The nonprofit Music Performance Trust Funds, a sponsor of free live music, is now known as “The Music Performance Fund” as it pursues an intensified program to build relationships with major foundations and attract corporate co-sponsors to help pay for future programs.
This Times Square-based educational trust, established in 1948 by the recording industry and the American Federation of Musicians, pays for thousands of live, admission-free musical performances all over the U.S. and Canada. Last year, it spent more than $15 million to sponsor 16,000 events in towns and cities from the Rio Grande to the Arctic Circle, including performances and classes in schools, nursing homes and hospitals, as well as concerts of every kind.
Noel B. Berman, the Fund’s trustee and executive director, and his colleagues are strengthening the MPF’s educational and “Emerging Artists” programs, planning a year-end fundraiser gala and adopting a better name that will be used with a new explanatory tagline, “Enriching lives through music.”
“But the free live music we provide is an essential public service,” Berman said, “and our contribution is needed now more than ever. This is a time to be bringing new resources—the public, the great foundations and corporate sponsors—into the music performance arena.” Working through the musicians’ union locals, the MPF was able to leverage its resources by finding local and national co-sponsors for virtually all its 2002-’03 performances. “Businesses of all kinds are finding that sponsoring free live music is an easy and effective way to build prestige and goodwill,” Berman said. “Co-sponsorships now account for as much as 60 percent of the MPF's total budget.”
Berman has recruited an advisory board of arts and business luminaries, including conductor Charles Anspacher, founder of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and Gloria Messinger Esq., who served for many years as CEO and managing director of ASCAP.
For more information on the Fund, visit www.musicpf.org.