We want to make people aware of the exponential negative impact on New Orleans' musicians and cultural workers when compared with other cities - particularly due to the poor health determinants of Louisiana, the stealthy spread of the virus over Carnival Season and the timing given our region's upended spring festival season and threat of upcoming hurricane season. Our response must be focused, dedicated and compassionate. The musicians we serve are suffering.
We remain in close contact with our national partners who provide emergency financial assistance to performers in need (MusiCares, Actors fund, Jazz Foundation of America to name a few). However, as you can imagine, they are being inundated with requests from performers all over the country.
At the NOMC, we have the unique ability to verify requests quickly and direct much needed funding to our most vulnerable patients because we have ongoing, trusted relationships with them. We also can prevent future financial crisis through medicaid and health coverage counseling and enrollment.
Especially given that we stand to forfeit $75,000 in planned spring fundraising initiatives due to cancelled festivals, we simply don't yet have the funding to expand our current emergency fund impact to include non-medical emergencies such as the elimination of gigs due to the COVID response. We do, however, have the tools, dedication and experience.