Sounds of resilience

Bass couple throws a lifeline to Fort Worth musicians struggling amid COVID-19

Bass couple throws lifeline to Fort Worth musicians struggling now

Abraham Alexander
Abraham Alexander helped spearhead the new Sounds of Resilience grant program to benefit local musicians. Photo by Sheryl Lanzel

Continuing their philanthropy during the COVID-19 pandemic that started with a grant program for visual artists, Fort Worth billionaires Sasha and Edward P. Bass, through their Fine Line Group, have founded the new Sounds of Resilience grant program to benefit local musicians.

The second in a series of competitive grant programs designed to help get Fort Worth’s arts community back to work, the $100,000 initiative invites area musicians to compose works about resilience to fuel the city’s creative economy and to help drive community healing and positive change.

“Music is part of Fort Worth’s soul," said the Basses in a statement. "As our city battles a pandemic and reckons with the legacy of prejudice, Sounds of Resilience delivers not just highly-focused financial support to Fort Worth-area musicians, but also helps to create an audio record of our town’s unique perspective on all that has occurred, and all that we hope to see in the future.”

Applicants are asked to create and submit a unique live performance video of two original songs, in a format similar to a “Tiny Desk” submission, along with a personal statement about their experience in the pandemic and the role their music will play in drawing people together around the theme of resilience. The full application is available at soundsofresilience.com/apply. There is no fee to apply.

A panel of six of Fort Worth’s music industry leaders, including Abraham Alexander, T Bone Burnett, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Troy Campbell, Rosana Eckert, and Amy Miller, will manage the selection process.

They will award $2,000 grants to 35 musicians and $5,000 grants to the top six strongest applicants. Those six musicians will be paired together to create and produce an original and inspired song about resilience, which will be recorded live at Bass Performance Hall.

“This program is a lifeline for the musicians of our city," said Alexander in a statement. "Sounds of Resilience makes it possible for them to focus on doing what they do best — creating. Musicians will not have to worry about their next bill or what equipment they will need to sell in order to put food on the table. (The program) will rekindle hope, fuel collaboration, and change the fabric of our music scene for the better.

The initiative is led by the Fine Line Group, with support from the Alice L. Walton Foundation, the Tartaglino Richards Family Foundation, and Bass Performance Hall. It is administered by Gallery of Dreams, a Fort Worth nonprofit arts organization established by Lauren Saba Childs of Fort Works Art. 

Applications for Sounds of Resilience opened on July 1, and those interested can apply through August 2. Grant recipients will be announced on August 31.