As a response to the devastating toll COVID-19 has taken on independent musicians around the country, the Newport Festivals Foundation — which operates the longstanding Newport Folk and Jazz festivals — has announced that it will be allocating some of its funds to an emergency musician relief fund.
“In this dark time, we feel blessed to be able to provide some small comfort for those whose songs carry us through each day,” the festival’s executive producer Jay Sweet said in a statement.
Newport’s musician relief fund will include funding for small micro-grants of $300 or less for immediate/dire financial concerns, as well as more extensive grants offered to help cover lost income related to COVID-19. Musicians can apply for relief now using this submission form.
At the moment, both the Newport Folk Festival (featuring artists like Randy Newman and Waxahatchee) and Jazz Festival (with headliners including Norah Jones and Wynton Marsalis) are still scheduled for late July/early August, with the folk festival rolling out its lineup as recently as last week. “It is with utmost hope that the Newport Folk and Newport Jazz festivals will go on this summer,” Sweet said. “But in the meantime, we feel the call to do more.”