Midwest Music Foundation, Inc.
532 Troost
Kansas City MO 64106
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 830-0382
Mission Statement
The Midwest Music Foundation unites and empowers the Kansas City area music community by providing health care assistance, education and career development, events and resources.
Midwest Music Foundation of Kansas City supports a healthy and vibrant music community in a thriving regional artistic economy. Our goals are to:
  • Strengthen musicians’ health through wellness services and health care grants.
  • Advance artists’ careers by providing performance and educational opportunities.
  • Provide access to a growing network of industry professionals.
CEO/Executive Director Rhonda Lyne
Board Chair Scott Easterday
Board Chair Company Affiliation Musician, Producer
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2009
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Donations can be made online at http://midwestmusicfoundation.org/, at MMF events, or by mail to 532 Troost, Kansas City, MO 64106.
For volunteer opportunities, please visit: http://midwestmusicfoundation.org/volunteer/
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement
The Midwest Music Foundation unites and empowers the Kansas City area music community by providing health care assistance, education and career development, events and resources.
Midwest Music Foundation of Kansas City supports a healthy and vibrant music community in a thriving regional artistic economy. Our goals are to:
  • Strengthen musicians’ health through wellness services and health care grants.
  • Advance artists’ careers by providing performance and educational opportunities.
  • Provide access to a growing network of industry professionals.
Background Statement

Founded in 2009, the Midwest Music Foundation was created to serve the music community of Kansas City. The most glaring problem seemed to be the lack of decent health insurance for working musicians, so we created the Apocalypse Meow Emergency Health Care Fund. The fund is designed to offer immediate financial help to musicians dealing with medical emergencies. In 2013, we lost our founder Abigail Henderson after a prolonged battle with breast cancer.  This fund was renamed Abby's Fund for Musicians' Health Care in her honor.

The MMF endeavors to create diverse musical programming showcasing the talent of area musicians to the community at large. The MMF has collaborated with Folk Alliance International, Middle of the Map Festival, Robert Moore of Sonic Spectrum, Crossroads Music Festival, and others to create performance based programs. We have also showcased Kansas City area music at the annual South by Southwest music festival. The MMF has partnered with different organizations, such as KCVLAA and InterUrban ArtHouse to create educational programming to help musicians further their careers.

