CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES FOR MUSIC CREATORS
All of us in the music community have experienced major changes to our routines as a result of the pandemic. But hardship is only half the story of 2020. We've also seen our community find innovative ways to connect with fans, and help us process what we are all going through with their music.
We’ve put together some resources that we hope will help you stay healthy, creative, connected and financially stable until we can all have in-person jam sessions again. Thank you for your music - the world needs it now, more than ever.
~Your ASCAP family
Here’s What the American Rescue Plan Act Means for Music Creators
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, providing financial relief and other benefits for many Americans, including music creators. To help ASCAP members navigate the new COVID-19 relief measures, we outlined the key provisions for music creators below.
ASCAP and Other Music Industry Leaders Unite Again to Ask Congress to Provide Relief from Toll of Pandemic
As part of a united music community effort, ASCAP joined other music industry leaders in sending a letter urging Congress to pass legislation to provide additional relief for music creators and live-music venues.
ASCAP Joins 20 US Music Industry Leaders in a Letter Asking Congress to Support the RESTART Act
ASCAP joined 20 US music industry leaders in a letter asking Congress to support the RESTART Act because independent music venues are vital to songwriters’ livelihoods, and they need help to survive.
ASCAP Calls on Congress to Stand With Songwriters Who Need Access to Critical Benefits in the Next Stimulus Package
ASCAP joined other US music industry leaders in a letter urging Congress to ensure that critical benefits like unemployment insurance, disaster loans and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are extended to self-employed individuals and small businesses in the next government stimulus package.
Wellness During the PANDEMIC
This is a good time to focus on you. Here are free services from our Wellness Benefits partners to support mental health, mindfulness, exercise and nutrition. More wellness resources can be found at www.ascap.com/wellness
(Updated on 10/9/20)
At this year's ASCAP Experience we invited Taylor Bennett, an artist and entrepreneur, Dr. Delverlon Hall, a psychotherapist and Kosine, a music producer and actor to discuss the challenges music makers face when it comes to mental health.
ASCAP has partnered with MusiCares to offer free cyber support groups for music creators, every week on Tuesday and Thursday. Sign up by emailing the facilitator.
Aaptiv: Stay Fit, Meditate and Sleep Better
Aaptiv provides on-demand access to thousands of audio workouts led by expert trainers. During this tough time, Aaptiv is offering their best sleep, meditation and at-home classes for free on Apple Podcasts.
Betterhelp: 7 Ways To Stay Calm While Social Distancing
BetterHelp offers private & professional counseling by chat, text, video or phone. They’ve put together a helpful list of how to manage your anxiety while you’re sheltering in place due to the coronavirus.
Shine: Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety
A free resource with vetted articles, a forum to get your mental health questions answered by mental health professionals, and ways to relax. Brought to you by Shine in partnership with Mental Health America.
RESOURCES FOR MENTAL WELL-BEING
As creators, mental health is essential to our overall well-being and creativity. When we feel mentally well, we can work more productively, think clearly, and be present for our friends, families and fellow music creators. This page provides resources to help you keep mentally healthy and to reduce stress.
We've created a memorial page for our beloved ASCAP family members that we have lost during this pandemic.
May their legacies live on through the music they’ve left us.
(Updated on 6/18/20)
The whole music industry is feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for an uncertain future. We know you're probably wondering about how all of this will affect your ASCAP royalties. So we've assembled this FAQ to answer your most frequently asked questions.
We know the last thing you need to worry about right now is your ASCAP royalties. Here are a few things to do to ensure you keep your ASCAP money flowing:
Sign up for direct deposit
We want to make sure your royalties can get to you quickly in these difficult times. Sign up for Direct Deposit to have your royalties deposited in your bank account as soon as they’re available.
- Log into your Member Access account
- Click "Payment Information," under the Profile section of the left-hand navigation bar
- Click the "Add +" icon at the top right-hand corner and add your direct deposit details
Update your contact info
Make sure we can reach you with any important updates about your account and royalties. Log into Member Access and update your mailing and email address with us. It can make a big impact.
Register your works
Before we can pay you, we need to know some basic info about your music. Spend some of your extra time at home registering your music so we can start tracking it and sending you royalties.
- Log into Member Access
- Click “Works” in your Member Access navigation bar
- Click “Register a Work” button at the top right
Our phone lines are open. If you have questions about your account, call ASCAP Global Services at
ASCAP contributed to a special fund, as part of the MusiCares® COVID-19 Relief Fund, to support our music creators who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Our contribution was focused on helping the ASCAP family of songwriters, composers and lyricists. We've also partnered with MusiCares on free, weekly cyber support groups for music creators.
These are tough times for music creators, especially those of us who rely on live gigs and in-person sessions for our income. Here are some organizations offering emergency financial assistance to help out.
(Updated on 6/15/22)
American Federation of Musicians has a resource page with information on unemployment benefits. Several local chapters have relief funds and assistance programs for their members, including AFM Local 47 (Los Angeles), AFM Local 802 (New York) and AFM Local 257 (Nashville).
American Guild of Musical Artists is encouraging members in good standing to apply for financial assistance through the AGMA Relief Fund. Grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis, based on need.
