COVID grants for Memphis musicians re-open

Great news for music makers and music industry professionals in Memphis: Music Export Memphis is re-opening applications for its COVID Emergency Relief Grants on September 14!

MEM granted out more than $190,000 to more than 290 individual Memphis music professionals between April and June before funding was exhausted and grant applications were paused. The re-opening is possible thanks to a generous commitment of funding by the City of Memphis as well as hundreds of individual donors who have given to the cause by attending virtual concerts in MEM’s Hold On We’re Coming Concert Series. 

Keep reading to learn how you can get in on the virtual concert action as a supporter AND how to apply for relief if you are a working musician or music professional. 

Hold On We’re Coming

MEM Ambassadors have been creating special evenings of music to raise money for the COVID Relief Fund since July, and these concerts will continue every other Friday through the fall! 

September 11 – Talibah Safiya live from Memphis Slim House

September 25 – Marcella Simien live from Memphis Slim House

Stay tuned for announcements on October shows coming soon! Want to be there? All you need to do is purchase a ticket – and it’s just $10. 24 hours before the event you’ll receive an e-mail from MEM with the link to access the stream. If you want to help even more there’s something in it for you. During each show, the person making the largest donation to the MEM COVID Fund will receive a special piece of autographed merch from that night’s performing artist.


Grant application and eligibility 

If you received grants from MEM between April and June, you are eligible to reapply for additional funds up to $1,000. This is true for all applicants, even if you were funded twice in the earlier rounds of granting. As always, MEM will prioritize first-time applicants and funds will be disbursed to repeat applicants as available. The applicant portal will be open September 14-25. Applications will be reviewed and grants disbursed; following that, the application will reopen as long as funds are available. 

MEM COVID Relief Funding is available not just to musicians/artists but also to individuals who earn a living through the music/live music industry, including but not limited to sound engineers, stage crew, tour managers, management, etc. 

An important note: City of Memphis funding is reserved for city of Memphis resident applicants. While that applies to the majority of artists and industry professionals MEM has funded to date, it doesn’t include everyone. Funds raised by MEM through the Hold On We’re Coming concert series are unrestricted and will be used to grant to non-Memphis (greater Memphis area) resident applicants until funds are exhausted. 


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