The Midwest Music Foundation is currently run almost entirely on volunteer hours.
Impact Statement
  • Apocalypse Meow - An annual event that raises funds for Abby's Fund for Musicians' Health Care raised over $15,000 in 2017.  MMF has distributed over $120,000 in grants to over 100 area musicians since the inception of this fund. MMF developed partnerships with health care providers to provide preventative care clinics,discounts to musicians, and other resources.
  • MidCoast Takeover - An annual event that showcases Kansas City musicians during South by Southwest, the nation's largest music festival in Austin, Texas. In 2018 (it's ninth year), the showcase covered four days, with two stages, featuring almost 100 diverse artists.  This event allows area musicians to gain exposure and recognition for their talents on a national stage. This event  had received national press and has gained the attention of record labels and industry professionals.
  • Promotion of KC Artists  - MMF provided volunteer support to several area music festivals including Westport Roots Festival, Middle of the Map Festival, Crossroads Flock Party,  Boulevardia, and Crossroads Music Festival.  MMF also co-hosted a private showcase of KC area artists during Folk Alliance International Conference. 
  1. Increase the amount of medical grants distributed through more awareness of the fund and host more preventative care clinics.
  2. Continue to partner with the other organizations to increase the amount of educational programming offered and increase attendance.
  3. Continue to increase attendance at MidCoast Takeover and continue to partner with other regional music festivals to promote local music.
Needs Statement
  1. Administrative support (domain fees, website upkeep)
  2. Volunteer help in specialized areas (grant writing, web design/upkeep)
  3. Staff compensation for core staff working over 20 hours a week
  4. Production costs for Midcoast Takeover
  5. Off-set costs of printing, advertising, mailing, web design
Service Categories
Fund Raising & Fund Distribution
Adult Education
Areas of Service
KS - Johnson County
KS - Lawrence
MO - Jackson County
KS - Wyandotte County
MO - Clay County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Liberty
MO - Platte County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
The Midwest Music Foundation has seen both successes and challenges over the last year. The death of our founder and inspiration, Abigail Henderson, was a huge loss for our organization and the entire Kansas City musical community.  The way in which the community rallied to show their support for the Midwest Music Foundation during this difficult time has been amazing and overwhelming however. 
We have helped foster a sense of community within the Kansas City music community and drawn attention to the amazing level of talent we have in our city through performances. Our goal is to create and support a viable music community in Kansas City and the surrounding areas.
We have created Abby's Fund for Musicians' Health Care and have disbursed medical grants to help individuals. We have collaborated with other organizations and created innovative programming to help musicians develop in their careers. We have exposed our area musicians to audiences beyond Kansas City, showcasing at South by Southwest, the nation’s premier music festival. These have all been successful endeavors that have fostered a real sense of community among musicians as well as the greater Kansas City area at large. Musicians are a vital, viable artistic population within the city and the region and we at MMF have done our best to create programs to support them.
We have faced challenges as well and every challenge brings a new opportunity to do better work. We have had difficulty gaining awareness of the emergency medical fund and have found that connecting musicians in need with funding has been challenging. We plan to increase exposure of this fund in order to disburse more grants in the future.
We have also had funding challenges for the daily operations of the MMF. As we grow and our scope increases, our programming and administrative costs have also increased. It is a challenging time to be a non-profit, especially a young, scrappy upstart. We will continue fundraising the best way we know how using grassroots techniques. We will also focus on grant writing campaigns, which is a new and challenging adventure.
Apocalypse Meow is a program designed to disburse money to working underinsured or uninsured musicians who have suffered medical emergencies that keep them from performing.  In 2013, the fund was renamed, Abby's Fund for Musicians' Health Care, after the death of our founder Abigail Henderson who lost her valiant battle with cancer. The annual Apocalypse Meow fundraiser in November is how these funds are replenished. In 2017, the event raised over $15,000.  Over $120,000 in grants have been given to over 100 area musicians since the inception of this program. It brings together a wide range of people from the community to experience the best of Kansas City’s music and help raise money to help musicians.  The event includes auctions and raffles of items donated mostly by small, area businesses further fostering a sense of community pride.  
Category Health Care, General/Other Medical Expense Assistance
Population Served Adults, ,
Short-Term Success
Abby's Fund for Musicians' Health Care has distributed funds to over 100 working musicians since its inception, over $120,000 total.  Those who have utilized the Health Care Fund are extremely satisfied with their personal outcomes, as the MMF helped them get back on their feet directly.
MMF recently  partnered with RockDocs (a collaboration of physicians from University of Kansas Medical Center and Community Health Council of Wyandotte County) to provide additional health resources to musicians and have developed partnerships with local health care providers to provide preventative clinic days and discounts to musicians.  We hosted a Free Musicians' Health Care Clinic and provided custom ear plugs to musicians in addition to screenings and health care information.    We also have links to several health and emergency resources on our website and work with social workers to help our applicants find additional resources.   We have plans to expand our free clinic to include mammograms for female musicians and offer more preventative care clinics in the future.  
Long-Term Success When we talk about health care with younger musicians, we begin to change behaviors in regards to health care. When a musician decides to pursue music, they give up much and the reward, monetarily speaking, is often marginal. This program is designed to give out immediate help and also foster a dialogue about the nature of the music business, longevity, worth, and health care.
The ultimate goal is to help musicians with their medical expenses so they can be free to create.
Program Success Monitored By The tool we use to measure success of this program is the number of musicians we have directly distributed money to. Secondly, we track the number of people who come to us for direction in regards to low-cost health care or holistic practitioners. We have directly helped every single person who has approached us in regards to health care grants/referral. Our challenge is to have more people apply and get the money/support they need.
Examples of Program Success
The understanding and prompt attention that was given to us by this program was unbelievable and the program was so helpful to us after my husband, Everette DeVan, had two strokes and was unable to work for over two months. Their kindness in helping with rent and utilities made all the difference since there was no incoming financial assistance available. This program was right there when we needed them the most and I can never thank them enough of how much we appreciated them. Hopefully, they will be able to continue on with their compassion.
Everette & Gaye DeVan

