Though its problems date back throughout its history, the music industry has changed even more dramatically in the age of the Internet. On one hand, there is a proliferation of listening opportunities, music creation, and digital distribution. On the other hand, it is increasingly difficult for artists to balance creating music, touring, and earning a sustainable living.

Pursuing a career in music is a difficult undertaking even in the best of circumstances and, as in life itself, marginalized artists have far from the best of circumstances. Within current outlets — radio and festivals, in particular — line-ups are still dominated by white musicians and, in most cases, white male musicians. The Rainey Day Fund and its offshoot intiatives aim to achieve a better balance of powers.

Our mission is to support the creators, distributors, and listeners within the roots/country music community by developing opportunities through which a broad spectrum of artists can promote their work. We believe that putting more diverse voices on the stage will naturally lead to more diverse faces in the audience, thereby normalizing inclusion at every level.

To meet our goals, we…

  • provide financial assistance to BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled artists, as well as others who add to the rich fabric of roots music through a micro-grant fund
  • develop programs and services to support those creators
  • organize benefit events and fund-raising projects to fund and promote our work

The Rainey Day Fund does not have an open application process for any of its initiatives. Instead, we rely on a number of friends in our industry and community — musicians, journalists, managers, talent buyers, et al — to recommend artists (and writers) for us to consider. We do, however, have an open donation policy.

Board of Directors

Blair Clark

Donald Cohen (co-founder)

Kelly McCartney (co-founder)

Marissa R. Moss

Rissi Palmer

Doug Williams

Advisory Board

Rhiannon Giddens

Izzy Heltai

Justin Hiltner

Gaelynn Lea

Lizzie No

Amy Ray

Chely Wright

Raye Zaragoza

Executive Director

Kelly McCartney