NEW ORLEANS— Even during a pandemic, music is made in our city as a remedy to our souls. But music makers need care and that’s where the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic has filled the bill since 1998.
Catherine Lasperches, who works on the medical side of the clinic says, “We treat everybody, but mainly musicians, artists, photographers, dancers, and Mardi Gras Indians.”
Yes, the folks that provide the culture for locals and visitors from around the world have a place to get healthcare and other needs taken care of, especially now.
Singer Ingrid Lucia said, “I can honestly tell you that I wouldn’t be alive right now if it wasn’t for them. I had my daughter- they were there and across the board. As you know being musicians, we have our little this and that, and drinking too much so there’s always a lot of care put into making sure that the mind body and spirit is adhered to.”
Bethany Bultman and her husband co-founded the clinic and after a trip to Washington in early March, they were alerted to what COVID could do and once again they sprang into action, but it wasn’t easy.
“When you have to call Mardi Gras Indians and say “I know you’ve been making that suit for a year. I know this is your whole life but please stay home because there’s something out there that can kill you,” said Bultman.
As a result of the coronavirus, the foundation has pivoted to care outside of health to include partnerships for food distribution as well.
Erica Dudas is Executive Director and she told WGNO what they were offering, “So in addition to getting a delicious butter chicken and rice from meal from the Howlin’ Wolf, we’re also delivering bags of groceries to our elders.”
Taking care of our culture bearers requires a lot, but none of this happens without an appreciation from the beneficiaries.
“We may not go back to work for another 6 months and it’s depressing. We want to work but, the clinic has been very valuable for like making sure musicians stay sane and stay encouraged,” said Lou Hill of the band Water Seed.