New Music Solidarity Fund completes fundraising with $508,000

Written By

Megan Ihnen

“We stand with each other, and will keep each other standing until
we are on the other side of this.”  — Claire Chase

The New Music Solidarity Fund, an initiative formed to grant emergency funding to musicians impacted by COVID-19, has concluded fundraising. At $508,000, the completed Fund has far exceeded its initial $100,000 goal, as well as its subsequent $500,000 goal; the Fund is now able to distribute emergency $500 grants to 1,016 applicants.

The New Music Solidarity Fund was made possible through the collective efforts of Marcos Balter, Julia Bullock, Claire Chase, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Du Yun, Reena Esmail, Judd Greenstein, Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, Christian Reif, Christopher Rountree, Caroline Shaw, Conrad Tao, Seth Parker Woods, and New Music USA. This group sought to extend help to less-secure individuals within their community. Beyond this emergency bridge fund, the organizers and contributors hope to lay the grounds for a new financial and cultural framework that ensures the stability of musicians in the new-music scene. The New Music Solidarity Fund is administered through New Music USA, a 501c3 organization.

The New Music Solidarity Fund could not have achieved this goal without significant generosity from the nonprofit and music communities. In addition to the outpouring of support from individual donors, several like-minded organizations have diverted their funds into major gifts. These are The Aaron Copland Fund for Music; the Achelis and Bodman Foundation; American Composers Forum; The Amphion Foundation; Boosey & Hawkes, a Concord Company; Howard Gilman Foundation; Loud Hound Foundation; the New York Community Trust; and the Pacific Harmony Foundation.

Many artists, including Marcos Balter, Claire Chase, Susie Ibarra, Jen Shyu, Rebecca Sigel, Nadia Sirota, Conrad Tao, and Third Coast Percussion, also raised money for the New Music Solidarity Fund by turning online concerts into fundraisers. Organizations such as the OmniARTS Foundation also raised funds independently through streaming events.

The New Music Solidarity Fund would also like to thank Larry and Arlene Dunn, who donated proceeds from a recent recording project to the Fund; and Son Lux, who donated proceeds from all their titles on Bandcamp to this and other charities.

“A single canceled performance can have a huge impact on someone’s livelihood. Time and time again, freelance musicians have been there for us composers and new music lovers.I’m deeply touched but not at all surprised that so many artists have answered our calls for contributions. We are a diverse but deeply united family, and we will get through this together.”
Marcos Balter

“Self-preservation can’t so much be on the minds of musicians because one of the fundamentals of music making is acknowledging that we are providing a service for one another. At this immediate time, the support of this fund is financial, but I hope it will resonate well beyond that, once more people know the feeling of solidarity amongst artists.”
Julia Bullock

“Thanks to this outpouring of generosity, we were able to exceed our goal and provide essential relief to more than a thousand artists working in new music. That our relatively small community could come together in such large numbers is a testament to our movement’s resilience, warmth, grit, and grace. We will keep lifting each other up.”
Claire Chase

“Quarantine has served as a powerful reminder of how deeply collaborative music making is and must be. It’s thrilling to have worked with this community of artists and makers to support one another in this crucial way during this harrowing time.”
Anthony Roth Costanzo

“In times like this, we demonstrate, once again, our strongest power and resilience. In times like this, when all else is failing and seems to fall apart, we have each other’s back. When words begin to pale, our actions stand strong. How lucky we are connected by our convictions and passions in life.”
Du Yun

“Supporting artists at this critical time and making sure their basic needs are met allows artists to perform their civic duty: to think broadly and creatively about the world we will find on the other side of this pandemic, and to pioneer new, generative ways forward together.”
Reena Esmail

“It was beyond inspiring to see how quickly our community came to the aid of those musicians who need extra support during this time, and it’s been especially wonderful to see artists supporting one another through direct donations and benefit concerts.”
Judd Greenstein

“As the cancellations started pouring in in late March, it was very easy to fall into a cycle of lonesome despair, both artistic and financial. It was, in turn, even more heartening to see so many musicians and composers whose work focuses on the music of the 21st century join together to try to help out colleagues in any way we all could.”
Nico Muhly

“I have been truly moved by the depth and breadth of generosity we have seen from artists in our community. We will get through this together and we will never again take for granted the ability to gather as a community and make music for and with one another.”
Andrew Norman

“There is a need far beyond what we’re able to give, but it offers hope and some relief to our freelance peers who have no safety net.”
Christian Reif

“Everyone is essential. In this cause it’s essential that all of us do whatever we can to preserve art, to preserve that soul of humanity, one that’s needed now more than ever.”
Christopher Rountree

“The strength and generosity that has emerged among communities of artists is energizing. Let’s keep fortifying these roots to keep this garden full and ready when the sun comes back out. This is the time to take care of each other.”
Caroline Shaw

“It has been so inspiring to see—from the earliest weeks of our concert infrastructure shutting down to now—the outpouring of support for our community, from our community. This pandemic has starkly shown just how interdependent we all are. Thank you to everyone who helped us meet our financial goals each step of the way.”
Conrad Tao

“It’s been thrilling to call on our friends and colleagues of new music to create this fund, and the outpouring of support and love has given me a deeper sense of hope as we tread these uncharted waters.”
Seth Parker Woods

The artists behind the fund are grateful to New Music USA for the generous administrative support and resources that have made the New Music Solidarity Fund possible.