Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the musician’s union AFM Local 802, have launched two programs together. Music for the Soul, in partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals, and Music Heals offer paid gigs to musicians and the chance to entertain, inspire and thank the hardworking people on the front lines battling COVID, and their patients.
Music Heals provides hundreds of NYC musicians – many who have lost income during the pandemic – fair wages and benefits under union guidelines. The one-hour performances are a way to thank the staff and those they are treating at vaccine sites (list below). The performances also remind us of the wonderful music, theatre and live performances that help make New York the creative capital of the world.
Music for the Soul is designed to inspire our heroic medical community, connect isolated patients to the outside world, and provide paid work for musicians, who may be struggling financially. The series features a variety of professional NYC musicians performing songs requested by health workers and patients at NYC public hospitals, as well as some of the musicians' personal favorites. The musicians – who play from home – perform songs that local hospitals have used to celebrate patients successfully coming off ventilators.