BALTIMORE, md. — Joel Michael-Schwartz is a Musician and Private Lessons Teacher in Baltimore.
Over the past few months, he has suffered the effects of COVID-19.
Before the pandemic, Joel was playing about ten gigs a month. Now, with venues and restaurants struggling, owners are not booking live music gigs.
Joel has lost 35-45% of his income.
As temperatures drop and winter approaches, there are challenges ahead.
“Everybody is worried about it. It’s harder than just there won't be any gigs. When there's no gigs, more people turn to teaching. When more people turn to teaching, there are less students to go around,” he explained.
With a possible second wave on the horizon, venues closing, restaurants going under and an administration that has cut funds for the arts, the future does not look bright for once thriving musicians.
“I'm not optimistic. I think that I've had a bunch of conversations with my colleagues and especially with my mentors. These are people who have been playing around for decades. They've seen a lot you know? They've been through the 2008 crash and 9/11. Some of them have been through the end of the cold war as professional musicians. They all say, they've never seen anything like this,” said Joel.
Michael-Schwartz encourages people to call their local Senators and rally for more funding for the arts.
“Call your local Councilman, call your Senators and your Representatives and tell them the arts need help. We have not received enough right now. What we've gotten..it's not even a drop in the bucket. Those huge corporations, they're receiving hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. And most of us haven't seen a dime and those corporations aren't going to be homeless tomorrow, but some of us are, ” Joel said.
To find out more about Joel Michael-Schwartz or book lessons head here.