self employed and those employed as independent contractors including musicians and artists who rely on performance for their income, would be eligible for relief. The bill would allow gig economy workers to apply for regular unemployment benefits within their state and would also receive an additional $600.00 per week from the federal government.

For a brief summary of the bill, go to

In addition, a list of emergency funding for freelance artists can be found online at

As with any links you find here, please be sure to verify them before giving out any personal information or donating to their funding.

Live Streaming Tips To Make Your Broadcast Better

Over the past few weeks, we have been watching people live stream their performances. Most of us have experience streaming on phones, tablets and laptops, but have not put much effort into the quality of streaming. You are now competing with every artist on the planet and while your fans may support you, the quality of your video may be the difference between success and failure. These tips might help you set your live stream or video stream apart from the rest.

Equipment & Setup

1. A decent webcam, a computer compatible audio equipment, and an investment in lighting is all you need to produce a high-quality look and sound. Incorporating more than one camera makes a big difference from a viewer’s perspective.

2. Compose your shot. Random videos of someone sitting on their bed playing guitar are weak. An interesting background, location or surroundings enhance your performance. Match your framing, lighting, sound, and surroundings to your intended effect. If you’re filming outside, be mindful of the sun. Sun glare can prevent your video from being seen at all, and the sun’s reflection on the glass has the same negative effect.

3. Use Wi-Fi network connectivity if possible. If you’re relying on cellular service, it’s nice to have a hot spot from a different cellular provider as a backup in case one service is better in that area than another.

4. Check your internet upload speed at a site like before broadcasting. Disable or pause any Dropbox/Google Drive apps you might be running in the background. Know your quality options if your speed drops lower than expected.

5. Run a test before you go live to make sure everything’s working well and that you understand the controls and mechanics of the live stream app you’re using. Ask for feedback from a friend or colleague on that live test run to know what will require your attention for the real thing.

6. If something worked yesterday but doesn’t work today, swap out as many things as you can – only change one thing at a time, though, so you can isolate variables. Start with the cables, and work your way through the setup, using all of your backup components.

7. Set things up early. Test everything, and don’t be afraid to call your streaming provider to confirm that the broadcast is coming through properly, including audio.

8. Before going live, check the location lighting ahead of time to be sure it’s ideal, and avoid back lighting your subject.

9. Minimize the background noise. If it’s windy, find some sort of cover to block the wind like a foam wind cover.

10. Every mic is a live mic. Don’t have a private conversation near an active microphone.

11. Wear a single color shirt—no stripes or squares!

12. If you’ll be stationing a camera and leaving it somewhere for the duration of an event, be sure it’s placed well away from heavy foot traffic.

Preparation & Process

13. Treat your videos like any performance. Use checklists—setup checklists, rehearsal checklists, and show rundowns. Too much is happening too quickly in a live environment; you can think more clearly about what needs to be done in advance.

14. Preparation is key. Know what your potential audience is interested in and do your best to provide it.

15. Review the timeline and set list for the broadcast.

16. Consider your platform. If you’re just trying to reach as broad of an audience as possible, YouTube or Facebook works. When you need more control over your live stream, choose a platform that looks professional and has options like permissions and password protection.

17. Market your live stream ahead of time. Advertise it starting two weeks before it begins, then again the week before, then one day before, and finally one hour before you go live. Record your live show so anyone who misses it can catch up later.

18. To build a following and engagement when live streaming, regular broadcasts are key.

19. For live streaming on social media, announce that you are going live at time “X,” and give prospective viewers a hint about the content. Write a compelling description to accompany the stream.

20. Rehearse the entire show. You’d be surprised how often you discover an incorrect setting on your gear or a misheard lyrics.

21. Keeping it simple can actually make your broadcast look more professional. People don’t notice what you leave out.

22. Prepare offline screen graphics for your live stream, like a picture with the event schedule, the event name, a logo, or text saying you will be live in 30 minutes. Show them during breaks or before the stream begins.

23. Interacting with your audience—whether through chat, on-stream, or before and after the broadcast itself—is a great way to build relationships with your viewers.

24. Consider streaming professionally shot videos during a break in streaming or on your channel when you are not streaming. This keeps your audience from drifting away.

Preparing for the future.

