Mission & History

Musicians Foundation provides grants and services to professional musicians and their families in need of emergency assistance due to illness, unforeseen financial difficulties or catastrophic events that preclude them from pursuing their careers and maintaining fiscal stability.

Founded in 1914, Musicians Foundation is the country’s oldest independent nonprofit organization of its kind.

Program Activities

The majority of our grants are one-time modest amounts intended to address short-term circumstances speedily and efficiently. 


The applicant must have worked as a professional musician for five or more years in the United States, currently reside in the United States, and have appropriate tax documents to prove professional status as a musician or music educator. 


Grants range from approximately $500 to $3,000 depending on the applicant’s circumstance. Funding is given in the form of direct payment to medical practices, housing authorities, instrument retailers, health insurance companies and other vendors. We don’t give grants for scholarships, loans, or private unemployment benefits; we do not pay credit card bills. 


A streamlined on-line application system asks the musician to fill out a simple form establishing eligibility and submit necessary financial documentation. We respond rapidly to the requests; the musician may receive the aid in a week.


In 2017 (the last audited year) we awarded $133,849 in grants to musicians. 61% of the payments were to cover rent or mortgage costs; 14% dental; 13% medical; 11% utility or car repairs; 1% for other issues.


We are aware that there are eligible musicians in New York State who don’t know about our existence and services, and we’re are asking the help of regional arts organizations such as yours, presenters and service organizations, to let them know of our existence and services.


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