MusiCares “Financial Fitness” workshop series helps all musicians manage their money

Volume 119, No. 4April, 2019

Free workshop at Local 802. Click for details.

There’s one topic on the mind of every musician: money! The organization MusiCares recently launched “Financial Fitness” workshops for musicians and music creators that will raise awareness and provide education around financial wellness. Each workshop has a specific focus; it might target a specific demographic, such as aging individuals, or highlight a topic, such as investing or budgeting. These forums allow working musicians to gain tools and knowledge to better navigate financial stressors that are endemic to the music industry. Examples of offerings follow and we’re poised to offer new workshops that pique the curiosity of 802 members and other career creatives.

“Money Smarts for Creative Women in the Arts” is for women in the professional music industry. The initial December workshop was held in collaboration with the Episcopal Actors Guild and provided an overview of money issues unique to women, budgeting, credit scores, and managing fluctuating income. When participants requested a follow-up session, EAG and MusiCares again joined forces and raised healthy financial habits to the next level: exploring investing. Participants learned key investing concepts and discussed the importance (and fun) of investing while working as a freelancing professional.

“Senior Empowerment: Financial Fitness” is one part of a larger series intended for seniors. MusiCares collaborated with LiveON NY and Local 802 and the presentation focused on unique situations that aging musicians face, such as living on a fixed income. The workshop reviewed five habits of financially fit people and taught money management tips, how to gain confidence when talking about money, and where to find local senior resources.

MusiCares offered a “Financial Wellness 101 Workshop” in mid-March. It was led by David Sharpe, a former professional dancer who transitioned to Wall Street and now works with creatives to help them achieve financial stability. The workshop focused on the “feast or famine” mentality that is all-too-common among artists. Additional topics included budgeting and, quite importantly, how to pursue and embrace one’s music career – alongside the financial challenges.

Past MusiCares workshops included Budgeting 101, and this past January marked the fifth anniversary of “Tax Smarts for People in the Arts.” However, this year’s presentation looked at taxes through the lens of the new tax laws. “What You Need to Know About the New Tax Laws” demystified the current changes to the tax codes and what every industry professional needs to know as April 15th approaches.

MusiCares is the charity organization of the Recording Academy that provides critical assistance for the professional music community. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical, and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. In addition to financial assistance, MusiCares also provides support around alcohol/drug addiction and recovery, access to preventive health and wellness clinics, and we offer workshops throughout the year that target topical issues relevant to music makers. MusiCares is there to help during times of personal crises but we also want to provide “preventive care.” “Financial Fitness” addresses topics from budgeting to managing a windfall and we provide a safe, engaging, and supportive space for music people to come together and learn from professionals – and from each other. We hope you’ll join us at a future workshop. Spread the word! For more information, visit And follow us on on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @MusiCares.