Say you're a New Orleans musician. You haven't been able to move back to the city where you had a fan base built up for years before the levees broke. For almost two years your return has been delayed as your family debates your children's education, safety, health care, the rising cost of rent, whether your bandmates are back, how much of your equipment you've been able to replace – the list is endless.
Donor fatigue is setting in, Americans gave $7 billion in 2005 and $1 billion in 2006. You're not home so you qualify for help from fewer agencies. You come for weekend gigs when the car is in good shape, you can afford the gas and there's a friend's couch to stay on. Half the couches in New Orleans are still gone. You're trying to get to know the new music scene from halfway across the country. You're not a kid anymore and it's hard to establish a second life.
The New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund has a special understanding of displaced musicians, being founded by and for displaced musicians. These are stories we hear every day. Our board member Rickie Castrillo, voice of Tipitina's for decades, evacuated to Birmingham and sometimes plays with Taylor Hicks' old band. He's now moving on to North Carolina and is looking for a permanent home, like the rest of us.
NOMRF.ORG is an independent nonprofit, not a referral agency, so your donation will go to a displaced New Orleans musician instead of going to another fund or business. Most musicians have waited long enough for the help. We welcome yours.