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Kentucky record label provides healthcare for musicians

Poster for SofaBurn Inc. fundraiser, SofaGives 2022.
SofaBurn Inc.
Poster for SofaBurn Inc. fundraiser, SofaGives 2022.

Listen to WYSO intern, Selah Griffin, talk to founder of SofaBurn Records and SofaBurn Inc., Chris Mueller, about new healthcare initiative.

The conversation about universal healthcare has been a source of growing tension in the U.S., particularly over the past couple of years. The recent pandemic has put everyone's health at risk and it is no surprise that people want to feel safe and secure when it comes to having access to medical treatment. However, this comfort isn’t accessible to lots of people.

The music community, in particular, are a group that has been left susceptible and vulnerable under these conditions. Over COVID, musicians' main source of revenue, touring, was heavily restricted.

Because music is a full-time job for lots of musicians, they are often responsible for their own health insurance. But, with inconsistent incomes, especially over the past couple of years, many artists opt out of coverage all together.

Chris Mueller, founder of SofaBurn Records in Dayton, Kentucky, is aware of this issue. After working with other musicians through his record label, and as a musician himself, Mueller has gotten a good sense of the needs that artists have and whether those needs are being met.

With a background in social work, it has been important to Meuller that his label is charitable to its artists. He felt that the growing healthcare crisis among musicians was an area that SofaBurn Records could provide aid in.

It was over COVID that SofaBurn Records was able to establish SofaBurn Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is "Working to help artists build long term sustaining careers by subsidizing health care costs while providing financial education."

Through SofaBurn Inc., musicians that have medical needs or debt can apply for financial relief.

SofaBurn Inc. is holding their first fundraiser event, SofaGives 2022, to support healthcare costs for artists on August 20 at The Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky.

SofaGives 2022 will include a lineup of musicians and items up for auction. Performers will include: Jeremy Pinnell, Daniel Martin Moore, Andrew Hibbard, Paige Beller, and more. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here for $25 with VIP options.

SofaBurn Inc. is accepting applications from musicians looking for relief and for volunteers on their website.

Keep up with Sofaburn Records on Facebook and Twitter: @SofaBurnRecords and on Instagram: @SofaBurn_Records.

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Selah Griffin is a resident of Clifton, Ohio, but has been a part of the Yellow Springs community her whole life. Her involvement at WYSO dates back to her education at The Antioch School where she worked on the radio series Zombie High School. She is currently attending Denison University as a journalism major and religion minor. She is a DJ on the student-run Doobie Radio and a staff writer on her school's newspaper, The Denisonian.