Over the past pandemic-stricken year, multiple charities and assistance programs have stepped forward for segments of the music industry, from MusiCares to Save Our Stages and Crew Nation.
With the backing of Songwriters of North America (SONA), the Songwriter Fund offering emergency grants to songwriters in need has distributed over $400,000 in grants to songwriters who have been hardest hit by the pandemic — and is accepting donations for another round of relief funding, with applications opening on April 28: To learn more about the fund or to donate, visit www.songwriterfund.com.
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Directed by an all-woman team of songwriters Autumn Rowe and Michelle Featherstone with management by Sarah Robertson, the Songwriter Fund offers emergency grants to songwriters in need. It was launched with resources from SONA and Sony Music Publishing, amongst other private and corporate donations.
“Everything dried up all at once for the songwriting community: royalties from streaming, as well as the ability to do gig work or be a session player,” said Featherstone. “We were talking to fellow songwriters who were asking, ‘How will I pay this month’s rent? How will I buy groceries? Will I ever work again?’”
Last year, Rowe had begun working solo to raise money for other songwriters, accepting donations from artist friends such as Leona Lewis and Billy Clark. SONA soon came on board to create a larger, more structured fund.
“The Songwriter Fund is a resource for our community when there are no other options,” said Rowe. “Many writers who ran out of options received grants, and we were really grateful to help. I’d like the Songwriter Fund to feel like that friend who always has your back. Because there is so little overhead in our organization, the most possible money goes out to songwriters.”
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