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If you are part of the gig economy and have suddenly found yourself stranded without a paycheck, here are some potential outlets that can help you with financial relief and earning income during this time.
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To anyone seeking aid, these funds are becoming more and more limited. We ask if you do apply, choose only one to make sure as many people in need receive relief.
National Musician & Artist Relief Funds
Artists of all types (not just musicians) can apply for grants, counseling, medical support, addiction counseling, and more.
Agma Relief Fund
Administered by the Actors Fund, Agma Relief Fund provides many social services, housing, and financial relief to it’s members.
Artist Relief Tree
This fund was specifically set up for artists who have had cancellations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The application is easy and relies on honestly. To apply, upload documents showing the cancellation. They are giving a $250 in relief on a first come first serve basis until the fund runs out.
Arts leaders of Color Emergency Fund
If you are a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) you can apply for this fund to receive $200 in financial relief.
Bluegrass Trust Fund
This fund is meant for people in the bluegrass music industry who are facing financial hardship. You can apply and request the amount of money you need during a financial emergency. While the amount you can request has no cap, artists are commonly given between $500-$5,000. You can also apply on behalf of someone else.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is a longstanding organization helping artists in need in as many ways possible. This organization colelcts donations and disperses funds thoughout the country to local charities and funds for artists.
The Creator Fund
Created for those impacted by Coronavirus, The Creator Fund will distribute payments of $500 to artists and creators impacted during the pandemic.
Apply by uploading your job cancellation to their easy to use form to recieve some financial relief. Equal Sound is able to disperse up to $500 per artist application.
Anyone who is a freelancer and has experienced a disruption to their work because of COVID-19 can apply for assistance.
Gospel Music Trust
You can write to the Gospel Music Trust directly to recieve funding. There is no formal application, just tell your story and they will try to help you out. The Gospel Music Trust Fund Post Office Box 932. Brentwood, Tennessee 37024
You can apply for relief through Groupmuse and recieve up to $150 in funds. This fund is for artists who have experienced cancellations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Haven Foundation gives financial relief to professional artists who earn at least 40% of their income through their artistry, this can include writing, music, dance, acting, and other forms of art.
The Jazz Foundation of America
This organization provides disaster relief, housing, and medical help for jazz musicians. To apply for relief, email email@example.com.
Opry Trust Fund
If you are a professional in the country music the Opry Trust Fund is available to help with living expenses, rent/mortgage, medical expenses and more.
The Musicares relief fund is helping full time atists in all fields during this crisis. Applications are done by geographic region and you must upload documents showing a loss of income to qualify.
The Musicians Foundation
Due to the high volume of applications the foundation is temporarily closing applications. When applications re-open you can apply for $200 in funding.
Passim Emergency Relief Fund
If you have performed or taught at a Passim facility in the past 10 years, you can apply for relief up to $500. You must show documentation of lost income or opportunites.
The amount of funds given by Paetreon is unknown but their form is very easy to fill out. There is no information on how funds will be distributed at this time.
Pinetop Assistance League
If you are an elderly blues musician or know one that has been impacted by the Coronavirus, Pinetop assistance league is here to help. The number of resources range from transportation, funds, medical care, and more.
SAG Members who have lost wages and oppotunities can apply for emergency funding via SAG-Aftra. You must be a current member, show proof of loast wages, and your full most recent bank statement.
This fund is specicially for musicians who have lost wages due to being sick with coronavirus or have been impacted due to cancellations. You must be a professional musician or in the music field with 50% of your income coming from music.
We will continue to add to this list as suggestions are made, and as more opportunities through governmental routes become available.
Short Term Jobs & Solutions
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is creating hardships for everyone around the globe, and for musicians or performers, it’s especially concerning financially.
In New York City, a so-called “hot spot” for the Coronavirus outbreak, musicians and performers are being pushed out of work overnight. The New York Times reported that over 500,000 jobs may be lost due to the virus in NYC alone.
Concerts have been postponed around the States, popular performing venues like Broadway have closed, and supplemental work that musicians rely on such restaurants and bars are no longer serving patrons.
These options are aimed at providing short term solutions to earning income at a faster pace, or within two weeks.
1. Start An Upwork Profile
Upwork is a free resource for freelancers in any almost any line of work that can be done remotely. Signing up is painless, and depending on your level of skill and persistence with outreach, you can begin earning income as soon as you start bidding on and winning jobs.
