Early Music Freelancers’ Relief Fund

MUSICIANS: Jump to the application.

UPDATED April 21, 2022: Relief fund grant recipients may apply for a twenty-fifth grant one month after the date they turned in their twenty-fourth grant applications. If you have continuing need, please resubmit your application. However, there is no need to submit documentation of recently lost work, given the paucity of gigs.

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

Thankfully, the demand has abated significantly as musicians have begun to return to work; in light of this, after long consideration, we have made the decision to take a pause from offering grants after this 25th round.

SFEMS has been a leader in providing financial help to musicians. We are proud to have consistently provided grants for two years, and we have continued to do so long after other organizations stopped providing funds to those artists so profoundly affected by the loss of work and income.

It is because of your generosity that SFEMS has been able to give these grants to our professional musicians for such an extended length of time, and we are grateful for all you have done to help them through these difficult times. We hope that soon enough, the need for these grants will begin to alleviate.

Early Music Freelancers' Relief Fund

  • Thank you for applying to the SFEMS Early Music Musicians' Relief Fund.

    This fund is open to all individual freelance professional musicians who 1) live 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.

    Organizations are NOT eligible for support under this relief fund. Musicians do NOT need to be current members of SFEMS. All applications will remain confidential.

    Application Process:

    Available funds will be dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently, we plan to fulfill each request with a one-time, $250 grant. In this time of great need, it is neither our place to weigh needs comparatively or to evaluate who deserves funds. The only limiting factor is the amount of money we are able to raise. It is possible that we will run out of funds before we can fulfill every request.

    We trust our musicians. If you need help, we want to help. We just need to make sure our trust is not abused to protect our status as a nonprofit. If you are applying for the first time, please submit:

    1) a recent resume or CV; and
    2) either a snapshot of published list of recent or upcoming engagements that were cancelled (i.e. on a website) OR a contract or confirmation email of a cancelled gig.

    Musicians applying for continuing grants do not need to submit the documents above. However, you will need to answer "yes" to a question about continuing and demonstrable need.

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

    If you have any questions, please contact administrator Stacey Helley at slhelley@sfems.org.