It's hard to believe that it's been less than two weeks since we first met to determine how we can best serve our brothers and sisters in music who lost their means of expression and livelihood by disaster, so much has happened and we wanted to keep you posted.
As you're aware this project began with a focus toward helping those who were affected by Harvey. Irma took care of that. Consequently, our name is now changed to Rocky Mountain Music Relief to encompass a broader scope and thanks to Jonathan Bray, our website at www.rockymountainmusicrelief.org is up and running. It provides a good description of who we are, what we are doing and, most importantly, how to donate. The site will become our primary method of receiving funds, which leads to our second point.
The most immediate challenge we had to solve was with respect to how we could transparently and legitimately accept and distribute money. Several non-profit organizations were approached to see whether they would act as an intermediary, but none had the capacity to act in that manner according to their charters. Through Gregg Adams' contact at MusiCares, the non-profit arm of the Recording Academy, we have partnered with an agency that has been performing the exact function we need for more than 20 years. In 2016, MusiCares distributed nearly $5 million to 15,000 musicians needing financial and medical support. The organization has set up a special fund for hurricane victims and the money we receive will go directly toward that effort. We still have a couple challenges to work through with respect to paying for the various expenses we will incur but I am positive we will discover the solution.
The shows and events are beginning to fall into place and I'd encourage you to visit the website for a complete listing. As we work to build this project, one thing has become very clear: this is a cause that nearly everyone supports. It takes very little explanation.We just have to tell the story to as many musicians, schools, manufacturers, producers, venues and industry friends as we can.They want to help - we just need to show them how.
Amy Lopez is coordinating our volunteers. It is a monster task for just one person, so if anyone can step up to lend her some help we all would be grateful!
Last, thank you for who you are and for what you do. $1 million (or more) will do a lot of good!