When the pandemic started, arts organizations were cancelling their upcoming events left and right, not just events that were scheduled in the upcoming months but some organizations cancelled events into 2021.
This left artists with no work. No income. And no support to create art or continue their studies.
I am Regina Zona and I am an artist. I am a cabaret and classical singer and a voice and piano teacher. I am one of the lucky ones. I have still been able to support myself financially through this unsettling time. But my heart hurts for those who cannot. So I decided I had to help.
Friends. Artists. Music. is an opportunity for me to give back to the arts. It is a collaborative project that is designed to raise money for three organizations that are championing artists in this difficult time.
Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble is a small opera company here in New York City of which I am the President of the Board. When the pandemic started, we started an Alumni Artist Relief Fund to offer grants to the program’s alumni who were struggling financially. When it was decided that we had to cancel our festival that was to be held in August, the Board decided to still pay our artists 50% of their fees so they wouldn’t be completely out of funds that they had counted on. And through the quarantine and beyond, the training of these opera artists is continuing online at no cost to them so the growth is continuing. (Visit the dellArte website here )
The Artist Relief Tree is a fund that was started as soon as the cancellations from organizations started pouring in. Any artist of any discipline can apply to the fund and without question, the artist in need will receive a $250 grant. They are about a 3rd away from their goal of 1 million dollars and they need help to continue giving those grants. (Visit the Artist Relief Tree website here )
The Hochstein Music School is a non-for-profit community music school in Rochester, NY. Hochstein is where I learned to play the piano when I was a child and I attribute so much of my musical growth to my years there. They provide lessons on every instrument, classes, large ensembles, chamber music, dance and more to students all over the Rochester area and their tuition is on a sliding scale so that it makes music learning affordable to everyone. Since the pandemic, they have had to close their doors. Many of the teachers began to teach lessons online but that is never the ideal situation. Hochstein is celebrating their 100th year in 2020. (Visit Hochstein Music School Website here )
I have set up a GoFundMe to raise funds for these three incredible organizations. My hope is to raise AT LEAST $3000 in the next month and a half so I can distribute $1000 to each organization.
And as my gift to you, I am going to be collaborating with some of my favorite musicians virtually. From our respective homes across the country, we will perform several songs “together” and I will post those here, on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. I will also interview my collaborators so you can get to know them as well. There are seven collaborators and 15 songs that you will get to hear. And because these wonderful musicians are the very artists that have been affected by the pandemic, I am paying them out of my pocket for this project.
My promise to you is that 100% of the funds raised will be distributed to the organizations I mentioned and to ensure this, I will pay the credit card fees that GoFundMe charges for the service. If there is a particular organization that you want your funds to go to, please write that in the comments with your donation.
Please enjoy the music and SHARE the videos and GIVE as much as you can.
And please stay safe.