Struggling Artists Get Their Own Coronavirus Relief Fund

Many fledgling artists are struggling more than usual amidst COVID-19.

Numerous relief funds and even a city government project has been started to help struggling artists during coronavirus, drawing praise from some and mockery from others.

Hundreds of thousands of workers have been laid off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Unemployment offices around the nation are overwhelmed by masses of struggling Americans, reports Politico. In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz predicted that the shutdown of public gathering spaces would lead to a record-breaking need for government help as service industry workers struggle to stay afloat.

(RELATED: Senator Chamberlain Wants The Governor To Reconsider Restaurant Shut Down)

Many large companies like Amazon have started, or are contributing to, relief funds for those negatively affected by the struggling COVID-19 economy, reports the Seattle Times, as the Trump administration petitions Congress for seeks a $1 trillion relief package.

Amidst this economic chaos, numerous charities and funds have been created or promoted to help a very specific group: struggling artists.

Mpls St. Paul, a magazine that covers culture in the Twin Cities, recently promoted two such artistic funds in an online article titled “Minnesota Nonprofits and Charities to Support Amid Coronavirus Outbreak.”

The magazine instructed its readers to donate to the Twin Cities Music Community Trust and the Springboard for the Arts Personal Emergency Relief Fund.

“All funds donated will directly impact someone who has lost a gig due to COVID-19 and its effect on the industry,” says the Twin Cities Music Trust. The organization’s website says it will also help out “merch sellers” and other individuals who make a living off music in Minnesota.

The Springboard says that any artist that has been affected by COVID-19 “can request up to $500 to compensate for cancelled work that was scheduled and lost.”

Funds for artists affected by COVID-19 aren’t just a Minnesota phemonomon, either.

National groups like the American Guild of Musical Artists maintains a relief fund, and the city of Boston, has even started collecting money for the creative class.

However, not everybody agrees that artists have a special claim to charity during this difficult time.

Guitarist Matthew Healy who plays with British pop-rock band 1975 found himself in hot water, Wednesday, after mocked begging musicians on social media.
“Stop telling people to support you we don’t want your EP and zine bundle right now… we’re going to die,” he wrote, in a now deleted Tweet.
Despite blowback from other artists Healy stood by his “joke about the current narrative on social media,” and refused to apologize.

Kyle Hooten

Kyle Hooten is Managing Editor of Alpha News. His coverage of Minneapolis has been featured on television shows like Tucker Carlson Tonight and in print media outlets like the Wall Street Journal.