New England Musicians Relief Fund Launches New Fundraising Drive

By Francisco Salazar

New England Musicians Relief Fund has launched a new drive in order to fundraise $200,000 for musicians in need in time for the holidays.

The NEMRF was created in 2020 to help musicians dealing with the financial strain that the pandemic has put on the entertainment industry. Any musician in New England and New York’s Upper Hudson Valley can apply for the fund.

In a statement, violinist and single mom Katherine Winterstein said, “Eight months in, push is coming to shove. For some of us, it is already ‘game over.’ For others, it is a struggle to redefine what we do. For all of us, it is a question of who we are and what we serve. It is no longer a question of endurance as much as it is a question of whether or not we can meaningfully adapt to the limited set of options in this new world. It’s hard to even consider those questions when basic survival is still on the line.”

Meanwhile, Boston-based violinist Zoya Tsvetkova added, “The future seems so bleak that I’m just trying not to think about it. I hear a symphony on the radio or TV and I start to cry. If I didn’t have a 2-year-old, I’d consider getting another job, but we can’t afford childcare on my husband’s salary alone.”

With the money from the CARES Act officially running out and additional government support looking unlikely, numerous musicians are struggling to survive. NEMRF provides professional musicians across New England and New York’s Upper Hudson Valley facing economic hardship a $1,000 grant to assist them through the difficult times.