Though its problems date back throughout its history, the music industry has changed even more dramatically in the age of the Internet. On one hand, there is a proliferation of listening opportunities, music creation, and digital distribution. On the other hand, it is increasingly difficult for artists to balance creating music, touring, and earning a sustainable living.
Within current outlets for roots music — radio, festivals — line-ups are still dominated by white musicians and, in most cases, white male musicians.
Take the 2018 AmericanaFest lineup, for example:
White Men: 53%
White Women: 34%
People of Color: 10%
The Americana Radio Album Chart, on a recent October week, was even more unbalanced:
White Men: 72%
White Women: 17%
People of Color: 06%
Pursuing a career in music is a difficult undertaking even in the best of circumstances and, as in life itself, minority artists have far from the best of circumstances. To help achieve a better balance of powers, our Rainey Day Fund provides assistance to artists of color, artists with disabilities, artists in the LGBTQ+ community, and others who add to the rich fabric of roots music. Named after Ma Rainey — the queer, Black “Mother of the Blues — the Rainey Day Fund hopes to lighten a couple of those burdens through its two components: 1) a micro-grant fund with cash gifts of up to $1,000, and 2) a suite of donated professional services — each available to minority artists and marginalized voices at key moments in their careers.
The Rainey Day Fund does not have an open application process. Instead, we rely on a number of friends in the music industry — artists, journalists, managers, talent buyers, et al — to recommend artists for us to consider.
We do, however, have an open donation policy. If you’d like to donate any professional services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
TKDubs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. EIN 83-1929716. Your generous donations are tax deductible.