The Blues Foundation has established the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. The Fund provides for acute, chronic and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral and burial expenses.
Requests for funding should be made by contacting The Blues Foundation, calling 901.527.2583 ext 10. You will be provided and asked to complete a short application form. A committee reviews the application to ensure the individual qualifies and the request is for health related financial needs.
Funds are generally paid directly to the service provider.
Over the years, contributions have been made by our members and other donors and donations have also come from specific benefit events. Funds donated to the HART Fund are dedicated 100% to artist relief efforts. Contributions may be made online here or by sending a check to: The Blues Foundation (HART Fund), 421 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103.
There are other groups that do work similar to the HART Fund that may be able to provide help to Blues musicians in need. A link to those resources can be found here. The Blues Foundation has no control over these resources.
You can read testimonials from Blues Artists who were helped by the HART Fund below.
Testimonials may be edited.
“On June 1, 2014, I came home from work to find my husband, David “Hurricane” Hoerl (founding member of The Twisters), unconscious after suffering a massive stroke. I was told he would probably never come home again and would need long term care. I reached out to The Blues Foundation/HART Fund (even though we live in Canada) asking for financial help. I’ll never forget Cindi James saying to me “Lynda, it doesn’t matter where you’re from – we’re here to help”.
David defied the odds and after spending eight months in hospital, he is home now, working hard at his recovery and determined to play music again.
Words cannot adequately express the gratitude we feel for The Blues Foundation/HART Fund and all they’ve done to support us in a time of need. Not only were they there to help us monetarily, but the genuine words of concern and support helped boost our spirits immensely. We are so thankful for this foundation that supports Blues musicians, a special group who keep this wonderful music alive at all costs.” Lynda & David “Hurricane” Hoerl
“Please pass along my gratitude to the HART Fund Committee. This helps Mr. Boyce so much. He was overcome with appreciation.
“If you need me for anything, call me!” REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT
The community’s librarian and a close friend to R.L. told me this assistance was going to help him “keep going”. Having people he did not know help him at this terrible time was something that would mean so much to him. She had very nice things to say about R.L.
It is wonderful to know The Blues Foundation has the HART Fund. It is also special to see it making a difference. The HART Fund has really done a good thing.
Our blues society along with others thank you so much for such a generous gift.” Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola, Inc.
“Community can be a powerful thing in countless ways. The power of the Blues Community on a personal and Professional level can indeed heal and move that mountain! As we all learn, sooner or later, sometimes we really do have lean on someone. Thank God the HART Fund was there during an unexpected spinal surgery. When someone stands up for me and says “Don’t worry, I got your back!” And they REALLY do…it means everything.
It has only been through the generosity of the HART Fund that I have been allowed to properly heal and recover during this most challenging time – instead of worrying about how, when and if I could cover the rapidly mounting expenses before and after this whole medical challenge. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to The HART Fund for stepping up and doing that very thing… covering my back and moving that mountain. With love and gratitude” Janiva Magness
“A little over a year ago Tim Betts played a set with Lil’ Ed at the Hubert Sumlin Benefit for the Hart Fund. Little did I know a few months after this night Tim would be facing his own serious health scares. Tim received help from friends, fundraisers, Triad Musicians Matters, Fitzgerald’s and MusiCares. Then I was put in touch with the HART Fund who picked up almost all of the rest of Tim’s bills for him. The same people who Tim had played for a benefit are now giving to Tim. I am both excited, touched, and relieved all at the same time. I want to share my appreciation and thank all the people who have helped him. Thank you so much!! We do appreciate it. We look forward to when we can help someone in need.” Amberly Stokes with Tim Bett’s blessing
“I would like to thank God and The Blues Foundation’s Hart Fund for aiding me in a desperate time of need. I had serious dental issues! I am most appreciative of what the Hart Fund did for me in allowing me to get my dental work completed and paid for. Write it, record it, take a picture of it – I couldn’t have gotten my teeth fixed without them! The Blues Foundation and the Hart Fund paid all my dental expenses and for that, man, I am most highly grateful! The Blues Foundation is all right! Thank you again and may God Bless!” Rick Lewis
The Blues Foundation has made such a difference in my life. After taking quite a fall and subsequently knocking my front teeth out while unloading my bass amp during a rain, I was so embarrassed to be on stage without teeth. I wouldn’t smile or even sing back-up during our shows. Being a struggling musician, I didn’t have dental insurance or the funds to replace my teeth or have the two loose ones pulled. Your generosity gave me back my smile, but more importantly, my self-confidence. I am proud to be on stage, singing and performing and back to making a living playing bass. I can never thank you enough for all that you have done for me and other musicians in need, Still performing,” Earl Hancock
“The Blues Foundation’s HART Fund is a fantastic program. When Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, one of the artists from my record label, needed expensive dental work, the HART Fund was there to support him. The grant process was fast and easy, and the results were outstanding.” Jeff Konkel, Broke and Hungry Records
“I’m Shun Kikuta, Koko Taylor’s former guitarist. I have received a check from The Blues Foundation last week. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your help to go through this tough time. Thank god and all my friends and family, I’ve recovered really well from the accident and I’ve been back playing full time now. Again, thank you so much for your help. Blues On.”
“Wow. I am completely surprised and honored. Incredible. Please pass my most sincere thanks to all at The Blues Foundation, and of course to whomever brought my situation to your attention. Whatever the future holds for me, I can tell you it is very emotionally and spiritually healing to feel all the positive vibes and support of my friends. I love blues music and I love blues people. In the last month I have realized that my “family” is way bigger than I thought it was. Based on all the calls and emails I have gotten, I am realizing my “blues family” reaches all over the world.” Carlos Capote, The Breeze Kings
“I just want to thank you so much for your generosity towards me during this crazy health challenge…for helping me obtain a grant from the HART Fund. It has been so wonderful to have the luxury to focus on healing without worrying about mounting bills. Your compassion has really helped me and my sons during this crisis.” Candye Kane
“Our very sincere thanks for your contribution to the Blues Community Foundation, to help us with the costs of Carey Bell’s funeral and burial. A lot of people give lip service to helping the music and the musicians; you stepped up and did something important.”
“Thanks so much to The Blues Foundation for helping to honor Sister Rosetta Tharpe. It is a great gesture on your organization’s part to fulfill a long overdue remembrance. The friends and family of Rosetta are most appreciative of The Blues Foundation’s generosity.”