Michigan Group Launches Musician Relief Fund, Giving Out $500 Grants

The Michigan Music Alliance is establishing a local relief fund for musicians and sound engineers out-of-work during widespread economic disruption due to COVID-19, but they say it’s an issue the state should tackle.


Courtesy of the Michigan Music Alliance
Courtesy of the Michigan Music Alliance

In the past few weeks, members of the freelance gig economy have become even more focused on how to sustain their livelihood in a rapidly changing landscape.

That applies to artists and musicians, too.

With a slew of event cancellations and venue shutdowns, musicians who heavily rely on live performances to support their well-being are now crowdsourcing ways to make some cash and keep creating.

That’s become the mission of the Michigan Music Alliance. Founded last year, the non-profit organization focuses on offering music business and education resources. 

Now they’ve launched the Artist Relief Fund. The goal is to ease some of the financial strain for local musicians with $500 grants. The micro-grant aims to distribute funds generated by the public to artists who have been intensely affected by COVID-19.

“I would really like a special package put together in Michigan because it is an extremely important part of our culture here.” – Elle Lively, Michigan Music Alliance

“When we realized that millions of dollars are going to be lost in income for musicians in our space, we decided to create [the fund] because this was totally unexpected,” says Elle Lively, executive director of the Michigan Music Alliance. “For some people, it’s going to be a real lifesaver and we’re excited to try and help as many people as possible.”

Additionally, there’s a call for the Michigan government to step up and be an active ally for the state’s music community. 

“We are collecting data, along with other non-profit organizations in the city, to help them understand the impact this is having on people that rely on music as their income, and not just musicians but sound engineers as well,” says Lively. “I would really like a special package put together in Michigan because it is an extremely important part of our culture here. We have a vibrant arts scene.” 

Click the player to hear Elle Lively from the Michigan Music Alliance speak about the Artist Relief Fund and how you can qualify for a grant. 

Are you a musician looking for support? You can apply for the Michigan Artist Relief fund here.


  • Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. As a longtime arts and culture reporter and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.