As the seriousness of the COVID 19 virus restrictions increase, small businesses, especially brewpubs, bars and restaurants suddenly find their revenue’s reduced to only takeout or walk in orders. Bars and brewpubs are hit particularly hard because alcohol sales make up a significant portion of their revenue. The closure of these venues mean not only that musicians and music support like audio engineers are out of work, but so are waitstaff, bartenders, cooks and on back up the supply chain.


Those who play a regular gig at a club, pub, restaurant or hotel, now is the time to reach out to those owners and managers and make plans to re-schedule your gigs. It might also be a good time to negotiate a contract or re-negotiate your rate. A straight ahead pay to play fee might be easiest to negotiate, but a percentage of the bar, door or even a monthly contract. While things are uncertain for these venues, they will need you to bring people back to their venues. Once people get used to staying home, they may not want to come out as readily as in the past.

Added value

Offer to set up a “Welcome Back” concert that will bring people out on an off day. Offer added value to the venue management and set up a bonus structure for yourself. If through your social media marketing you bring people into a venue, you may be able to set up a bonus amount for each new person you bring to the party.

Find new venues

With so many cancellations, municipal venues like theaters, museums and festivals who have lost their lineup for the summer will need replacement acts. Now is a good time to reach out to touring artists and booking yourself as an opening act for more noteworthy artists. They are sympathetic to your situation now more than ever before.

Alternate sources of income

While everyone seems to be streaming during this time, it is a good opportunity to offer merchandise, services like composition, arrangements, production, lessons and tech advice. In home or delivered services like repair, instrument tuning and setup are good ways to make a little spare cash. If you are lucky enough to endorse a product or instrument, create a video showing off the features of that product. Your sponsor will love you for that. Online workshops on technique, songwriting, etc could be a lifesaver in this instance. In fact, there are artists that have always had online lessons and workshops in place and whose income is barely interrupted.

If you have never explored leasing your music to film, TV or pitching it to established artists, this might be a good time to do so. Don’t forget that the music industry is global. Artists you have never heard of are huge in Australia, Europe and the UK, Japan, South America and many other places around the globe. There are over 600 television networks world wide that need music for content. While this won’t help immediately, in the long run, it will pay off.

Learn from this crisis

We have said for years that the key to success in music is being prepared for anything. Budgeting is the key. Ten percent of the gross of every show needs to go into a fund for just such emergencies. An additional ten percent should be put away for insurance to cover losses such as this and other things like breakdowns, equipment loss and health insurance are essential. There are many artists locally who had domestic and European tours planned for this summer that are now in jeopardy. Tour insurance would have mitigated that loss.

Don’t depend on the world to take care of things

While there is much compassion out there, many people are in their own crisis and have to decide between themselves and their favorite charity. Music will lose out to these things every time. Many in government consider the arts non-essential and monies paid for relief may not get to you. Getting a straight job might be what you need to get over the crisis. No shame in that.

Albuquerque Artists Relief Fund

Albuquerque Arts Hub is offering assistance for those artists that rely solely on their work as income. The organization is dedicated to finding ways in which the arts can make a difference in our community.

On their relief fund page, they state the following:

If we want a creative community to still exist after Coronoavirus runs its course, then we need to act now. COVID-19 has changed the lives of every person in Albuquerque and artists are getting hit particularly hard. Event cancellations, arts market closures, performances canceled, and more all are contributing to a huge economic burden for our community’s most creative citizens. These cancellations came at a rapid pace, and many artists had already spent money preparing and advertising for these events. Many artists cannot make up this income because they rely on people experiencing and purchasing their work in person. In the blink of an eye, artists are facing potential eviction, the inability to buy groceries, skipping prescriptions, or skipping vital medical care.

This is why Arts Hub is establishing an Artist Relief Fund. This fund will help artists who have lost a major portion of their income due to event cancellations and social distancing. The fund will support artists who need emergency relief to stay in their homes and/or purchase basic necessities. Artists create so much for us and so many of them need our help now.

You can be a part of supporting local artists and ensuring our creative community survives the months ahead. You can support this effort by making a contribution below.

MATCHING FUNDS: Between now and March 26th our generous partner, JBIT Tech, will match up to $1,000. This means your contribution will be doubled!

To apply for funding go to

To donate to the relief fund, go to

NOTE: The link will take you to a donation page from the “Rio Grande Community Development Corporation.” This is Arts Hub’s fiscal sponsor and 100% of donations made to this page will go towards the artist relief fund.

