Music City Music Council Executive Director Justine Avila and Grammy® award winning artist Rodney Crowell joined Music Health Alliance Founder Tatum Allsep and board members Jay Williams (WME) and Kris Wiatr (Wiatr & Associates) at The Steps at WME to officially proclaim October 20 “Heal The Music Day” in Music City. The initiative, which will take place throughout the Nashville community, is an effort to raise awareness and support for the more than 56,000 people who make a living in the music industry, 76% of whom are self-employed or part of small business without access to group health benefits - including songwriters, producers, audio engineers, musicians, recording artists, publishers and more.
“It is my great pleasure to proclaim October 20th as 'Heal The Music Day' in recognition of Music Health Alliance’s work to connect some of the 56,000 Nashvillians in the music industry with doctors, medicine, health insurance and financial assistance during times of illness,” said Nashville Mayor Megan Barry. “So many of our artists, entertainers, songwriters, musicians, and crew are self-employed and go without access to high-quality health insurance. 'Heal The Music Day' is about giving back and showing we care about those who put the music in Music City.”
“Heal The Music Day” is the one day a year where everyone involved in the creative community can give back to a non-profit organization that gives to them each and every day throughout the year. Rodney Crowell is leading the charge to raise awareness and create an annual endowment benefitting Music Health Alliance, whose free services connect the music industry with access to doctors and hospitals, life-saving medicine, health insurance and financial assistance during times of illness.
As advocates, Music Health Alliance fights so those in our industry never have to feel alone in a health crisis. The six-person team at Music Health Alliance remove obstacles so patients can receive lifesaving care. Thanks to the direct efforts of Music Health Alliance, members of the music community across the country have gained access to lifesaving heart and liver transplants, medications to treat Parkinson’s, end of life care and many other necessary services. Since 2013, Music Health Alliance has saved over $16 million dollars in medical bills and reduced premiums and served over 5,600 people in the music community. Its services are free to any person who has worked in the music industry for two or more years, or who has credited contributions to 4 commercially released recordings or videos. Spouses, partners, and children of qualifying individuals may also receive access to the non-profit’s services from birth to end of life. Two of Music Health Alliance’s clients – Andrea Davidson and Rory Feek – joined Crowell onstage today to personally share their stories and the care they received during their own health crises.
“There is no other city in the world like Nashville where our namesake and greatest natural resource is music,” said Allsep. “’Heal The Music Day’ is a way to ensure that our city’s music professionals have access to life-saving healthcare not easily accessible by small business owners or the self-employed including our beloved Opry Members, session musicians and songwriters. With the uncertain landscape of healthcare today and impending healthcare legislation, the unique programs and services provided by Music Health Alliance are more important to our music community than ever before. No one in the music industry should ever have to choose between food and medicine. With the community’s support of ‘Heal The Music Day,’ together we can make sure that this is a choice that never has to be made.”
“‘Heal The Music Day’ as an opportunity to educate the Nashville music community on how not-for-profit Music Health Alliance helps our work force and their families find much needed help in times of health crisis and getting the care they need,” said Crowell. “The folks at MHA are a Godsend to this community and ‘Heal The Music Day’ creates an endowment that allows them to continue their critical work.”
Many in the creative community have already committed to “Heal The Music Day,” pledging a percentage of their revenues on October 20 to support their fellow musicians and peers in the industry in times of medical crisis. Early proponents include Chris & Morgane Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Earls of Leicester, Emmylou Harris, Ernie Ball, Gary Allan, Gene Watson, Glen Templeton, Jerry Douglas, John Prine, Keith Urban, Lee Brice, Marty Stuart, Mary Gauthier, Miranda Lambert, Peter Frampton, Rachael Hester, Rodney Crowell, Ronnie Dunn, Rory Feek, Rosanne Cash, Sam Bush, Shawn Camp, T Bone Burnett, Vince Gill, Dualtone Records, Nashville Musicians Union, Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), New Frontier Touring, Warner Chappell Music and Wiatr & Associates.