- Estimate Time To Earn Income: 1 Week.
- Time To Setup: Less than 3 hours.
- What You Need: Resume, Valid State ID.
Here are some audio engineers currently utilizing Upwork as an income source.
2. Create Samples & Loops And Sell Them Online
Samples are a growing element to how music is produced today, and if you have a library of built-up samples, or the ability to produce them, you can earn income by utilizing a service like Sonoiz.
- Estimate Time To Earn Income: 2-3 Days.
- Time To Setup: Less than 15 minutes.
- What You Need: Royalty-free samples cleared for commercial use, A valid Paypal account.
If you are using Sonoiz, you can earn income right away, you’ll need a transaction to happen before you can actually withdraw any funds.
3. Offer Virtual Lessons
As a musician or a performer, you likely have or are willing to share your knowledge base and give lessons.
- Estimate Time To Earn Income: 2-3 Days – Depends on the platform.
- Time To Setup: Varies on the lesson provided.
- What You Need: A streaming service, like Google Hangouts, or a platform like Patreon to broadcast live streams (Patreon also handles commerce).
You don’t need to confine yourself to music. Plenty of performers, particularly dancers, are also personal trainers and with more people at home, a virtual personal training session should be in higher demand.
4. Sell The Rights Your Lyrics or Songs
Songbay is a platform that allows you to buy and sell lyrics online. At this time there are an estimated 50,000+ users of both buyers and sellers.
In order to sell your lyrics, you do need to subscribe to their platform. Their subscription options are as little as £1.99 ($2.40) a month, and as much as £9.99 ($12.40) a month. If billed annually you can save 40%. See their membership options here.
- Estimate Time To Earn Income: Dependant on your lyrics. Payment can take up to 7-10 business days.
- Time To Setup: Less than 1 hour.
- What You Need: Lyrics that are suitable for sale. Valid payment method to subscribe.
One unique feature Songbay offers is the ability to set your own price. They recommended pricing is as follows:
|Download (Personal Use)||$0.99-$1.99|
|Cover Version License (Allow artists to cover)||$.09 cents per copy|
Long Term Jobs & Solutions
These options are definitely just as viable as the ones above, although it may take more time for income to start hitting your bank account.
1. Create a Course on Udemy
Udemy is an excellent platform that you’ve probably come across as a consumer at least once.
You can use this platform to produce your own course online and earn income, while also reaching a larger community of learners.
- Estimate Time To Earn Income: 1 month. Payments are made monthly and it will take time to produce a course, upload it, and generate sales.
- Time To Setup: 2 weeks — It will take time to produce the appropriate curriculum and record it.
- What You Need: Appropriate skills translatable into a useful course.
Sign up here to start teaching online through Udemy.
2. Submit Music on Soundstripe
Soundstripe is a royalty-free audio library curated and categorized by genre and type, that is aimed at helping content creators like YouTubers enhance their video or audio.
As an artist or musician, you have the ability to license your work to Soundstripe and earn income in doing so.
- Estimate Time To Earn Income: At least 2 weeks for Soundstripe to review your application.
- Time To Setup: Signup is quick, the process to be onboarded and paid will take longer.
- What You Need: Appropriate music, plus these requirements.
Each artist’s income is different and artist salaries are worked out directly through their artist relation team. It can take a few weeks to go through the entire process, but after that point, you can earn income through your music and Soundstripe’s online platform.
3. Produce a book on Amazon
Similar to producing a Udemy course, you can use your skillset and industry knowledge to produce a book to sell on Amazon.com.
You have the ability to produce and self publish for kindle, print versions, and audiobooks as well.
- Estimate Time To Earn Income: Assuming you do not have content yet, at least 1 month to produce a quality book. E-Book & Audiobooks can be published within 48 hours.
- Time To Setup: Less than 1 day.
- What You Need: A quality book on a topic that consumers would want.
There are a growing number of helpful resources in light of the current Coronavirus outbreak, and here are the current ways you can get financial relief from the government.
1. Apply For Unemployment
Everyone’s situation is different, however, you may be eligible for unemployment, especially if you were laid off due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
For more information, and to find out of you are eligible, visit USA.gov.
2. File Your Taxes (Get a refund)
Although the US postponed the need to pay taxes for another 90 days if you anticipate you will get a tax return, filing now can help.
Take a look at our guide on how to file taxes for musicians and producers.
Please share more ideas below in the comments or contact us. We will be updating this list as new developments are made.