Back in September, we took a good, hard look at the health care crisis in the music community. The handy stat back then came from a survey conducted by the Future of Music Coalition in 2002; it was that 44% of working musicians lived without access to adequate health care, because they were either un- or under-insured. In part one of that investigation, we heard stories directly from musicians, and examined the widespread problem also with help from Alex Maiolo, a health insurance specialist who helps musicians navigate the insurance landscape through a free, non-profit, non-partisan program set by the FMC called HINT (Health Insurance Navigation Tool). In part two, we zoomed out a little, and examined the political situation at the time, offering a sort of glossary to help people understand what the power-holders are talking about, again with input from Alex Maiolo and other sources.
FMC has embarked upon a follow-up survey of musicians regarding their health insurance status. Are you a musician? Are any of your friends or family members currently working musicians? If so, you might want to take the survey. The more we know about the situation, the better able we are to address it… So stand up and be counted!
Today’s music landscape is filled with both excitement and foreboding. With so many new technologies and ways to promote and distribute music, how do performers, composers, songwriters and independent labels know how to participate, who to trust, and what is most effective?
FMC worked with the Old Town School of Folk Music and other musician organizations to program our fifth “What’s the Future for Musicians?” educational event, this one in Chicago on One Web Day — September 22, 2008. read more
Today's post is by FMC intern Peter Haugen, who has a penetrating mind for all manner of speculative musical phenomenon!
It's Friday! Can't think of a better time to speculate on the future of. . . you guessed it.
While flying cars and jetpacks have yet to become a practical reality (but let's not give up hope!), a recent YouTube video serves as a reminder that, musically speaking, the future is closer than we think. If you haven't seen this video yet, try listening to the first two minutes with your eyes closed. read more
It's hard to believe that its been eight years since FMC's original survey on musicians and health insurance. That oft-cited study, published in 2002, showed that 44 percent of working musicians did not have insurance. One of the barriers, besides cost, was that the topic is difficult to wrap your mind around. To help demystify the issue, we created the Health Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT) — a free program that offers jargon-free information to musicians seeking to learn more about their health insurance options. read more
Kristin Thomson, Education Director, Future of Music Coalition
Thursday, May 27, 2010
In March 2010, Future of Music Coalition conducted an online survey to gauge the level of health insurance among musicians. The survey found that, of the 1,451 respondents, 33 percent said they do not have health insurance. This is nearly twice the national average of 17 percent uninsured, as estimated by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
We're currently in the midst of another "Snowpocalypse" here in Washington, DC, but we figured a blog post would give us a nice break from all that shoveling.
Today, reports emerged about Warner Music backing off of "free" music streaming. As digital entrepreneurs and rights holders continue to explore ways to get fully-licensed music to the masses via the internet and mobile, issues in licensing and revenue generation continue to bedevil players on all sides. read more
The path to success in the music industry is difficult for anyone, and the late-singer songwriter Vic Chesnutt had a harder road than most.
Vic, who passed away in 2009 on Christmas Day, had written songs since childhood. At the age of eighteen, a car accident took away his ability to walk and gave him just "limited use" of his hands. A gifted guitar player, Vic could now play only simple chords. This is something that every artist there who uses their hands to create has likely contemplated, if just for a moment, but for Vic, it was a day-to-day reality. read more
For those of you who watched the Grammy Awards on Sunday night (and apparently there were more of you this year than any year since 2004), you may have had a feeling of déjà vu when you saw virtually the same group of stars that clustered together in 2009, 2008, etc. Does this perhaps remind you — at least a little— of the 1993 film Groundhog Day? You know, like Bill Murray’s character hearing “I Got You Babe” every morning?
Now, if you happen to want to hear the same song at the same time every day, that’s fine with us. But sometimes it’s fun to let the needle find a new groove. read more
With concert giants Live Nation and AEG based in Los Angeles, there’s little room for an independent promoter to maneuver. Yet Mitchell Frank and his Spaceland Productions have managed to thrive.
Putting on shows under the Spaceland brand since March 1995, Frank hosts concerts at just three Silver Lake and Echo Park venues — Spaceland, the Echo and the Echoplex. That would seem to put Frank below the radar of most major operations, but in the wake of the Department of Justice giving the green light, albeit with concessions, to a merger between promoter/venue owner Live Nation and ticketing agency/management firm Ticketmaster Entertainment, Frank suddenly finds himself in the unenviable position of making money for the competitor.
The Washington, D.C.-based Future of Music Coalition, a non-profit education and advocacy group for musicians, does not have a stance on the merger, but director Michael Bracy is encouraging the industry to be vocal. The Department of Justice is currently receiving comments on the ruling, as it will for close to another 60 days.
“This is an important time to get on the record, particularly for those who feel it didnâ€™t go far enough,” Bracy said. “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.” read more