The Midwest Music Foundation is a godsend.  I was to the point of financial panic that I couldn't even sleep at night.  Its amazing how people like the MMF can make such a massive difference in people's lives.  Honestly, being able to make a living as a musician in this market has its ups and downs but when an organization like yours is available to people like me when we need it at the most, when we're at our lowest point, is priceless to say the least.  I am so glad, relieved, and lucky to have had your guy's help.  I hope I can repay the debt someday.  
Aaron Thomas
Drummer, The Old No. 5's
Description MidCoast Takeover showcases Kansas City area bands annually during South by Southwest (the nation’s premier music festival) in Austin, Texas. This event creates exposure on an international level to the amazing level of talent of Kansas City area musicians. MidCoast Takeover is curated specifically to include as diverse array of musical genres as possible that best represent the current Kansas City area music scene. MMF partners with local music venues, music journalists, local radio hosts, and those active in the local musical community to select artists for this showcase. The event is sponsored mainly by Kansas City area businesses as an additional way to foster community pride.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Festivals
Population Served Adults, ,
Short-Term Success MidCoast’s success can be measured in press clippings, band feedback, and national agent feedback. Each year, MidCoast garners more favorable attention from local and national press. We have received feedback from nearly every MidCoast artist and they have described how great an experience it was for them professionally. They have had to do things they’d not yet done (put promotional materials together, go on the road, budget for expenses, street team) and gained access to people who could help them further their own musical endeavors. We measure the short term success with numbers back home as well. Attendance at shows of MidCoast bands is usually higher due to exposure at this event. We have taken great care in selecting a diverse variety of artists to act as ambassadors for the Midwest’s music scene, so the interest is spread over many genres in the community.
Long-Term Success The ultimate goal of MidCoast Takeover is to carve a spot in the national scene for Kansas City area music. Showcasing area bands with an incredible, independent show at an international music conference with top-grade sound and production says a lot to established music centers about the Midwest. One of the tenets of the Midwest Music Foundation is “Music Happens Here”. MidCoast Takeover is an annual reminder that our local music community has a wealth of amazing and diverse talent.
Program Success Monitored By One tool to measure success is attendance. Each year, the attendance of this showcase has grown. It is hard to track exact figures due to the ebb and flow at SXSW. However, each year crowds were at venue capacity for much of the event. Estimated figures are that the showcase reaches over 10,000 people representing a national and international audience. Our showcase is in direct competition with literally hundreds of other showcases and we have been able to give our audiences a high quality production featuring a diverse lineup of amazing artists. Our showcase has continually received high praise from both press and attendees. National press recognition of the event is another way we measure success. We received praise from USA Today and were voted “one of the best unofficial showcases” by Deli Mag. The Kansas City scene is being recognized for its high caliber of talent and vigor in which it’s promoted.
Examples of Program Success

"I played the acoustic stage at last year's Midcoast Takeover and it was great, to say the least. My set last year at Shangri-La led directly to a publishing/licensing placement and a few of my songs have been used on Discovery Channel and A&E. Thanks a bunch for the exposure and the support."  Tyne Darling

This is Ally...Brad Cunningham's wife. I handle a lot of his booking and this was his 4th time playing SXSW. We've done official and unofficial showcases, and MidCoast is by far one of the best events we've ever participated in at SXSW.  The venue and location are great, but the sound, stage, organization, promotion, etc are all extremely professional and it really makes the showcase shine!! We can't thank you enough!! Brad just had a simple acoustic spot, but even the sound and support he had for that was impressive. -Ally

In conjunction with the KCVLAA and Crossroads Music Festival, the MMF hosts a Legal Bootcamp for Musicians annually to educate musicians on important legal aspects of the music industry.  MMF partnered with Inter Urban Arts House to host two additional educational events for musicians focusing on promotions and other aspects of the music industry.  
More educational programming is planned for the future.   
Category Education, General/Other Extracurricular Music
Population Served Adults, ,
Short-Term Success We consider it a success each time a musician is able to pursue a full time career in music. We hope to expand educational programming in the future to give more artists the tools they need to pursue music full time. We will also collaborate with other organizations and guide musicians to resources such as Artist, Inc. that can help them further their career.   
Long-Term Success Ultimately, we want to give musicians the tools they need to make being a musician a viable career option.  As Kansas City continues to gain more attention for it's amazing music community, more and more musicians are finding success locally and nationally.  However, many musicians still struggle to make a living wage from their art. Many musicians struggle with the legal and business aspects of the industry.  We hope to educate them in these areas so they can further their careers. 
Program Success Monitored By Our success is measured by attendance at our events and the number of musicians that are able to pursue music full time.  We have struggled to increase attendance at our educational programming due to the sporadic schedules of musicians.  We will continue to work hard to increase attendance and opportunities for musicians. 
Examples of Program Success

We have had wonderful feedback from the attendees at our educational events.  We know of at least one artist that  used the information presented at our Legal Bootcamp for Musicians to help negotiate a tv licensing agreement. 

A testimonial from the MixMaster event (collaboration with InterUrban ArtHouse):
Dylan Guthrie, lead singer of local band Pink Royal, has attended the conference both years. His band has gained much success since last year’s conference, with the recent release of its album “Taps” and a show the band played at the Granada.

