Tag Archives: covid-19

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Even in times of looming uncertainty, music has the power to relieve stress, improve our cognition and help us feel happy. It’s easy to take these benefits for granted, but now more than ever, it’s vital to recognize the people who make it possible: musicians.

Across the country, concerts, tours, and festivals are being postponed or cancelled, leaving many musicians facing a devastating financial reality. On average, live events account for about 70% of an artist’s income — up from about a third in the 1990s — making the current situation especially dire. Just as communities come together to enjoy music, we can also come together to support artists and show how much we value their music. Here are three things you can do from home right now to help!

1. Merch, merch, merch!

With artists receiving an ever-shrinking cut from record sales, merchandise has become a significant part of their income — just one t-shirt sale can provide as much cash as roughly 6,500 Spotify streams, and a single hoodie can be worth more than 50,000 YouTube views. With in-person concerts on hiatus for the foreseeable future, artists are selling apparel, posters and more on places like Bandcamp and Instagram, including lots of exclusives from cancelled tours. Not only will buying merch help your favorite artists survive this crisis — it will also add a dose of cool to your wardrobe!

2. Chip in at virtual concerts

We’ve been beyond inspired to see artists from across the musical spectrum streaming free virtual concerts from their homes or studios. These intimate shows not only entertain us with amazing live music, but also provide us with a sense of community and togetherness that has been especially hard to come by lately. Most of these shows operate on a “pay what you can” basis, so if you can spare any amount of money, we encourage you to chip in, just as you would drop a few dollars in the bucket when you’re enjoying music on a Levitt lawn. We’ll continue to keep you posted about upcoming virtual concerts from Levitt artists and beyond in the coming weeks.

3. Support relief efforts

In addition to providing direct support to individual artists, you can also contribute to relief efforts that support musicians on a broader scale. The Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Recording Academy’s MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, are all working on a national level, and similar efforts may be underway at a local scale in your community. Although this assistance will not be immediate, these organizations are working to help musicians at large recover from the COVID-19 crisis. We’ll continue to post information about relief efforts and resources for musicians in need of assistance. 

Even during these uncertain times, together we will persevere by recognizing our common humanity. We can’t wait to once again gather on Levitt lawns and see our favorite musicians doing what they love. In the meantime, let’s support them as best we can!

We at the Levitt Foundation hope this finds you safe and well. Our top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of the entire Levitt community, including Levitt Foundation staff (who are working from home – hello videochat!), our Friends of Levitt partners, Levitt AMP grantees, and the hundreds of thousands of friends, families, neighbors, artists, volunteers, community partners, vendors, sponsors and supporters who bring the Levitt program to life every year.

People are at the heart of Levitt’s mission: bringing people together through the power of free, live music. At a time when we’d normally be marking our calendars for upcoming Levitt concerts and readying our picnic baskets and lawn chairs, instead we’re practicing social distancing and avoiding community gathering spaces. While the coming weeks remain uncertain, at this time, planning for the upcoming 2020 Levitt concert season scheduled to take place in 28 towns and cities across the country, remains underway.

Last week, the Levitt Foundation confirmed our commitment to Friends of Levitt nonprofit partners and Levitt AMP grantees, pledging our support regardless of how, or whether, their 2020 Levitt concert series takes place. In the event of any cancellations, the Levitt Foundation will support each of our Levitt venue partners and Levitt AMP grantees in their community-building efforts during this challenging time. For the most up-to-date information regarding the status of the Levitt concert series in your community, please visit the website and social media of your community’s Levitt venue or Levitt AMP concert series.

While we all remain hopeful that free music under the stars will continue as planned this summer and fall, the decision regarding each local concert series may be out of the Levitt venue’s and concert site’s control—should local, state or the federal government mandate the prohibition of public gatherings continue throughout the summer. Following guidance from their local public health authority, Levitt venues and concert sites may need to cancel one or several Levitt concerts. If a Levitt concert, series of concerts, or the entire series is cancelled in your community, your Levitt venue or local Levitt AMP nonprofit will make the announcement.

As so many can attest, the COVID-19 pandemic is stressful for arts & culture organizations, with many facing uncertain futures in the wake of closures and event cancellations. For Levitt venues and Levitt AMP concert sites, their 2020 concert series planning has been underway for months, and concert cancellations and postponements hurt each nonprofit organization financially. Given these unprecedented times, we hope local funders, sponsors and individuals will continue to rally behind their community’s Friends of Levitt and Levitt AMP nonprofits and show their support for these organizations who work tirelessly year-round to create joyful, welcoming and high-quality arts experiences for everyone.

We look forward to the time when we can once again gather as communities, especially on Levitt lawns, to celebrate the power of free, live music—building community through music.