(Tulsa, Okla.) —Since Monday, March 16, when the nonprofit Red Dirt Relief Fund announced an emergency grant program to aid working Oklahoma music people impacted by COVID-19 related cancellations and postponements, the organization has given 400 one-time $250 financial assistance grants to applicants statewide.
The original grant pledge of $50,000 was bolstered when overwhelming donations from the community and George Kaiser Family Foundation made doubling the original amount possible. In a statement today, Executive Director Katie Dale announced, “We have granted emergency financial aid to people working in every genre, from symphony and singer songwriter to hip hop and church bands…and everything in between. Our grant funding pool is currently exhausted, but we have several new funding opportunities in the works, and we’re still raising money.” The nonprofit has pledged to continue making one-time emergency grants of $250 on a first-come, first-served basis as funds become available.
To be eligible for a grant, a person must meet have sustained a financial loss of at least $1,000 due to cancelled/postponed gigs related to COVID-19, have worked in the music business for the past five years and be a current Oklahoma resident. People who meet these criteria should apply here: https://forms.gle/j4PcHdx9omAQuWfJ7
A listing of other resources available to working music people can be found here: https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/9337908/coronavirus-resource-guide-music-professionals-help.
While the organization hopes this act of solidarity can provide hope to help everyone better weather this storm, they recognize it will not be enough. If you would like to contribute to help extend aid to more music people, donate here: www.reddirtrelieffund.org/donate. Business, venues or anyone with ideas on how to raise money for this effort are invited to contact Dale at [email protected].