The music industry is no stranger to helping those in need, even in these unusual times.
There are livestreamed concerts raising money for health care workers and first responders, and musicians donating money directly to those in need (like Taylor Swift helping to keep her favorite Nashville record store afloat). Here are some Arizona-specific music and arts nonprofits taking action that could also use your help.
Musically Fed is a Phoenix nonprofit that works to mobilize artists, promoters, and venues in the fight against hunger. Typically, it collaborates to donate unused backstage meals from concerts to community homeless and veteran organizations. Due to all of the event cancellations and venue closings due to COVID-19, it's had to realign its purpose.
“We reached out to Talking Stick Resort Arena and Levy Restaurants, and they reached out to us on the same day," explains founder Maria Brunner. "We got together to see how we could collaborate to repurpose all the food, produce, and dry goods. We did six total pickups at Talking Stick Resort Arena totaling 12,000 pounds of food, or 13,184 meals.”
As needs grow, it'll identify opportunities, procure the resources, and coordinate all aspects of food handling, transport, and distribution. To help distribute excess food, contact Musically Fed for assistance with logistics in getting items to those in great need at firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-951-1882. To donate, go to the website.
Crew Nation was created to extend a helping hand to the touring and venue crews who depend on shows to make a living. Hundreds of them live in the Valley and are employed by Live Nation, which has an office in downtown Phoenix. The event promoter has contributed $5 million to the fund and will match up to $5 million more in donations from artists, fans, and employees.
Megadeth’s David Ellefson is trying to make a difference through his David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation. With its SCHOOL’S OUT initiative, the bassist (along with partners like Grammy Music Education Coalition, Jackson Guitars, Samson, and more), is gifting free instruments and music lessons via video conference to kids with major artists at home due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The foundation is also building a database of free instructional videos from top rock and metal artists, including Frank Bello (Anthrax), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo), Chris Kael (Five Finger Death Punch), Dave McClain (Sacred Reich), Clint Lowery (Sevendust), Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Sydney Dolezal (Doll Skin), Ra Diaz (Suicidal Tendencies), and Marc Rizzo (Soulfly).
“David and I were brainstorming on ways to give back during the COVID epidemic, and put some positivity out in a time of some pretty unparalleled crisis and uncertainty," says the foundation co-chairman Thom Hazaert. "Music and the arts has always been some of our greatest healers."
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