Slim's front loan provides funding to musicians

A pilot program with the goal of helping Memphis musicians launched recently in an effort to help cover some of the up-front costs that come for traveling artists.
Slim’s Front Loan fronts necessary money that provides short-term financing to established musicians for touring, merchandising, promotional events and recording. The loan is available by application to members of the Memphis Slim Collaboratory in the Soulsville, USA neighborhood.
The loan program launched in mid-December. It provides a maximum loan amount of $5,000.
“This isn’t for aspiring artists but it’s artists who are already gigging, traveling to do shows,” said Tracy Buckley, River City Capital’s Business Development Officer. “This is to help them continue to go through tough times. Maybe they have a large amount of Facebook fans or YouTube followers. We want to work with artists already established and needing a little push.”
This pilot program came out of the Memphis Music Magnet framework, which is an effort to build a community of musicians in the Soulsville, USA neighborhood. The physical home of that is the Memphis Slim Collaboratory.
This loan is for six months for touring, merchandising and promotion or 12 months for recording expenses. The interest rate is 5 percent for non-Soulsville residents and 3 percent for artists who live in the neighborhood.
River City Capital Investment Corp. launched in 2012 as an affiliate to Community LIFT. It fills the void in the local financial system by expanding availability of capital, credit and financial services in distressed communities.
River City has a priority of supporting the redevelopment of the Soulsville, USA neighborhood by attracting musicians and artists.
The hope is as the loan is used it helps grow the pot to sustain the program.
Any artists interested in the loan can email Buckley at [email protected].
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Read more articles by Lance Wiedower.

Lance is a veteran journalist with more than 16 years of experience in newsrooms in the Memphis area as a reporter and editor, including most recently as managing editor of The Daily News. He regularly contributes to The Daily News, including a biweekly travel column, The Daily Traveler.