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Musicians get money after pandemic struggles

Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison spoke to entertainers in Lackawanna County receiving funds about what it means to them.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Grant money was distributed on Friday to musicians and entertainers in Lackawanna County who struggled during the pandemic.

Lackawanna County began taking applications in August from musicians or entertainers who have suffered a loss of income from the pandemic. No events meant no performances. The county had federal funds available to give each artist between $10,000 and $25,000 in relief.

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"I was just grateful to find out about it because just to know that that was something that is kind of needed in the community, like an appreciation and value for the arts, gives me hope that we're going to get through this," said musician Mark Woodyatt.

"I thought it was just something really amazing for them to offer musicians who really had no outlet during the pandemic to have to perform or to express sometimes," Rachel Woodworth said.

The county awarded 71 musicians and entertainers the grant money, totaling just shy of $1 million.

Woodworth, who goes by Little Star Run, said when she applied for the funding, she wasn't sure if she would get any and was thrilled when she heard help was coming her way.

"This is going to help me tremendously to get my music back up off the ground. It felt like it wasn't really progressing, you know, during the pandemic, just in different ways."

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"I see people out there in the last year, my colleagues, who are in this business and, and we had nothing," said E.J. Dougher, known as EJ the DJ. "We had zero people couldn't get together, but we're back. We're back, and we're back 100 percent strong."

Most of the 71 artists receiving this money will be performing in a free concert at Montage Mountain on May 14.

Click here for the complete list of grants from Lackawanna County.