Artist Relief is an emergency, non-restricted emergency relief fund, set up by a coalition of national arts grantmakers, that will grant $5,000 to individual artists facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund is intended to help those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), are pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators, and whose income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you fit this description, apply for an emergency grant in the amount of $200 per person.
Bandzoogle put together a helpful article about how musicians can ask fans for support during coronavirus pandemic. (PS: If you're thinking about getting your website in order during quarantine, ASCAP members get a 6-month free trial to use Bandzoogle - plus 15% off membership - where you can sell music, take direct donations and pledges for crowdfunding, and create monthly fan subscriptions from their website, all commission-free)
The City of Los Angeles has established the LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund, open to micro-entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits located in Los Angeles County. Their fifth round of funding is accepting applications as of October 5. In addition, if you operate a small business in LA you may be eligible for a loan through the city's Small Business Loan Program.
Country Music Association set up a resource center geared toward the country music community, with sections dedicated to financial relief, government resources, advocacy and more.
The Creative Community Fund - spearheaded by Winston House and IGAF - directly pairs people in the music industry who need financial help due to COVID-19 with people who can help. Apply for help (or TO help) at the Winston House website.
Equal Sound (a group that “strives to introduce listeners to new music by breaking down the traditional confines of musical genres”) has set up a relief fund for musicians who have lost income due to a canceled gig as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
FindHelp is a search engine to find food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced-cost programs in your area, including new programs for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gospel Music Association has raised $150,000 for those in need. Artists and touring professionals within the Christian/Gospel Music Industry are invited to apply.
The Foundation for Contemporary Arts has created a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions. Applications are currently being accepted through November 30, 2020.
The International Bluegrass Music Association has set aside up to $150,000 of current assets to assist eligible professional bluegrass music applicants who have been impacted by COVID-19, with awards up to $500 per application. Apply online for assistance through the Bluegrass Trust Fund.
The Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program provides financial assistance to self-employed individuals who were left out of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program due to technically qualifying for traditional state unemployment. If you earn money both through traditional W2 employment and also through self-employment, you may be eligible to MEUC funds through your state's employment agency. Visit mixedincome.org for more info.
Nonprofit Lawyers for the Arts organizations in California, New York and Tennessee are providing free legal services to help music creators and industry professionals figure out the resources available to them. Contact the org. closest to you for help navigating financial assistance paperwork, unemployment insurance, labor questions, small business relief, performance cancellation disputes, or anything else related to the epidemic. Billboard has more info.
The Jazz Foundation is accepting applications for financial support to jazz musicians in need, through its COVID-19 Musicians' Emergency Fund.
The non-profit Music Health Alliance offers guidance and resources for music creators looking for healthcare. They also offer grants for financially vulnerable music professionals directly impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and the recent tornadoes.
The Newport Festivals Foundation is accepting applications for grants through the Newport Festivals Musician Relief Fund. The focus and priority is musicians who have played the Newport Jazz or Folk Festivals and others in the Rhode Island music community.
- New York City set up its ACCESS NYC portal to help NYC residents determine their eligibility for more than 30 economic programs and benefits. NYC is also accepting grants for its Small Business Continuity Loan Program, for businesses with under 100 employees that can demonstrate a financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
- June 28, 2022 deadline: New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) & New York State Council on the Arts have partnered to launch a $261,000 disability grant program. The program will distribute $1,000 in cash grants to cover art-related expenses for New York State visual, media, music, performing, literary, and multidisciplinary artists with a disability who reside outside of New York City’s five boroughs and have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. Read more here and apply by June 28, 2022.
Paul, Weiss has put together a Coronavirus Relief Center as a clearinghouse of the most up-to-date information about city, state, federal and nonprofit resources available to those contending with COVID-19 economic impacts.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has launched musiccovidrelief.com in partnership with dozens of US music industry organizations. The site provides info on receiving unemployment benefits, small business loans/advances, and potential grants from the NEA, plus a comprehensive list of resources from its partner organizations.
Songwriters of North America (SONA), supported by Sony Music Publishing, has launched The Songwriter Fund to help songwriters and composers impacted by the pandemic. If you are affiliated with a PRO, over 18 years old and have two years of experience working as a professional writer/composer in the US, you can apply for a $1000 emergency grant. A second round of applications opens April 28.
Sweet Relief is taking applications for its COVID-19 Fund. The fund is intended for musicians and music industry workers affected by the coronavirus. Money raised will go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses to those impacted due to sickness or loss of work.
The Texas Music Office is updating a list of relief programs available to Texas music creators. There are programs specific to Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and more.
The US Small Business Administration has a guidance & loan assistance page dedicated to helping small business owners impacted by the coronavirus epidemic.
Looking for more?
Billboard has compiled a state-by-state resource guide for music professionals impacted by the coronavirus crisis, including many financial relief funds.
We recently wrapped our first ASCAP Experience: Home Edition, our summer series of livestreamed panels designed to help you make money from your music, connect with music publishers, preserve your mental and physical wellness and much, much more. Our guests included music giants like Hans Zimmer, T.I., Dan Wilson & Brandy Clark, mxmtoon, FINNEAS & Glen Hansard, Pasek & Paul, Claudia Brant, Erica Campbell (Mary Mary), Shaggy, Brothers Osborne and so many more.
All Home Edition panels are available to watch on demand, totally free.