The co-owner of a St. Louis recording studio is asking people to support local musicians who are out of work because of coronavirus-related event cancellations. He's raising money on the online fundraising platform GoFundMe.
Ben Majchrzak of Native Sound said he’s heard from many local musicians who lost the ability to earn money from live gigs when bars, clubs and other music venues were shuttered due to coronavirus concerns. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson has prohibited social gatherings of more than 50 people in the city, and the White House has advised a cap of 10 people.
“It’s a pretty trying time for musicians and artists, because pretty much everything they count on for income is going away. Shows are being canceled, postponed. People are losing their sanity a little because they don’t know what they’re gonna do,” Majchrzak said.
Majchrzak is receiving unemployment benefits from his sound-mixing job with Fox Sports Midwest, following the suspension of pro sports events. He said he was in position to help fellow members of the local music scene who have seen their income disappear, so he set up an impromptu grant program.
He’ll post the application form later this week, and send out $250 checks to individual musicians who apply, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Majchrzak set up an initial GoFundMe goal of $5,000 and hopes to keep resetting it as donations reach that milestone. He’d like to continue offering the $250 stipend to affected musicians each month. By Tuesday afternoon, the fund had raised more than $3,000.
He is also working on plans to make Native Sound available for bands to raise money by livestreaming concerts which will be available online with an option for viewers to donate. He envisions participating musicians taking home 75% of the proceeds, with the remainder going toward the relief fund.
Majchrzak said he ordered additional studio equipment this week to facilitate the concert series. He and studio co-owner David Beeman are donating their services.
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