The recording industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) is preparing to launch its 2020-21 grant initiative with the largest increase in local allocations in recent history, nearly doubling the 2019-20 allocation budget of $700,000. However, even as it announces new and increased budgets, the MPTF is urging current grant recipients to use caution and discretion in implementation of their current grant commitments for free, live music performances.
While we will continue to honor our current grant commitments, we also want to assure our many community co-sponsors, as well as the members of the AFM who so ably and artistically implement our free live music initiatives, that we will make every effort to support any events postponed, re-scheduled, or in replacement of events, once the coronavirus outbreak has passed. We urge all of our participants to follow the leadership of their local health and governmental officials in providing the safest environment for the people in their communities.
The COVID-19 health event is happening just as the MPTF is preparing to announce new grant budgets for the fiscal 2020-21 year beginning May 1. The Trust Fund expects to support over 3,000 free live music events in communities throughout North America. The grant budget will feature the largest increase in decades, expanding from $1.2 million to $1.7 million in the year ahead. This substantial expansion of the trust fund’s grant allocations presents a positive challenge for union locals to engage community partners in the development of free live music events for their locality. In anticipation of this growth, the MPTF previously changed its policy from 30% matching funds to 50% matching funds for community grants.
The MPTF-sponsored events include free performances at senior centers and assisted living facilities, music education programs in hundreds of school districts, as well as in parks and other gathering places across the U.S. and Canada.
As we prepare for even greater community impact with our initiatives, we also recognize that this momentum coincides with a current widespread health concern and we urge patience and discretion in scheduling these live events. Live music will be a source of celebration if we act intelligently in the short term. We will be here for the musicians who receive supplemental income from our grants, once the virus subsides, and to proactively re-engage as local health officials deem public events safe.