During this time when we cannot gather in person to enjoy live performances, many individuals and organizations are finding creative ways to host virtual performances, to entertain fans and to obtain some financial security.  Smokefree Music Cities, a project of the American Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) Foundation, is doing its part to help sustain the financial and physical health of musicians, performing artists, and other entertainers, including casino workers by supporting a number of events and virtual performances.

1) Baton Rouge Blues Festival

Michael Juan

The Festival has been postponed until an undetermined date; however, the Baton Rouge Blues Festival Foundation is hosting a weekly, virtual performance every Wednesday night at 9pm ET/8pm CT/6pm PT during the month of April.  As the title sponsor of the Festival, Smokefree Music Cities is pleased to also support these virtual performances.  Look for them @brbluesfest IGTV and Facebook.

2) People Supporting Artists

PSA Telethon Lineup

Given the hardship musicians are facing in this new environment, People Supporting Artists is organizing a remote concert to raise money for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund on Saturday, April 11.  The 3-hour event will air live on Saturday, April 11th from 7pm ET/6pm CT/4pm PT from Nashville, TN’s H.O.M.E. Studios and will include skits and personal stories from those who have benefitted from MusiCares. Look for the show on their Facebook page or the Smokefree Music Cities Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SmokefreeMusic/ or online at https://peoplesupportingartists.org/watch. You can donate to the effort at any time at peoplesupportingartists.org/donate.

People Supporting Artists is a nonprofit which aims to provide independent artists with grants for recording and touring.  Spearheaded by Jamie Kent, who is also on the lineup, the organization is planning for the future at point when the music industry is ready to rebuild.

3) The SFMC “Stay Safe at Home” Concert Series

As part of our ongoing work with musicians and other entertainers to share their stories about the challenges and health hazards of performing in smoke-filled bars, clubs, and casinos, Smokefree Music Cities (SFMC) will be sharing videos, virtual performances, and special messages from these individuals to keep spirits lifted and continue to communicate the need to protect musicians’ health from airborne pathogens like COVID-19 and carcinogens contained in secondhand smoke.

When businesses reopen, let’s ensure all workers, including musicians, performing artists, and hospitality and casino workers have a safe, clean indoor air work environment, including protection from secondhand smoke.  You can help by speaking up for smokefree air in your social media and using #SmokefreeMusic. Learn more and get involved at https://smokefreemusiccities.org/

  • The U.S. Music Community developed an online resource to help music professionals access information and applications to receive benefits made available by the CARES Act (Phase III of the Coronavirus Stimulus bill signed into law March 27, 2020).  Find information on how to receive unemployment as a result of losses from the COVID national emergency, how to receive small business loans, advances and loan forgiveness  related to the COVID national emergency, and identify other organizations providing relief and potential  grants  from the  National Endowment for the Arts.  https://musiccovidrelief.com/
  • New Orleans Musicians Clinic COVID-19 Resources and Response