Charlotte Music Community Relief Fund - How to Support and How to Apply

Music Everywhere CLT in partnership with FAIR PLAY Music Equity Initiative and Tosco Music, are excited to announce the launch the Charlotte Music Community COVID-19 Relief Fund. This grant program is designed to help members of the Charlotte music community, with an emphasis on independent performing or recording artists, with loss of income due to COVID-19.


Las solicitudes al fondo ya están abiertas. Haga clic aquí para aplicar.

Donate to the Fund
In many ways, it seems as if the world around us has stopped. But you can’t stop the music. Even as we socially distance and self-isolate, music continues to comfort, bring joy, and inspire hope.

Music is there for us. Now, we need to be there for music. We believe that music is an essential element of a healthy, thriving, inclusive city. The Charlotte music community is broad, deep, diverse, talented, and dedicated. And right now, our music community is hurting. Even in good times, making a living in music in Charlotte is challenging. In 2018, our study showed that most area musicians make less than $10,000 per year.

Now, all at once, that income is almost zero.

Many in our Charlotte music community also work as bartenders, servers in restaurants, ride-share drivers. That income, also, has dried up.

In response, in partnership with FAIR PLAY Music Equity Initiative and Tosco Music, we have launched the Charlotte Music Community COVID-19 Relief Fund. With your help, we can help keep Charlotte music alive, and ensure that when this crisis is behind us, Charlotte music will be there to lead us out of this, stronger than ever.

If you are able, we encourage you to think about what you normally would be spending on live shows and donate it to this fund. Then do it again. Then tell others.

Every size donation matters, but if you give $65 or more, you’ll receive a limited-edition Keep Charlotte Music Alive t-shirt. The shirt features the custom graphic above, designed by Dave Haire, and is produced by Recover Brands. Wear it with pride the next time we gather to nod heads at Player Made at Snug Harbor, thrash at Skylark Social Club, stomp and holler at Neighborhood Theatre, applaud appreciatively at Evening Muse, jam at the Visulite, mosh at the Milestone, smile at Middle C, well, you get the picture.

Let’s do this, Charlotte.

Visit the GoFundMe page here


Supporting the Fund

Please share the GoFundMe link with your networks. If you are able, please use the GoFundMe to make the Fund a beneficiary of a virtual event or program. If you are interested in supporting the Fund in other ways, please contact us.


About the Fund

The Charlotte Music Community COVID-19 Relief Fund is designed to help members of the Charlotte music community, with an emphasis on independent performing or recording artists, who have experienced loss of income due to COVID-19.

Examples include:

  • Income lost due to cancelled gigs or bookings, recording sessions, tours, festivals, contracts, or other events.
  • Income lost by teaching examples due to cancelled lessons, closed schools, etc.

Funds cannot be requested to offset income from gigs or sessions not yet booked or scheduled or anticipated loss of sales.

Who is eligible to apply?
This grant program is designed to aid individuals in the Charlotte music community who are struggling to meet basic needs, such as food, shelter, or medical, due to loss of music-related income due to COVID-19. If you have other full-time employment that has not been disrupted, other sources of income or a strong financial safety net, please refrain from applying so that we may serve those most vulnerable.

Additional criteria

  • You should be age 18 or older and not a fulltime student.
  • The majority of your income should come from music-related work
  • You must live in Mecklenburg County
  • Priority in the first round will be shown to need.

How much is the grant?
We are awarding grants up to $500. We realize that this likely will not even cover one month’s rent. Our aim is to help as many people as possible. Especially in the first round of grants, we will give preference to individuals who have not been able to receive aid from other assistance funds, but we understand it will take a village of funding sources to meet the need. We encourage everyone to understand the local and national programs. Here is a list of programs of which we are aware.

What can the money be used for?
The grant is unrestricted. Please use it for your most pressing needs, such as food, shelter, medical treatment or medicine. Again, we ask you only to apply if you have lost significant music-related income and are struggling to meet basic needs. We want to be able to help those who need it most.

Can only musicians apply?
No. A music community is made up of all kinds of contributors. Sound technicians, producers, songwriters, studio engineers, music teachers, composers, presenters, etc. While preference in the early round will be shown to the independent music maker, who are often the most vulnerable, we encourage anyone who makes the majority of their income from music and is having trouble meeting basic needs to apply.

Can we apply as a band?
No. Each individual’s situation is unique. If your band lost income, please detail only what your cut would have been.

How will you send out the money?
We are only able to make grants by check. Checks will be mailed to the address provided in the application.

Is the grant taxable income?
Grants are considered income, but the IRS threshold of taxable income from one entity is $600. We will not be sending 1009s for these grants.

When can I apply and when are applications due?
Applications opened on Wednesday, May 6. Please click here to apply. Please check back here or follow us on social media for any updates. A panel will review applications on a rolling basis and continue to grant money until the fund is exhausted (Note: We are actively raising money for the fund here. Spread the word!). The panel, which is made up of volunteers from both Music Everywhere CLT and Fair Play, is committed to equitable distribution of funds, across all segments and demographics of our population.

*To get started early, all applicants are required to participate in the Charlotte Music Community COVID-19 Impact Survey. If you haven't already, please take 5 minutes and participate in this survey.

How many times can I apply?
Please apply only once, unless your financial situation changes. We will not be able to make multiple grants to any individual.

Who is Music Everywhere CLT and who is FAIR PLAY Music Equity Initiative?
Music Everywhere CLT is a nonprofit civic initiative to grow Charlotte’s music scene and economy. The initiative was launched by Charlotte Center City Partners. FAIR PLAY Music Equity Initiative envisions and advocates for a fair Charlotte music scene where what makes us different is what makes the difference.