“I can’t even tell you how helpful [the conference] is, to me and to others,” he said. “Everyone’s scribbling down notes and networking. Everyone was incredibly friendly and open. Music and strategies for success shouldn’t be a competition, even though music, in some ways, feels competitive. What’s cool about events like this is that they bring the musical community together in this way that is mutually beneficial.” 

CEO Comments The Midwest Music Foundation serves Kansas City's community of musicians in many ways--emergency health care funds for local musicians who experience disastrous circumstances, providing business and entrepreneurial education, and raising the profile of the Kansas City music community as a whole. The MMF has succeeded resoundingly with this last aspect of its mission in large part to its tireless efforts within and beyond Kansas City.

The Midcoast Takeover, a popular and acclaimed unofficial showcase at internationally renowned music and technology festival South By Southwest, has become the flagship event for the Midwest Music Foundation. The Midcoast Takeover began as a two-day showcase amidst the sea of activity that descends annually upon Austin, Texas, seeking to provide a platform for roughly two dozen bands and artists hailing from Kansas City, Lawrence and the Midwestern region. It has grown tremendously over the past four years, expanding in 2013 to a four-day showcase with two stages supporting nearly one hundred bands from Kansas City, Lawrence, the greater Midwest and from all over North America.

The tipping point of interest and influence for the showcase occurred last year with a profile piece in Mike Snyder'sUSA TodaySXSW coverage, featuring an interview with myself and mentions of the showcase and several Kansas City bands. The national coverage continued this year with a feature inThe New York Timeson St. Joseph's band of young brothers, Radkey, and more mentions in other national publications. Most of all, the professional execution of the MMF's crew of organizers, sound engineers, and volunteers inspired the kind of glowing word-of-mouth testimony that turned The Midcoast Takeover into one of the most attended unofficial showcases at SXSW, with lines of patrons waiting to enter each night.

The ability of an organization to fulfill its mission rests largely upon the size of the platform from which it communicates. With programming like The Midcoast Takeover and the numerous fundraisers, workshops, philanthropic benefit shows, and concerts it produces each year, the Midwest Music Foundation is becoming an ever-stronger ambassador of the music community and the sustainability of its members as vital parts of the economy in Kansas City and beyond. The Midwest Music Foundation's efforts should be rewarded with greater financial and civic support so that its influence and capacity to serve can continue to grow.
Vi Tran
Singer-songwriter, bandleader, actor, and arts advocate
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Rhonda Lyne
Term Start Apr 2014
  • Director of Fundraising 2009-2013
  • Director of Development 2013-2014
Former CEOs
Abigail Henderson Aug 2010 - Aug 2013
Angela Lupton Aug 2013 - Apr 2014
Senior Staff
Title Artist Relations/Promotions
Title Web Adminstator/Promotions Assistant
Title Editor Deli Magazine/Social Media
Title Production Assistant
Title Director of Development
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Paid Contractors 6
Volunteers 75
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 4
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 3
Male 2
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Scott Easterday
Company Affiliation Musician, Producer
Term June 2016 to June 2018
Email scott@midwestmusicfound.org
Board Members
Eric Barton Wagstaff & Cartmell LLP
Scott Easterday Musician, Producer
Allen Greiner M.D.University of Kansas Medical Center
Amber Hulet FCS Financial
Camry Ivory Musician, Audiovisual Artist
Christopher Meck Musician and CM2 Audio
Garrett Nordstrom Musician and Birdsway Productions
Kait Perry MPHAmerican Academy of Family Physicians
Ellen Sherman Event Coordinator
Vi Tran Musician and Buffalo Room
Terry S. Uhl Uhl Engineering, Inc.
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2018
Projected Revenue $80,000
Projected Expenses $70,000
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990-EZ.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$84,479$48,939$51,461
Administration Expense$400$13,276$6,975
Fundraising Expense$423$0$0
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.081.111.10
Program Expense/Total Expenses99%79%88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$60,769$54,181$47,566
Current Assets$60,769$54,181$47,566
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$60,769$54,181$47,566
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountJackson County Outside Agency Fund $20,000 --Boulevard Brewery $6,500
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountBlue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City $5,000 --Liquid 9 $5,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --The Bridge, KCPT $4,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Other Documents
Brochure Page 12018View
Brochure Page 22018View
Organization Name Midwest Music Foundation, Inc.
Address 532 Troost
Kansas City, MO 64106
Primary Phone (816) 830-0382
CEO/Executive Director Rhonda Lyne
Board Chair Scott Easterday
Board Chair Company Affiliation Musician, Producer
Year of Incorporation 2009