With the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in spring 2020, the need to urgently draw attention to the economic plight of African touring musicians arose. The musicians were hit particularly hard by the shutdown of the cultural industry and travel restrictions. In response, an idea was born to start #SOULIDARITY , a fundraising campaign that would give financial relief directly to affected musicians so they can continue to do their work.
The initiators Stephanie Schuman, Julia Kastl and Marcus Gora founded a non-profit company START WITH CULTURE gUG based in Germany and developed the concept for the #SOULIDARITY fund and campaign in May 2020. That same month, the #SOULIDARITY website was ready to accept applications. In June, the notarial registration of START WITH CULTURE gUG was completed while the non-profit status clearance from the German tax office was approved in September 2020.The target of the #SOULIDARITY relief fund was to be able to give all eligible applicants a one-time relief payment of between 1000 and 4500€ estimated from potential income lost from cancelled tours. The artists selected for the fund created video content for the campaign, documenting their personal stories about how the Covid-19 crisis affected their careers, livelihoods, communities and their countries.

START WITH CULTURE provided the editing for all the video footage and branded it for the #SOULIDARITY campaign. The campaign was rolled out digitally on the Start With Culture website and on the organisation’s as well as the participating applicants and other partner social media channels between the 15th of September and the 31st of December 2020. For this effort, START WITH CULTURE gUG provided its manpower, network, as well as Public Relations and marketing machinery.
Over 188 musicians from 18 different African countries applied via the #SOULIDARITY website. With its reach the #SOULIDARITY campaign has created a movement that brings together musicians from across the African continent to support one another; give each other advice, engineer solutions and collaborate.

Lastly, the #SOULIDARITY campaign has also become a visible platform that is drawing attention to the artists` stories and the dire situation artists continue to face as the pandemic rages on.

What's Next?! 
#SOULIDARITY became a platform and a movement and we want to continue with our funding campaign for international touring artists from Africa therefore we want to create an even stronger and bigger network of festivals, venues, media partners, organizations and artists.

What are we doing with the collected money?
All donations are going to the START WITH CULTURE CONTENT & MOBILITY FUND
With these funds the artists are able to produce content to stay relevant and/or travel to showcase festivals to get visibility back. The donations we collect on our platform #SOULIDARITY will be distributed to those artists who are eligible. They will need to not only present the final product, but they should also let us know about the production - tell their stories, like we already did on our website.

Call for Artists Applications are closed, but if you are interested in joining the campaign - get in touch and we will let you know how you can participate.

We are happy to have you on board as sponsor, ambassador, media partner. Write us!
There are many possibilities to support #SOULIDARITY.

The #SOULIDARITY relief fund is created and administrated by START WITH CULTURE, a registered non profit-organisation based in Germany. 

Yes. All our payment providers are safe & secure. We only use secure payment providers like PayPal.

You can donate with PayPal or Creditcard via PayPal With Paypal you don't need to be a registered Paypal user. You can also donate directly and transfer to our bank account: START WITH CULTURE gUG (haftungsbeschränkt) | IBAN: DE20700202700020346501 | BIC: HYVEDEMMXXX | Hypo Vereinsbank 

Yes, it is. Please reach out to us and we will provide you with the official certificate: contact@start-with-culture.org

If you can't find what you're looking for, get in touch with us.

With your help, the music will go on!

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