Low Barrier COVID-19 Cultural Relief Grants, MACCNO, New Orleans, LA


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Low Barrier COVID-19 Cultural Relief Grants, MACCNO, New Orleans, LA

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While numerous non-profits created grants to assist New Orleans musicians out of work due to COVID-19, many required financial paperwork and immediate access to a computer. Many of New Orleans culture bearers most in need were unable to apply for assistance. MaCCNO created a low barrier grant to assist these folks. The document reads: "MaCCNO remains committed to ensuring all members of our cultural community have access to relief during the COVID-19 crisis, but we know many musicians, traditional culture bearers, and other cultural practitioners are struggling to access the resources they need. To meet that challenge, drawing from the lessons learned by Sweet Home New Orleans, we have launched our own “low barrier” $250 mini-grants, which are available to members of the cultural community who work/practice in and around New Orleans. To date, we've already given out nearly 100 grants to working musicians, street performers, Black Masking Indians, dancers, Social Aid and Pleasure Club members, burlesque performers, and many others. Grants are distributed on a rolling basis, so the more money we can raise, the more people we can assist.

We know those most in need of aid are often the least likely to be able to access it, so we are operating via referrals, proactively reaching out to members of the cultural community who then connect us with people they know are in need (however, self-referrals are also possible). When we connect with a person in need of aid, we conduct a roughly 10 minute intake session over the phone. Once complete, funds are distributed via Paypal, CashApp, or paper check as soon as possible. Priority is given to those aged 70+ and individuals who are having difficulty accessing other forms of financial assistance."

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