Choral Resources in a Time of Social Distancing
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an outpouring of help, advice, and (online) music. Here we give some resources of particular interest to New England choruses, and link to resource pages from others with similar interests. We welcome your contributions to this list.
- Chorus America has created a Google Form that choruses can use to share how their events are impacted by COVID-19, and see how others are being affected as well. Choruses are also sharing resources and communications examples in the resulting spreadsheet.
- Early Music America impact survey
- Americans for the Arts economic impact survey
Local and Regional Assistance
- Connecticut: The Arts Council of Greater New Haven resources page.
- Maine: The Creative Portland Artist Relief Fund hopes to offer $500 stipends to help artists make ends meet, with the application process opening on March 30.
- Massachusetts: Grant program has resumed! The Boston Singers' Relief Fund offers grants to New England-based singers who are in need, including a special emergency relief fund to compensate singers for income lost due to the pandemic.
- Massachusetts: The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 and $1000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
- Massachusetts: Applications closed as of May 1; donations still accepted to fund remaining applicants. The Boston Music Maker Relief Fund was established by The Record Co. to provide financial relief to Boston area music makers experiencing lost income as the result of performance cancellations related to COVID-19. Small grants of up to $200 will be paid rapidly on a first come, first served basis to affected artists and groups.
- Massachusetts: The Cambridge Community Foundation Artist Relief Fund provides one-time relief (up to $1,000) to arts organizations and artists who live, work, create, and/or perform in Cambridge.
- Massachusetts: The Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund (PEAR Fund) and the Keep Your Distance Festival: compensates for lost income for artists who have played a gig for Passim (or taught in the School of Music) in the last 10 years. Artists who receive a grant record a video for the Keep Your Distance Festival which is featured on the website.
- New Hampshire: Deadline May 3! The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Artist Emergency Grant program provides $500 grants to artists who have lost income due to the loss of jobs or cancellation/modification of specific, scheduled gigs or opportunities (e.g., commissions, performances, contracts, workshops, classes, etc.) because of COVID-19.
- New Hampshire: The Seacoast Relief Fund is for musicians in the greater Portsmouth N.H. area who have lost gigs, lost income, and lost opportunities. A board of local musicians will distribute the funds.
- Vermont: The Vermont Community Foundation has established the VT COVID-19 Response Fund to support nonprofits that are particularly equipped to address community impacts of the spread of the novel coronavirus in Vermont.
Other Sources of Aid
- The Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is waiving service fees for artists with crises related to COVID-19
- The Musicians Foundation provides grants to U.S. musicians in any genre in a time of acute need due to personal, medical, dental, or family crisis, natural disaster, or other emergency situation (they do not write checks directly to musicians).
- Grammy Foundations's MusicCares Emergency Relief program
- The Early Music America Relief Fund offers a check for $250 to those who are actively engaged in historical performance as a source of income (while funds last, on a first-come-first-served basis). EMA membership is not required.
- The New Music Solidarity Fund (applications accepted beginning March 31) is is a new initiative designed to help new/creative/improvised music freelancers whose livelihood has been threatened as a result of performances which have been canceled during the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of $500 are given on a first-come first-serve basis to everyone in need.
Resources from Organizations
- Chorus America COVID-19 resources
- National Endowment for the Arts COVID-19 page
- Americans for the Arts Coronavirus Resource and Response Center
- Massachusetts Nonprofit Network page includes links to aid agencies and advice and resources for coping with cancelled events.
- Connecticut Arts Alliance COVID-19 Reactions and Resources page
- Philanthropy Massachusetts disaster and emergency relief resources
- League of American Orchestras
- Grantmakers in the Arts news and resources
- From Creative Capital: Online Arts Events During the COVID-19 Outbreak and List of Arts Resources during the COVID-19 Outbreak
- The American Composers Forum COVID-19 resource page, listing a variety of creative programs
- Connecticut Office of the Arts (general government informnation, no arts-related coronavirus content)
- Maine Arts Commission coronavirus resources
- Massachusetts Cultural Council COVID-19 resource page
- On April 1, the MCC announced two new support programs:
- The COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals (April 8–April 22), which offers grants of $1,000 to individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures.
- The Safe Harbors Program for organizations, consisting of webinars and online tools to empower leaders to assess their organization’s current financial situation, create an actionable roadmap for the future, and determine their eligibility and the appropriateness for accessing resources through various COVID-19 funds.
- New Hampshire State Council on the Arts (no specific coronavirus content at this time)
- Rhode Island State Council on the Arts "Coronavirus and the Arts" page
- Vermont Arts Council COVID-19 resource page
- CONCORA forms a virtual choir to present Reach by Martin Sędek, setting the poem "Pandemic" by Lynn Ungar.
- Grand Monandnock Youth Choirs is providing free online singing and learning videos on their website.
- Rockport Music provides "virtual concerts:" through their video library
- The Metropolitan Opera offers free streaming of an encore presentation from the Live in HD series on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day
- Shut In and Sing: Country / Folk / Americana singers and songwriters
- Stay at Home Online Music Festival
- The Boston Children's Chorus virtually joins to perform "Why We Sing"
- Chorus Angelicus of Torrington, Connecticut forms a virtual choir to sing "Non Nobis, Domine"
- A Historically Informed Approach To Music In Times Of Pandemic, from Early Music America
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a comprehensive resource list that is not arts-specific, but has information about the impact of the pandemic on governance abd fundraising.
Federal Government Aid (the "CARES Act")
On March 27, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Benefits include direct payments to most adults of $1,200 or less and $500 per child ($3,400 for a family of four); expanded unemployment insurance, including coverage for workers who are furloughed, gig workers, and freelancers (who had mostly not been eligible for benefits) and increasing payments by $600 per week for four months on top of what state unemployment programs pay; deferral of student loan payments through Sept. 30 for federally-owned loans; and increasing tax benefits for charitable donations both at the small level ($300) and high level (allowing deductions at a higher fraction of gross income).
- Americans for the Arts analysis of support for the arts
- The National Council of Nonprofits lists benefits for nonprofits, including new loan programs and reductions in personnel expenses
- Independent Sector, a national membership organization of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations, has a guide for nonprofits applying for COVID-19 relief funds.