Music On A Mission Virtual Fundraiser With Laura Segura of MusiCares

Music On A Mission Virtual Fundraiser With Laura Segura of MusiCares

In honor of our partnership with the Music on a Mission Virtual Fundraiser, The 10,000 spoke with Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares about this year’s event. Hosted virtually on March 12th with performers including BTS, John Legend and H.E.R., the event honors the resilience of the music community, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tell us more about MusiCares and how you first became involved with the organization.
MusiCares is the leading music charity that creates a safety net to support the health and welfare of the music community. We provide health and human services across a spectrum of needs, including physical and mental health, addiction recovery, preventative clinics, unforeseen personal emergencies, and disaster relief, including COVID-19 relief. I started with MusiCares in June 2020 after seven years running membership at the Recording Academy.  It was at the Recording Academy that I saw the power of MusiCares to literally save lives, and I knew I wanted to be more involved.  This job really feels like a calling to me, and I’m so honored to lead this special organization.

We attended the MusiCares Person of the Year event in 2018 honoring Fleetwood Mac and it was an incredible evening filled with music royalty such as Miley Cyrus, Lorde and Keith Urban. When did the MusiCares Person of the Year event start and what have been your favorite moments from it?
Person of the Year was started in 1991 as a way to honor musicians who have not only had great achievements in their music career, but have also shown their dedication to giving back. It is an amazing event that also helps to raise money for the services MusiCares provides. One of my favorite Person of the Year moments was in 2014 at the Carole King tribute when legendary background singers Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill performed as the central stars of Twenty Feet from Stardom.  It was such a powerful moment where four amazing women got the spotlight when they are usually background singers.  This to me represented what is so special about MusiCares.  We take care of everyone in music, no matter their role.  When people see big name artists rallying to support MusiCares, it is because they know we take care of the whole of our music family from musicians and background singers, to tour crew and engineers.

In what ways will this year’s virtual event differ from previous years?
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are transitioning Person of the Year to Music on a Mission in 2021, a virtual event to honor the resiliency of music people that have been impacted in so many ways by the pandemic. The event this year will be a celebration of the entire music industry, featuring new performances from artists like HAIM, H.E.R., Jhené Aiko and John Legend and legendary performances from the MusiCares vault, plus special appearances and interviews. We are so excited to be able to share this event with the music community and music lovers, all coming together to pay tribute to the people who have kept the music playing. Your readers can find tickets to the event here, including the Master & Dynamic Earphones bundle package.

The lineup for Music on a Mission is impressive! Are there any particular favorite performers you’re looking forward to enjoying virtually?
It is certainly going to be a night filled with memorable performances and we are so thankful to the artists who have already lent their time and talents. I’m excited for every part of the evening since this event is like nothing we’ve ever done before. I’m also proud that this event will be open to all music lovers so they can see all of the great performances we have lined up.

Laura Segura. Image Courtesy of Recording Academy®/Photo Rich Polk by Getty Images© 2021

How has the pandemic affected the individuals served by MusiCares and what is MusiCares doing to address these new challenges?
The pandemic has taken an incredible toll on musicians and the industry. As live music venues continue to stay closed and touring has been shut down, music people are facing not only financial hardships, but also mental health hardships as they attempt to support themselves and often their families. As the leading music charity, it is our responsibility to provide whatever support we can to help music people during this difficult time. Through our COVID-19 Relief effort, we’ve been able to distribute more than $24 million to more than 30,000 music people since March 2020 to help with essential everyday needs. We also conducted our inaugural Wellness in Music survey in 2020 to gauge how the financial and mental health of musicians and those in the industry have been impacted by the pandemic. One of the most striking things we learned were how many respondents were struggling with their mental health, with 26 percent reporting moderate to severe levels of depression. We’ve already heard from so many how MusiCares’ support has been a lifeline to them over the past year and I hope more musicians in need will reach out.

What are you most excited about regarding the future of MusiCares and the community it fosters and supports?
I’m excited to see how MusiCares can start working more closely with the experts and artist teams at labels and music companies. Together, we can address some of the biggest issues that musicians face on a daily basis, like mental health, addiction and financial insecurity, before they become larger issues that are difficult to face on your own. Our number one goal is to support musicians so they can keep doing what they love – sharing music with the world.

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