If there’s one thing the community has learned during the pandemic, it’s just how valuable Midwest Music Foundation is. The Kansas City organization is known for helping musicians with their medical bills— no questions asked, no aggressive background check required— thanks to their indispensable Abby’s Fund. I Heart Local Music spent many years as a proud supporter of this much-needed organization, and during the pandemic they shifted their work into high gear helping musicians with funds while shows were put on hold.
This month, they’re holding a Spring Donation Drive with a very specific purpose in mind: to expand their ability to connect musicians with vital mental healthcare. The fundraising show is set for April 22 at The Ship in Kansas City, and will feature a host of musicians with Radkey headlining. Pamper the Madman, Gascan, and DJ Thundercutz are also on the lineup.
MMF’s contributions to the music community have so far been invaluable. “We have given out over $420,000 in health care grants since the inception of Abby’s fund to help over 700 KC area musicians,” says organizer Rhonda Lyne. “We have also partnered with local health providers to provide preventative care and free clinic days. We have supplied free custom earplugs, mammograms, colon cancer screenings, flu shots, COVID tests, KN95 masks, dental care and have recently added funding for mental health treatments and counseling. We also have contracted part time Community Health Workers to help musicians find additional resources.”
The Spring Donation Drive is one of two major fundraising events for MMF, the other being Apocalypse Meow. Abby’s Fund is a cause musicians in this area tend to jump at the opportunity to support. “So far this year, we have given out over $30,000 from Abby’s Fund. If the grant requests continue at this pace, we will deplete our reserves without additional funding,” cautions Lyne. “The Drive this year is focused on bringing attention to our Mental Health grants and raising funds so we can continue providing that service to our musicians.”
To learn more about MMF, please visit midwestmusicfoundation.org.