(Tulsa, Okla) — Red Dirt Relief Fund announced today they have fulfilled all eligible applications for their COVID-19 Emergency Music Grants, delivering $138,500 in one-time $250 payments to music professionals across more than 30 Oklahoma counties. The program, which was launched in mid-March, was open to any Oklahoman working in music who sustained a financial loss of at least $1,000 due to cancelled/postponed gigs related to COVID-19 and has worked in the industry for the past five years. The effort was funded by the nonprofit with support from George Kaiser Family Foundation, proceeds of a streaming concert in April (Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café) and donations from local artists and businesses.
According to Executive Director Katie Dale, “There are no words to express our gratitude to GKFF, our community partners, local businesses, artists who donated streaming tips, and all donors, large and small, for making this effort possible. The people served come from every musical genre, job and geography. They’ve done everything from write, sing and produce to engineer, tour manage and sound engineer. They include members of the Tulsa Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, worship musicians, renowned hip hop artists, award-winning singer songwriters and musicians who have played or worked Cain’s Ballroom, Chesapeake Arena, BOK, Tulsa PAC—the list goes on and on. This situation has affected everyone working in music in our state universally, and we’ve tried to serve them equally.”
Anyone who meets the grant criteria and has not previously applied is encouraged to do so before this grant program closes on July 31: https://forms.gle/j4PcHdx9omAQuWfJ7
“Now we begin the process of helping make sure everyone who will be out of work until the industry comes back in full—likely not until next year—can connect to sustaining benefits including unemployment,” said Dale.
The nonprofit will continue its General Assistance Grant program for music professionals experiencing emergencies like accidents, chronic medical conditions, natural disaster, substance abuse treatment and other critical emergencies. Contributions to the cause can be made at https://www.reddirtrelieffund.org/donate/
For more information on resources available to Oklahoma music professionals out-of-work due to the pandemic, visit https://www.reddirtrelieffund.org/covid19/ and follow Red Dirt Relief Fund on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.