That sentiment has also extended from these high-profile efforts to the broad range of grassroots campaigns led by various artists and labels from across the musical spectrum. Together, they have organized benefits, made donations and issued special releases to generate money to benefit victims in Texas, Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico.
For some, Katrina’s 2005 strike on New Orleans and vicinity, which affected so many local musicians on a personal level, galvanized disaster aid and action within the music community including Estopinal, who saw the devastation firsthand. Katrina also focused the Recording Academy’s MusiCares, which provides health services to musicians in need, among other things, on disaster relief.
“Katrina impacted a large part of our community. Our original budget of $1 million grew to $5.5 million,” says MusiCares’ Senior Executive Director, Debbie Carroll. “After that we immediately built an infrastructure to quickly implement aid. That infrastructure was already in place for Harvey and Irma. We’re able to distribute help to people in the music community quite quickly. These are people who don’t have many resources.”
While MusiCares funds are only allocated to the music community, it does alleviate strained resources of other charities. The summer’s events might have stretched MusiCares budget, too, had the music community not stepped in with special donations: “People have absolutely stepped up to help their fellow musicians,” confirms Carroll. “It’s a village mentality providing assistance directly.”
“The government has plans in place, but the government can only do so much,” adds Estopinal, emphasizing the importance of private efforts.
“It’s not about politics, we’re all together for disaster relief,” insists Moore.
If you would like to get involved in ongoing relief efforts, SXSW has worked with the Red Cross to set up a donation link for our community to contribute.