St. Johns Methodist Albuquerque hiring musicians for music videos during the COVID 19 crisis.

The cancellations of local music performances has taken a toll on musicians. Matt Greer, director of music and worship ministries at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Albuquerque began reaching out to local musicians to perform at St. John’s. In a letter, Greer says St. John’s has been trying to find ways to get good music out to the congregation during this unsettling time. Since the church isn’t having worship services or concerts, he and St. John’s wanted to do something to help friends and colleagues.bright spot

St. John’s is hiring musicians to perform in videos that can be shared with the St. John’s congregation – and beyond. The videos will begin streaming Monday at the St. John’s Music Ministry Facebook page. Greer says each musician will be paid $100 for performing in a video. Musicians will be paid within 10 days.

Videos will be no longer than five minutes, so he’s recommending that entertainers choose repertoire accordingly. Those interested in doing a video shoot can email Claudia Giese at Giese will be scheduling and coordinating with musicians.

Streaming music for the elderly and shut in.

Songwriter and musician Gary Paul reminds us that many people are affected by the restrictions put in place due to the COVID 19 virus than we think about. Perhaps most seriously affected are those elderly who are sheltering in place at home or are restricted to assisted living and nursing home facilities.

Many musicians provide a service to these people by regularly performing in these facilities and we would like to remind you that you are missed by this most appreciative audience. If you perform regularly at senior centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, cancer centers or other places, please remember your loyal audience there. They miss you.

You may want to reach out to these facilities and offer a live stream concert of an hour or so where the residents can gather as a community and be reminded that you miss them as well and that they are not forgotten.

Nothing heals like music.

Adopt an artist.

Bruce Dunlop at Gig Performance Space has offered this idea:


At the Governor’s Arts Awards last year the Governor proudly proclaimed that the arts in New Mexico are a 5.6 billion industry. At the time I remember looking down the row at my fellow artists and I swear we all had the same thought bubble, one with a big question mark in it. And it caused me to start digging into the facts behind this statement and well, they were sobering. Chief among them was the fact the the annual average artist income in New Mexico is a paltry $17,513 and in Santa Fe which “is home to the greatest concentration of professional artists in the entire country” the average artist income was $25,555*. Going further, it was fascinating and ultimately disturbing to see where the 5.6 billion was actually going but in the end, the fact that stuck with me was that New Mexico artists are receiving about 1.82 percent of the total arts economy here, a stunningly small number!

So yesterday after a flurry of speaking with a great number of artists and presenters here and elsewhere, I began to get a sense of just how devastating the loss of livelihood could be for artists in every field, due to Covid situation. And I would like to propose an idea which could be hugely helpful to the real arts community here, the ones that actually make art.

It is very simple. Pick an artist or two or a whole stable of them, whose work you love and simply send them a check! Don’t go through a non-profit middleman, don’t send a check to your favorite arts organization, just reach out to some badass creative whose work shines for you and fund them! To such a great degree these people hold the soul of this community in their gifted hands and this could be a rough time for them. So now is the time to get behind them with your own financial artistry. As they say “When things get weird make something beautiful.” Do that now for the artists of Santa Fe!

Please pass this letter on to as many people as you can and let’s see if we can help. If you are a business, non-profit or a funding entity please take this to heart and forward it to your constituencies. Let’s make this arts advocacy stuff dance a bit!

Many thanks,

Bruce Dunlap
Director – Open Arts Foundation / GiG Performance Space

It would be fun to hear from you if you do this so we could see what kind of impact we are having. 🙂

COVID Concert Series

Todd Thompson shared this post.

“With all the concerts being cancelled, we wanted to set up a page where musicians can “go live” from wherever we are, and fans can watch these lives sets from their homes and limit exposure to the zombies. So we created the CovidConcertSeries page (on Facebook) and in 24 hours had over 600 members and shows from Austin to Rexburg. We’re trying to keep the live music scene strong, even if we can’t physically go to shows. Please join in. Musicians can go to the page, create an event (with date and time that doesn’t conflict with someone else’s), then click post – “go live”. Fans, go join the group and check out the upcoming events, join the community so you’ll know when live casts are happening. I want to make sure live music stays strong so that it can flourish once the crisis is over.”

Find the page online at CovidConcertSeries