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FAR-West Offers Folk Musicians (Members) Relief Fund to Ease Financial Hardships

Friday, November 10, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rosalind V. Rini Larson
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The changing music economy is creating hardships for many musical artists, who previously enjoyed full careers. As a result, their financial resources become stressed when they are faced with illness, disability, or age-related problems.

To address this struggle, FAR-West has established The Folk Musicians Relief Fund (FMRF), which is designed to provide grants to qualifying members. These grants range from $200 to $1,500 and are intended for living expenses, insurance premiums, prescriptions, medical treatment (for acute or long-term illness), housing costs, food costs, utilities and other basic necessities.

The FMRF also provides temporary stopgap help while the recipient applies to other sources for more extensive medical assistance. In addition, FMRF can also assist elderly musicians, regardless of medical condition, who are experiencing non-medical financial hardship. 

To qualify for a FMRF grant, applicants must be affiliated with the FAR-West region and have attended at least one (1) FAR-West conference. They must also represent a significant professional music history and demonstrate financial hardship with accompanying documentation.

If you are in need of financial assistance as described above, you are welcome to fill out the FAR-West Folk Musician’s Relief Fund Application Form. Download FMRF application. Fax or mail your application to the PO Box listed on the application. You will be notified of receipt of your application within one week. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received. Please allow up to 4 weeks for a response from the FMRF. Any questions about eligibility or the application process can be emailed to:

FAR-West makes every effort to fulfill as many of the qualifying grant requests as possible. However, fulfillment depends upon the number of applications received and the level of the FMRF fund at any given time. Therefore, we regret in advance if we are unable to completely fulfill your grant request.

Persons may apply only once every two calendar years. If your grant is denied due to lack of FMRF funds, you may reapply the following calendar year.

The FAR-West Folk Musicians Relief Fund was established in 2017 with a generous donation from the Sylvia and David Weisz Foundation, at the request of Carey Appel and Tracy Albert. Carey has been actively involved in FAR-West, including serving on the Board of Directors. After attending their first Folk Alliance conference in 2011, Carey and Tracy realized how changes in the music economy were leaving many established artists struggling to make ends meet. In an effort to alleviate some of this hardship, they conceived the FMRF and facilitated its formation. FAR-West thanks Carey Appel and Tracy Albert for their foresight and compassion.

To donate to the FAR-West Folk Musicians Relief Fund, visit: As you finalize your donation, you can specify that your contribution is for the Musicians Relief Fund. Donations to FAR-West are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

To learn more about the FMRF go to

Folk Alliance Region West (FAR-West) is the western regional affiliate of Folk Alliance International including in the USA: California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Alaska and Hawaii, and in Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon and Northwest Territories. FAR-West hosts an annual four day conference open to artists, presenters and supporters, and its ongoing mission (since 2002) is to foster and promote traditional, contemporary and multicultural folk music, dance, storytelling and related performing arts in the West.

To learn more about FAR-West, visit their website at:

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