Musician's Emergency Resource Foundation

President, Elaine Hertweck 502-338-0502

About MERF

Founded in 1981, MERF grants financial and resource assistance to Kentuckiana music industry professionals in times of need and emergency crisis.
Louisville musician and founder of Mom's Music Marvin Maxwell was injured in an auto accident in 1981. Fellow musicians banded together and organized an event  to raise funds for his recovery. The event was so successful that the money exceeded his emergency needs. He used the extra funds to establish MERF and perpetuate the fellowship between musicians and the local community.  

Since then, MERF has survived thanks to the dedicated grassroots efforts of many volunteers (including the board of directors) to raise and distribute more than $200,000 to musicians and other entertainment workers in times of crises over several decades.
Merf is not a replacement for an insurance policy nor does it just hand out money to musicians. We offer mini grants and aid in locating further resources when a musician is in a true time of crisis or emergency.  Musicians must be able to prove they are working musicians and the scale of their need/emergency. 
The mission of MERF is to lend a helping hand to musicians in need with a vision to further develop the music industry through education. This will be accomplished in several ways:

First, through raising money that can be used to aid a musician in financial need due to emergency situations. Monies will be distributed to those in need based on decisions made by the officers, board of directors, and/or the advisory board.

Secondly, by aiding in the promotion of performances as often as possible. This will be accomplished by involving persons from all aspects of the music community.

Finally, we will work with existing organizations to offer assistance for those in physical need, working in conjunction with the Louisville Area Ministries, Dare To Care, and local assistance groups, while utilizing MERF funds where possible.

Company Overview
MERF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Louisville, Kentucky that raises funds to assist local musicians in financial crisis. We service the following counties:

In Kentucky: Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Bullitt, Nelson, Hardin, and Meade County.

In Southern Indiana: Jefferson, Harrison, Floyd, and Clark County.

You must be a working music industry professional in our service area in order to apply for assistance.
MERF has been awarded the Best Community Service Award by NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants for its profound impact on assisting musicians in need.