The Rainey Day Fund and Newport Festivals Foundation have announced that they will be partnering to support BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled musicians and other creators who are working in roots music. The Rainey Day family of funds had made a donation of $45,220 to Newport Festivals’ Musician Relief Fund to launch the partnership.
First established in 2018 by
The Rainey Day Fund was launched by the broadcaster/journalist Kelly McCartney and social justice advocate Donald Cohen, in 2018. So far they have supported over 100 BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled artists and creators in roots/country music. Over the previous year, Rainey Day had worked on two new initiatives: The Color Me Country Artist Fund which was co-founded with singer/songwriter Rissi Palmer aiming to support BIPOC musicians in country music, and the Rosetta Fund that was co-founded with journalist/author Marissa R. Moss to support BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled media members like journalists, podcasters, photographers, etc who are also working in the roots or country music space.
“I got the idea to approach Jay [Sweet] about teaming up after hearing his conversation with Adia Victoria on Call & Response and recognizing that the work we’re doing to offer support and build equity for marginalized folks lines up so beautifully with the work of the Newport Festivals Foundation. And because the Venn diagram of the Rainey Day and Newport Folk families have so much overlap, the partnership was obvious to them, as well,” explains Kelly. “It’s both thrilling and comforting to know that NFF can expand our work in the present while also ensuring it for the future.”
NFF has made three grants as a part of the partnership to support individuals.
- Rainey Day: Durand Jones
- Color Me Country: Julia Cannon
- Rosetta: Annie Parnell
All of the future distributions from the funds are to be managed by Newport Festivals Foundation, though Kelly and the other members of the organization will also be involved in selecting grant recipients. The Newport Festivals Musician Relief Fund was first launched in April 2020 with an aim to support musicians from the Newport Folk and Jazz communities, and other musicians from across Rhode Island. Jay Sweet the NFF’s Executive Director says, “It is such an immense honour that Kelly, Rissi, Marissa, and everyone else at Rainey Day trust us to continue their essential work. Since the founding of our festivals over 60 years ago, artists have been the core of our community. As a result, we’ve felt a responsibility to support historically marginalized musicians, not only by putting them on our stages but through initiatives like our Musician Relief Fund. Partnering with Rainey Day to continue that tradition will allow us to fulfill our dedicated mission to put these funds into the hands of musicians who need it.”
The Rainy Day Family of Funds:
The mission of Rainy Day Family of Funds is to provide support to BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled artists and creators who are an essential part of roots and country music. Along with financial support, the funds also offer mentorship and other resources. They believe that diversifying the voices on the stage will automatically lead to a diverse set of audiences, which therein normalizes inclusion. They strive for this because representation and reflection should be part of the society at every level and in every aspect of the industry, for change to happen.
The Newport Festivals Foundation:
Newport Festivals Foundation is a 501(c)(3) profit organization that aims to foster the legacy and to widen the impact of their Folk and Jazz Festivals with the help of programs and initiatives that will support musicians, educators, and students. The Foundation’s goal is to offer opportunity, inspire through exposure and facilitate the collection of resources needed for musicians to celebrate and innovate. They focus on creating unique experiences that would spark engagement and this is accomplished by multiple initiatives which include instrument donations, performances at schools and support for music education programs with partnered organizations.
Click here to apply for or to support the fund.