SFEMS Launches Early Music Freelancers’ Relief Fund

UPDATED December 22, 2021: Relief fund grant recipients may apply for a twenty-first grant one month after the date they turned in their twentieth grant applications. If you have continuing need, please resubmit your application with documentation demonstrating your continuing need.

First-time grant applicants, as well as repeat applicants who have received fewer than twenty grants, will receive priority. (You may file for a continuing grant one month after the day you turned in your previous application).

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks an unprecedented financial toll on the world economy, our local early music freelancers have been particularly hit hard. Months of work have dried up in days, leaving many musicians on the brink of financial ruin.

In an effort to help our musicians, the SFEMS board has taken the lead in setting up a short-term relief fund for local early music freelancers. Since then, we have received over $35,000 in donations (as of May 15, 2020). This fund will provide one-time, first-come first-served $300 grants to musicians in need, and will do so until funds run out.

This fund is open to all individual freelance professional musicians who live 1) in the following nine counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma; and 2) make their living primarily through the performance and teaching of early music. Applicants do not need to be current SFEMS members.

Funds will be disbursed by check via mail twice a week until funds are no longer available.

Learn more about how to support or apply to the relief fund.

Written by Derek Tam