The Music Performance Trust Fund initiatives cover a wide range of admission-free live music events throughout the United States and Canada. The largest and most diverse category of our programs is Community Events. Well over half of our annual performances reside in this category.
At the heart of the MPTF’s mission is to enrich the public through access to the unity and spirit of live music. Community events are just that – admission-free live music presented in parks and public spaces available to all. They include summer series, festivals, and individual concerts meant to enliven city streets, create interaction, and enhance local economies. These musical celebrations are often steeped in tradition and community pride.
Most of MPTF’s community events are initiated by the local union offices of the American Federation of Musicians, who collaborate with community leaders in city government, parks programs, arts councils, chambers of commerce and other partners to create meaningful special events to enhance their environment. The AFM locals reach out to the MPTF for matching funds to support those efforts.
Several of these initiatives reach far beyond the locale. MPTF’s support of the French Quarter Festival draws thousands of visitors to New Orleans each spring for an admission-free weekend that celebrates the music indigenous to NOLA and the Louisiana region. The MPTF works regularly with the Broadway League to highlight the live musical theatre experience. This year, it was broadcast live in the New York metropolitan area on WABC-TV. Over the years, Broadway on Broadway evolved to Stars in the Alley, and now to Curtain Up! to extol the songs and stars of current Broadway hit shows. The MPTF has joined with the Broadway League in providing the musicians and music for the annual celebration of Juneteenth in the center of Times Square.
Community events have expanded even further with the advent of Covid-19, the MPTF launched live streamed concerts via its Facebook homepage to deliver live music when audiences could not assemble. These performances continue with hundreds of shows, including an eclectic array of musical styles. Read further on some of the larger events!
The Music Performance Trust Fund has worked hand-in-hand with The Broadway League for many years to shine a spotlight on musical theatre and the musicians who make it possible. The MPTF provided the musicians for the first admission-free foray into Times Square with “Broadway on Broadway,” highlighting songs from all the Broadway shows. This annual event evolved into a smaller celebration presented in Shubert Alley called “Stars in the Alley.” After the tragic impact of Covid-19 that shuttered Broadway houses, a larger celebration returned to the heart of Times Square with “Curtain Up!” This joyous mash-up of songs from every major musical is performed by the cast of each one of these shows and a terrific orchestra assembled from the ranks of the American Federation of Musicians, all free to the public! For the first time, Curtain Up! was live broadcast to the entire New York metropolitan area by WABC-TV.
French Quarter Festival
The world is a better place due to the rich, musical history that has emerged from New Orleans and the Louisiana environs. Dixieland jazz, blues, zydeco, Latin, New Orleans funk, folk, brass bands, and Cajun music are all indigenous to the region and a city that has served as a wellspring of beloved musicians. New Orleans has celebrated its musical roots annually with the French Quarter Festival for nearly 40 years! The Music Performance Trust Fund has been a long-serving partner in bringing the talent from the American Federation of Musicians to many of the 20 stages that illuminate the historic streets of the French Quarter.
Upwards of 350,000 attend the four-day music, food, and fun fest. It’s a preservation of the music, culture, and quality of life in the Crescent City. The FQF Team and the MPTF share a special relationship that has brought music to the streets of New Orleans and work for their musicians during some of the city’s most difficult days. Now, in happier times, the French Quarter Festival organization is now producing the Satchmo Festival as an admission-free event. The MPTF will be there to support!