Wisconsin Coronavirus: Lawrence Uni. professor helps raise over $230K for artists during COVID-19 crisis


Andrew Crooks, conductor & music director, for The Marriage of Figaro Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in the Stansbury Theater.

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Lawrence University’s Assistant Professor of Music, Andrew Crooks, has helped raise more than $237,000 to assist musicians and other artists across the country who are struggling because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Crooks and Morgan Brophy, of Wolf Trap Opera, are co-founders of the online-fundraising campaign, Artist Relief Tree (ART), that is composed of several artists around the U.S.

Andrew Crooks

The Artist Relief Tree initiative was formed when music venues began to close and performances and tours were canceled, putting many artists out of work.

Within the first four days of starting ART, the organization’s website received more than 3,500 requests for help.

“For artists not in salaried, stable positions, the shutdown of performances on such a massive scale is heartbreaking,” Crooks said.

The organization’s initial goal was to raise $10,000, now after raising more than $237,000, ART has now reset its target to $1 million.

“This isn’t going to sustain anyone long term. But it’s an effort to help a community that is reeling, to embrace a sense of togetherness among artists, and to raise awareness along with dollars,” Crooks said.

Since its inception, numerous notable performers and authors like, Russell Brand, Brene Brown, Ani DiFranco, Brian Eno, Ben Folds, Rhiannon Giddens, George R.R. Martin, Mike Posner, and Lawrence University’s John Holiday have jumped on board with ART and helped with endorsements.

An artist in need can request funds, with a requirement to provide some basic documentation about their work. On a first-come-first-served basis for those who qualify, ART will provide a financial assist.

For more information on ART or if you are an artist in need, visit the Artist Relief Tree website at www.artistrelieftree.com.


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