While city leaders navigated the pandemic in Nashville this past summer, the recurring theme of tourists-over-residents was amplified and magnified as the city reopened and appealed to visitors. It was a stark reminder that Music City has not and does not invest in one of the most valuable assets, music workers. As this unfolded, we began the attempt to engage the city first with an Op-ed, followed by a meeting with the Mayor and health officials where we presented the idea of utilizing city CARES Act funds for a microgrant program for workers in the music community. We were met with challenges from the Mayor’s office and so we proceeded to partner with MusiCares for a proposal for microgrants presented to the COVID-19 Financial Oversight committee. See here for more info on the proposal: ARA and MusiCares Propose Music City Microgrants
Unfortunately, we have not yet been successful in securing the funds from the city (Nashville will not Approve Microgrants ) but as the need grows on the precipice of federal relief and protections running out, we are undeterred and hopeful. We are in discussion with the state and plan to go back to the city when/if more federal aid is granted. Furthermore, we will continue to explore opportunities to secure meaningful support for our music community from city leaders in Nashville.