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How scary has the shutdown been for musicians? Many professional players and music teachers have spent most of their lives working toward the goal of supporting themselves and their families by playing music. Some are classically trained and have spent years or decades mastering their craft after obtaining prestigious and pricey degrees while others are self-taught. Many rely on filling their schedules with gigs wherever they can find them in restaurants, bars or at weddings. For those who can do it, it’s a dream come true, but when it all stops, the black void of uncertainty that is our current reality can be soul-crushing.

Soon after last spring’s shutdown, the New England Musician’s Relief Fund (NEMRF) was established to assist musicians in easing the financial strain. Nine months later, the fund has distributed more than $300,000 to musicians in New England and New York’s Upper Hudson Valley to help make ends meet.

Published in Cover Story

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