Whether we find ourselves in great political difficulties or personal struggles, music has always been a bridge to guide us toward peace, happiness and understanding. As we grow as a society, we face many challenges, some of those impacting the artists we love. It’s important that we continue to support these artists and help those who want to create. From charities to educational organizations to good old-fashioned word of mouth, here are 10 ways you can support the artists of today (and tomorrow). Here’s to giving back—and head banging!
You might know MusiCares from their work on Warped Tour through the years. On the tour they provide services exclusively for performers and crew, including dental and hearing clinics at select stops in addition to 12-step recovery meetings each show day. Donations to this foundation work to help musicians going through difficult times—whether that is to provide financial aid in economic or medical situations. MusiCares directs its resources to provide support to a variety of human service issues throughout the music industry as well.
This online platform provides mental health assistance to bands, industry professionals and fans. The site’s essays serve as a means to educate people on the effects of mental health-related issues and to combat the negative stigma behind them.
This organization provides an outlet for at-risk public school students through the use of music education. Offering free after-school programs and other workshops, Music Unites works to build inner strength through academic and personal achievement.
Fender Music Foundation
The Fender Music Foundation provides instruments to schools across the country for music education. The foundation also offers grants that help to establish music classrooms and community-based organizations for music therapy programs.
VH1 Save the Music
This foundation provides funding and support to schools to make sure kids have access to music education. Donating here allows kids the means to have instruments and partake in classes that will help them build upon their passions and skills.
This online publication is a source for LGBTQ+ musicians and fans to connect and support one another. This inclusive environment welcomes all, aiming to foster a more accepting and inclusive music community. Punk Out’s articles spotlight LGBTQ+ artists, cover current events and provide inspiration for LGBTQ+ folks and allies alike.
[Photo credit: Sweet Relief]
Like MusiCares, this organization provides support to artists who find themselves struggling. Whether facing illness, disability or other economic troubles, Sweet Relief provides a means for the artist to have a shoulder to lean on as they continue to pursue their passion.
Support Indie Online Publications
One terrific way to support the bands and artists you love is to read news and reviews about their work. Check out indie publications and blogs online, where writers dedicate the time to craft words that capture the voice of the artist or the sound of a record. Not only do you learn more about bands by doing this, but you are also supporting the music writers who love the art form just as much.
Word of Mouth
Sharing your love for a band does more than you realize (and it’s an incredibly simple means of helping out). Word of mouth really counts for something, especially in the internet age. Each “share” and positive comment on social media not only reaches potential new fans for each band, but is also one hell of a morale booster!
This is perhaps the most obvious idea of all, but for bands out on the road or putting out a record, this will always be one of the top ways to support them. Going to a show and picking out a brand new T-shirt not only makes for an awesome addition to your collection, but also gives money to the folks who just created a beautiful piece of art for you to enjoy forever. That $20 isn’t just a means for the band to eat and get to their next destination, but also a thank you for their hard work.
This goes for buying albums, too. Maybe you stream your music (which is all good and fine), but nothing puts a smile on a band’s face like knowing someone went out to purchase their record. Maybe you go to your local record store to get the CD or vinyl, maybe you pick it up at the show, maybe it’s off of iTunes, or maybe you decide to go through Bandcamp for a “name it yourself” price. While profits from records and merch do have to get split between multiple people, it all goes to help a band. It makes for financially supporting the art form, as well as a solid “thank you” for our absolute appreciation.