Music Community, Our Promise To You: How MusiCares Will Continue To Help The Humans Behind Music
A message from MusiCares Vice President of Health & Human Services, Debbie Carroll, on MusiCares' commitment to the music community
Last week was a big week for music. We had so much to celebrate including the 63rd GRAMMY Awards and MusiCares' first virtual GRAMMY Week fundraiser, Music On A Mission. For MusiCares' special night, upwards of 17,000 people bought tickets, with over 850,000 supporter page views and counting. MusiCares raised $2.1 million dollars to help those in need in the music community.
While we are very proud of those numbers, the real win for MusiCares is that the success of the fundraiser will further our mission: helping the humans behind music. Music professionals give so much to the world, and Music on a Mission was a tribute to those individuals. Every dollar raised that night will go directly to supporting them.
This year, that support is needed more than ever. Whether you're an artist whose tour was canceled, a furloughed concert venue worker, a gigging musician with nowhere to play, or one of the many other members of our beloved music community who has been devastated by this pandemic, we want you to know that MusiCares is here for you.
Here is our promise.
Continued financial support for music people struggling as a result of loss of work due to COVID-19
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began last March, MusiCares has distributed $24 million to 30,000 music people and their families in need. But the need continues. The pandemic is not over, and MusiCares is here to support the music community until every show is rebooked, every tour is rerouted, and every venue is reopened. If you are out of work, financial support for day-to-day expenses like rent, utility bills, car payments, and insurance premiums is available to you.
Expanded and newly developed programming based upon the expressed needs of the music community
In 2020, MusiCares launched its inaugural “Wellness in Music” survey, designed to assess the music community's health and wellness. The survey will be an annual initiative used to gauge the most pressing issues for the music community as well as understand new and emerging concerns, all with the goal of shaping our programs and services to best fit the needs of the music community.
This year has demonstrated just how quickly the state of the industry can change, and in order to best serve the industry, it is crucial we listen to community we are serving and are responsive to their needs. Mental health, addiction, financial security and access to affordable health care are of top priority for us moving forward.
Expanding access to healthcare for those in the music community who cannot afford it
Another finding revealed in our "Wellness In Music" survey was that 19 percent of survey respondents stated they did not have health insurance, compared to 8 percent of the general population. Of those, 64 percent noted the reason was that they could not afford it.
MusiCares believes everyone should have access to healthcare, and we are committed to expanding opportunities and access to those who cannot afford it. Through our health services, music people can receive financial assistance for medical bills, health insurance premiums, dental procedures and more. In addition, MusiCares offers a variety of annual free preventative health services including medical, dental, and hearing clinics, vocal health workshops, and assistance obtaining low-cost health insurance.
Ensuring mental health treatment and addiction recovery support is readily accessible
Mental health and addiction treatment can be costly and difficult to obtain. When faced with a mental health crisis, many don't know where to turn, and the average cost of rehab in the United States ranges from $5,000 to $80,000. Our "Wellness In Music" survey found that while 34.9 percent of our respondents sought counseling for their mental health struggles, 53.5 percent of those respondents were unable to obtain counseling because they could not afford it. Through our mental health and addiction services, music people in need of addiction treatment can be placed in treatment within a matter of hours. Funding is also available for outpatient services, sober living, intensive outpatient care and more. MusiCares also provides financial support and referrals for mental health services including psychiatric care, counseling services and inpatient care.
In addition, MusiCares hosts five virtual recovery support groups each week, offering a safe environment in which attendees can discuss the challenges of staying clean and sober in the music industry. We also have two weekly emotional support groups, in partnership with our friends at ASCAP, meant for anyone feeling depressed, anxious or simply concerned about any aspect of their lives. These groups offer a private means of gaining support while surrounded by like-minded individuals. Plans are underway to add two additional emotional support groups within the next few weeks.
Increasing our reach, especially to populations who are underserved
MusiCares is here for all members of the music industry, and we want our client base to accurately reflect the diversity of the music community. We have identified populations that are underserved by MusiCares, and we want to earn those communities' trust of knowing we are here for them, too.
This past month, we have hosted a number of programs specifically for our underserved populations including virtual women's health screenings, a panel celebrating and supporting Latinx women in the music industry, and a discussion on mental health and addiction in the Black community. We will continue to improve and expand upon these outreach efforts and have committed to doubling our outreach to underserved populations over the course of this year.
Broadening our provider network and innovating our services to suit the needs of a changing music industry
MusiCares has an amazing network of rehabilitation centers, dentists, attorneys, relief organizations, therapists, and medical providers who help support the work we do and offer reduced rates or additional relief support to our clients. This enables us to maximize each charitable dollar donated to our cause.
As we continue to increase our reach, we plan to widen this network, too. Our commitment is to have a viable option for each and every client who contacts us, regardless of their circumstance or need.
Thank you for the support of MusiCares this past GRAMMY season—we now return that support back to those in need. Our promise is that we will continue to work tirelessly to support the music community—through the pandemic and beyond. As long as there are unmet needs within our music family, MusiCares will be there.