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Fund opens to help local musicians make ends meet

Local musician Katie Haverly playing the guitar
Posted at 9:27 PM, Aug 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 00:27:57-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The pandemic has caused uncertainty across the board for everyone, but one group of Tucson good Samaritans came together to help struggling musicians make ends meet.

When the pandemic hit in March Ben Nisbet, Katie Havery, and Hannah Levin took matters into their own hands and created the Tucson Musician COVID-19 Relief fund.

"Around the time that the bars were shutting down and we both were so we were all so incredibly upset and worried about what would happen to live music, and instead of being sad and upset, we decided we really wanted to do something,” explained Levin, who is also a local DJ.

They have raised more than $40 thousand that has already been distributed to 82 local musicians.

Money is distributed based on a survey of questions the applicant must fill out. The survey includes questions about how much the musician has lost in wages if they have other means of income and more.

"They're across the board, all different types of musicians here in Tucson. So we have, you know, rock bands mariachi, hip hop artist, and classical musicians. This is not a pigeon-holed sort of group that is being supported we're trying to support the whole dynamic musical experience here in Tucson,” said Haverly, a local musician.

They are hoping to continue to help the local music community, but they say they need the community's help to keep doing so.

“Players can make their living playing here so just the economic reality is it's there are a lot of people that are just honestly blue-collar working class, musicians. It's not just a 'hey, let's go play a bar for fun.' It's a job and it's a job that people take seriously, and they do because they really love sharing music for people," said Levin.