Mar 19, 2020
Below is a list of resources for musicians who may be impacted in some way by COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We will continue to update this list as new resources are made available.
AFM's Lester Petrillo Fund
For members of the AFM, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, there is limited emergency financial aid through the AFM's Lester Petrillo Fund. The following circumstances would qualify for assistance:
1: A member is diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
2: A member tests positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is quarantined.
More information and application here.
COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources: as a disclaimer, we have no relationship with most of these organizations on this list; this is not intended as an endorsement or otherwise of any of the services offered through the various links.
Losing work because of COVID-19? AFM Local 369 in Las Vegas offers the following advice:
- SAVE all information and details about your canceled gigs. You may be able to claim them as a loss on next year's taxes.
- Taxpayers affected by disasters are often eligible for deductions and credits. It is 10-13 months before you file your 2020 tax return. If you experience expenses and a loss of income due to the pandemic measures, you would be doing yourself and your tax preparer a favor by documenting those now.
- Some of this will be easy: losing the value of a concert ticket. Some of this will be murkier: if you live on tips.
- Save emails, download and save email blasts, and note if you have had colleagues who have had to quarantine as some employers could use this to oust employees, especially older ones.
- Keep track of any signed contracts and letters of agreement. For gigs without any "official" paperwork, copy and back-up any emails and texts regarding getting hired, AND the amount you were to be paid.
- If your name appears on any promo materials - flyers, email blasts, Internet ads, etc. - keep track of those as well as proof of promised employment.
- Also, track who and what exactly canceled or postponed your gig. Was it the producer? Was it the venue closing down (which then prompted the producer or person who hired you to follow through)? Was it due to government-mandated shutdown?
- If you use a Calendar app, the Notes section under each entry is a handy place to keep all this information.
- If presenters, producers and institutions shut down preemptively, they have to take the hit. If they are forced to close by government edict, they can at least start haggling with their insurers.