Our mission is to provide Michigan musicians with accessible music business education programming and rich community building experiences that create lasting connection and collaboration opportunities.
Michigan Music Alliance was created in 2019 as a direct response to the needs expressed by West Michigan artists. In July 2019, Executive Director Elle Lively hosted a Music Business Roundtable at Third Coast Recording Co. in Grand Haven, Michigan. The event was attended by 200+ local artists, engineers, promoters, booking agents, venues owners and other industry professionals. We asked the artists in our community what they needed to continue to build their music businesses into sustainable careers. This birthed the B-Side Sessions, a series of free music business education sessions focusing on specific topics anywhere from social media to publishing. The sessions run once a month, September thru April, featuring a panel of industry experts. In 2019, the events were held in studios and venues around West Michigan, but due to COVID-19, they occupied the virtual space in 2020. Going fully virtual has allowed MMA to bring free programming to more Michigan artists, all over the state -- increasing our reach.
In addition to free educational music business sessions, we are creating opportunities like beach clean-ups, musicians' yoga, and other social events to help artists connect on a personal level. It is our hope these events will facilitate lasting collaborations and support systems leading to a sustainable music community that focuses on what we all have in common: the love of music.
We also recognize the need to connect artists to local mental health resources and are working with professionals to create new programming that focuses on mental health as an artist. We aim to release these efforts in late 2021.
In March 2020, due to our own cancelled events and many local artists losing their primary source of income for an undefined amount of time, we launched the Michigan Artist Relief Fund and began to disburse funds raised to local artists. We were the second COVID-19 response fund launched in the nation specifically for self-employed artists. To raise funds and awareness, we hosted Spread the Music, a four-day fully virtual music festival that featured volunteer artists from all over the state. We raised $40,000 which was disbursed to Michigan artists who applied and qualified for funding. The Michigan Artist Relief Fund is slotted to reopen applications in May 2021, after the second annual Spread the Music Festival in March 2021.
We believe in "collaboration over competition" and the power of coming together. Our programming is free and available to all artists. Diversity fuels the spirit of the Michigan Music Community and Michigan Music Alliance. Our commitment to inclusion across genre, race, gender, age, religion, identity and experience drives us forward every day. Our goal is to bridge the gaps and create a flow of community, opportunity and knowledge throughout the entire state. Michigan Music Alliance is proud to be a fully volunteer-powered organization, with an incredible advisory board, team of volunteers and supporting partners. If you would like to get involved, please reach out to us at .