The Recording Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund Launches 75th Anniversary with New Initiatives, Increased Financial Support

Platform & Stream
5 min readMar 21, 2023

The recording industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF), a leading non-profit organization enriching lives and uniting communities through the power of music, has launched its 75th Anniversary with exciting new plans to expand initiatives and increase funding for live music performances in thousands of community events and senior centers, as well as Music in the Schools programs, scholarships, and more.

Primarily funded by four major record companies, including Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Walt Disney Records, the MPTF has also played a vital role in support of the music industry’s gig economy. The independently run organization has distributed millions of dollars in financial resources and grants, engaging professional musicians that are members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) to perform live in admission-free events across North America. Since its founding in 1948, it has distributed approximately $620 million (USD) in sponsorship money.

By partnering with businesses, chambers of commerce, arts councils, municipal government organizations and parks programs, the MPTF supported during the previous calendar year more than 1,200 concerts in parks and public spaces, 400 Music in the Schools events, over 1,000 performances in senior centers and assisted living facilities, and other special events. It also funded and facilitated more than 1,500 live virtual music events held free via MPTF’s Facebook platform since the early days of the pandemic. More than 1,000,000 people also attended MPTF-supported in-person and virtual events last year.

With the live music sector continuing to rebound from the impact of COVID-19, the MPTF projects it will significantly increase support in the upcoming 2023–2024 calendar year, with funding of more than 3,500 live music events in 100+ markets in the U.S. and Canada, including $3.3 million (USD) in grants and scholarships. The organization additionally aims to fund over 500 music education programs in 2023–2024, through important partnerships with national and local organizations such as Save the Music, Young Audiences Arts for Learning, and more.

“As we launch our 75th Anniversary and celebrate this major milestone, the MPTF continues to evolve and successfully navigate the impact of COVID on live music by developing new initiatives, partnering with businesses and organizations, and streamlining operations, while expanding the breadth of our programs across North America,” said Daniel Beck, Trustee of Musicians Performance Trust Fund. “I’m also very pleased to announce that by the end of our fiscal year in March, we anticipate having funded a total of more than 3,000 events with a distribution of over $3.0 million in grants. MPTF will increase our allocations for the upcoming year by 33%, with financial support of $3.3 million in grants, plus $165,000 in scholarships. This is the largest grant budget in twenty years.”

While continuing to re-grow its free, live public music events, MPTF is also focusing efforts in several areas which have been affected by the pandemic or suffered setbacks from lack of funding, staffing, or government support. The trust fund will further expand its programs to foster music education and bolster its signature national Musicianfest initiative that brings the power of music to senior citizens, a segment of society which has been isolated more than ever, as well as strapped by fixed incomes, inflation, immobility, and the devastation from the COVID virus.

Later this year, MPTF will announce new details related to several upcoming special events and initiatives. In April, the trust fund aims to support over 250 live music performances in celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month. The MPTF will also be partnering with local businesses and organizations in events celebrating Juneteenth, as well as anticipating support for the good work of the Chicago Lyric Opera, French Quarter Festival, the Make Music Alliance, and the Broadway League’s annual Curtains Up! event held in Times Square.

“MPTF represents genuine collaboration between the Recording Industry and the AFM, bringing joy to the world through diverse, free-to-attend, public musical performances. Supported by strong, local community-based relationships and progressively negotiated employer agreements, MPTF is well-positioned to expand its mission throughout the US and Canada for many years to come,” said Ray Hair, International President of AFM.

Mitch Glazier, Chairman/CEO of RIAA, and Michele Ballantyne, COO of RIAA, added: “MPTF’s gift of free live music to communities all around the country changes lives. It reminds us music has no boundaries, and we are all connected — from the Bluegrass circles of Kentucky, to Hip-Hop on Brooklyn street corners, to the cozy clubs of Montreal Jazz. RIAA Members are honored to support this dynamic, living testament to the tapestry of American music.”

Justin Trudeau, President, Prime Minister of Canada, released the following statement in support of MPTF: “MPTF’s work to spread its joy as far and wide as possible deserves the utmost praise. Furthermore, as a former teacher, I have seen firsthand the tremendous value of encouraging children’s participation in, and appreciation for, music. It makes an indescribable impact on their souls. To the entire team behind this incredible venture, please accept my gratitude for all that you do. Your commitment towards supporting musicians, making music a part of every child’s life, and adding to public knowledge about music, is unmatched.”

A minimum of $150,000 will be awarded to students in the Fall of 2023 through two scholarship programs, MPTF’s Music Family Scholarships and the Music’s Future Scholarship, which was established to help advance music majors. Over the previous year, more than 90 Music Family Scholarships were given to AFM musicians with family members attending college, while 30 Music’s Future Scholarships went to music students unaffiliated with the union.

For more information on MPTF programs, live stream and in-person music events, and more, visit www.musicpf.org and www.facebook.com/the.mptf/

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