In the early part of 2020, the United States experienced a fatal sickness for many and a frightening cessation of normal daily activities for all due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching our shores after already proving devastating for citizens across the world. Here at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, our composers who come through our programs know that we are voiceless without our beloved performer colleagues. Watching our performing spaces go dark because of COVID-19 has been a frightening reminder of how fragile our music eco-system is. And we are frightened that our colleagues face real financial ruin, many who have already been living month to month, week to week.
We want to do our part. To that end, GLFCAM has contributed a starting pledge of $15,000 to this GoFundMe campaign, and 65 GLFCAM composers are donating their time to create solo works of 1-3 minutes each. These new pieces of music will be given to performers who have lost employment because of COVID-19 and are in financial straits. Each performer will be invited to meet with their paired composer through Skype to collaborate remotely in developing the new work for its eventual premiere online for a physically-distanced audience. A calendar of performances will begin in April and continue through the early summer of 2020.
We are a small organization and our staff is volunteering their time for this relief effort, grounded in music and friendship. We aren’t able to help everyone, but we hope that other music organizations and collectives will be inspired to think of additional ways to navigate this health crisis. Therefore, we are documenting #GLFCAMGigThruCOVID through photos, videos, and our calendar of performances that people can enjoy while they are avoiding public concert spaces, and long after when the emergency has passed. We invite other organizations to add their name to the #[NAME]GigThruCOVID hashtag.
If you can donate any sum of money to our effort, you will be acknowledged on our website for your support of our performers! And check back soon for a link to our video library of world premieres.
Please note: If we are so fortunate as to go over our goal of $30,000, then this campaign will extend to funding commissions for struggling composers next, with $500 going to the composer and $500 to a paired performer.