All professional musicians, regardless of their genre or instrument, can apply for themselves or a family member if they meet the qualifications listed below. Applications may also (but not additionally) be submitted by a friend or family member on behalf of a musician in need.  Musicians Foundation gives grants for medical and dental bills, living expenses, and other essentials in cases of emergency. This is not a COVID-19 assistance, general income support, or unemployment benefits grant. To qualify, you must be applying for reasons other than lost or cancelled work. 

The Foundation does not give grants for reimbursements, credit card bills, legal fees, first or last month's rent, security deposits, income support or benefits, artistic advancement or promotion, education, or travel.   Please note that all grants are sent as vendorized checks in order to provide immediate assistance. For example, if you receive an aid grant to pay for a medical bill, you will receive a check made out to the medical professional or institution, and then be responsible for delivering it. 

To be eligible, the musician involved in the application must:  

  • Have worked as a professional musician for five (5) or more years in the United States. We define "professional musician" as someone whose primary source of income was or is derived from work as a performer, composer/arranger, or music educator.
  • Have tax documents (Form 1040) to prove professional experience as a musician or music educator. Other qualifying documents in lieu of a Form 1040 are: 1040-SR, social security statement, or social security disability statement, or federally exempt status forms. 
  • Be applying due to an unexpected hardship (NOT only due to unemployment or loss of work). For example, if you request a grant to help pay rent because you have an expensive medical bill, that would be a qualifying situation. Or, if you request a grant to help pay for dental surgery that forced you to stop playing or cancel musical work, that would be a qualifying situation. If you are applying solely due to loss of work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or general lack of opportunity, you are not eligible for a grant. 

The Musicians Foundation Grant Application is in two parts. The Pre-Application (here) collects basic information about you and your situation. If you qualify based on your Pre-Application, you will be sent an additional form (Part 2) to complete. Part 2 is more in-depth and requires document uploads. 

If you have any questions about the application or the application process, call or email us at: (212) 239-9138 or

Musicians Foundation