ST. LOUIS – Musicians who are used to playing three or four times a week have found themselves struggling with bills and slipping through the cracks when it comes to financial assistance. However, the St. Louis Blues Society is keeping time and stepping forth with A new round of financial assistance grants.
The pandemic affected Blues players and singers, but the society is stepping up with some noteworthy assistance.
“St. Louis Blues Society is a local not-for-profit,” Chairman of Board St. Louis Blues Society Jeremy Segel-Moss said. “It’s been around for 35 years. Its main goal is to support the blues musicians and cultural heritage and support the musicians who play here.”
With gigs being harder to find for many musicians and their source of income taken away during the pandemic, the Blues Mission Fund has found a way to help those in need.
“A lot of our musicians are older so they’ve been staying at home,” Segel-Moss said. “A lot of the venues are closed, but I see a lot of music happening online and the community has done nothing but reach out to each other to help.”
Through the sale of limited edition Cbabi Bayoc prints along with the Gateway Resilience Fund and the National Blues Museum, more than $100,000 have been given to Blues musicians.
“So we had the first painting fundraiser in house and it was my dad Henry Townsend, a legendary patriarch of St. Louis blues a Grammy winner,” Alonzo Townsend, Coordinator St. Louis Blues Society Mission Fund, said. “We saw that out in two weeks and we started right in March right when the pandemic hit and it was for the blues musicians in the region that needed help.”
“We have another amazing painting by Cababi Bayoc. Renee Is one of our most prized soul queens that’s been on this triangle Broadway triangle for so long,” Townsend said. “It’s only right that is a significant woman that is still here can receive her roses and see this work.”
Now there are new relief grants of $250 available to help with utilities, rent, or medical bills.
“My dad was on the board of the St. Louis Blues society so I get to follow those footsteps as well and be able to do the work,” Townsend said. “Let’s take care of the brothers and sisters and children of the Blues and the people that looked up to him. We’re amongst him, that’s the greatest thing because we’re able to say that we are there.”
The St. Louis Blues Society and the Misson Fund helps with food, grant support, and someone to talk to at a time when many might have the Blues.