The Philharmonic Musician Assistance Fund was established in July 2020 by the Philharmonic leadership in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.
“This Fund is meant to help at a singularly difficult time,” says Nathan Newbrough, Philharmonic President and CEO. “We’re concerned for the wellbeing and stability of our Musician colleagues. By working together, we can make sure none of them falls through the cracks.”
Colorado Springs Philharmonic musician fees for five months (March thru July 2020) even when concerts were canceled. “It was the right thing to do,” said Nathan Newbrough, CEO of the Philharmonic. “And it was risky. But all the same I would do it again.”
Knowing that turbulent times were ahead, the Philharmonic Board of Directors contributed $60,000 to establish the Philharmonic Musician Assistance Fund to provide direct cash grants to Philharmonic musicians based on need. Later, an extra $20,000 from the CARES Act was added to the Fund.
Grants are based on need, A panel from the Bee Vradenburg Foundation and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation reviews applications and independently makes award determinations. To date, the Fund has granted more than $70,000 and no application has been denied. At every turn, the health and wellbeing of musicians and patrons have been top priorities
Unable to hold concerts, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic has lost an estimated $2.5 million in ticket sales due to the pandemic. Worldwide, organizations have had to adapt to their new circumstances and focus on the welfare of the workforce, while also maintaining the organization for the long term. The Philharmonic Musician Assistance Fund has extended cash grants for more than 11 months as a helping hand during this uncertain time.