Music Relief Fund

As part of this year’s program, we are launching Hardly Strictly Music Relief Fund: Bay Area, a $1.5M charitable initiative to support our local music community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this effort, we seek to recognize, appreciate, and care for the people who lend their creativity, heart, and hard work to the American roots music ecosystem in the Bay Area.

Musicians: American roots musicians living in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and Sonoma Counties are invited to apply for up to $2,000 in one-time, unrestricted support. Our partners Alliance for California Traditional Arts and Center for Cultural Innovation – two organizations with decades of experience in traditional music and funding individual artists – are administering this effort.

Visit the Alliance for California Traditional Arts to review the guidelines and apply for support. The application deadline is September 14 at 5 pm PDT, and funding notifications will be made on September 25, 2020.

Funding is limited. Please apply only if you are in dire financial need. If demand exceeds funding available, priority will be given to musicians from populations that have suffered historically from economic disadvantages and, therefore, will be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19: Black, Latinx, Indigenous, immigrant, trans, and disabled communities.

Venues & Workers: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass recognizes that small and independent music venues have been particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandated closure of indoor entertainment businesses. Many of these venues and their staff are dedicated community members and represent a critical piece of our local American roots ecosystem – and even prior to the pandemic, operated by putting music and people over profit.

In recognition of their contributions, we are also dedicating significant support for music venues with a track record of presenting American roots styles from across the Bay Area. After an open nominating process, a select number of venues have been invited to submit a formal application for up to $200,000 grants to fund ongoing operating expenses, capacity building, and/or planning related to reopening. With the recognition that front-of-house and back-of-house workers are a critical part of our music community, grants must also include a significant portion dedicated to venue staff.

Nominations are currently closed and funding will be announced in early October. Thank you for your interest!

Questions? Contact us through this form.