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American Family Institute, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor Offering Emergency Response Program for Artists through Backline

Mag Rodriguez

American Family Institute, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor Offering Emergency Response Program for Artists through Backline

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor today announced a partnership to run an emergency two-week virtual program for musicians affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This free program is an extension of the Backline program currently offered in Milwaukee through a partnership between the organizations and other donors in the community. 

“We are honored to provide continued support to the creative community. Their dedication to Milwaukee, including its youth, is incentive for us to ensure they receive financial and social support during this challenging time,” says Nyra Jordan, Social Impact Investment Director from the American Family Institute.

Starting April 6 and running through April 17, The Institute, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor will offer a two-week virtual accelerator program designed to help musicians identify, understand and secure resources to withstand the current crisis. Artists wishing to enroll in the Emergency Response Program are requested to visit to register. The registration deadline is Sunday, April 5 at 11:59pm CT. The number of office hour slots will be limited to 75 and made available to individuals who register for the webinars on a first-come, first-served basis. Webinars will happen on each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the program and last for one hour. 

As a part of the program, participants will be invited to lunchtime webinars presented by experts in the following topics:

  • Step-by-step process of determining eligibility, applying for financial support from various organizations and navigating the opportunities in the virtual music industry;
  • Mental health and wellness resources; 
  • Instagram’s Head of Music will go over Instagram’s response to COVID-19 and best practices for artists; 
  • Music administration; 
  • Upkeeping a digital presence; 
  • Personal finance management; 
  • Listening sessions with producers, songwriters, managers and A&Rs. 

In addition to the weekly webinars, the ERP will include dedicated, daily office hours for artists to virtually meet with Backline team members. The goal of the office hours is to help artists identify, understand, and engage with resources to help them during the COVID-19 crisis. Each artist is currently dealing with different struggles due to the crisis, so the Backline team will be working one-on-one with each individual to address these specific issues. 

The Institute, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor will also work with community groups interested in providing pro bono resources to artists as additional virtual office hours around mental health. 

“Artists are the lifeblood of culture. They’re also entrepreneurs and small business owners and will need access to resources to sustain their livelihoods during these unprecedented circumstances,” said Mag Rodriguez, Director of Backline Milwaukee. 


About Backline

Backline’s 12-week grant accelerator program provides coaching, mentoring, industry networking, and grants to cohorts of three or four musicians and/or bands. Each participant of the program receives a $20,000 budget grant. The Backline program is free to artists and takes no residuals, royalties, or revenue share.  

About The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact 

The Institute is a venture capital firm and partner of choice for exceptional entrepreneurs who are building scalable, sustainable businesses in a long-term effort to close equity gaps in America.

The Institute invests in companies working to provide economic opportunity for all, to build resilient communities, to create healthy youth development and to increase learning and academic achievement. It is based in Madison, Wisconsin and can be found on

About 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

A non-profit, community-funded radio station, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee (WYMS-FM 88.9) has focused on supporting Milwaukee musicians since its 2007 launch. The station plays at least one Milwaukee artist per hour, recognizes Milwaukee music through its Milwaukee Music Awards, broadcasts a live weekly session with a Milwaukee band and spins Milwaukee music 

24/7 on, via its HD2 broadcast radio channel and on mobile and online streams. Learn about 88Nine and stream the station at or via the 88Nine mobile app.

About gener8tor

gener8tor is a turnkey platform for the creative economy that connects entrepreneurs (startup founders, artists, and musicians), investors, universities and corporations. The gener8tor platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, corporate programming, conferences, and fellowships.

gener8tor is a nationally-ranked, GOLD-tier accelerator in the U.S. as ranked by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project:

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NGL and its employees donate $75,000 to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin

The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) was as surprising to National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL) as it was to most people and businesses throughout Madison and the entire nation. The majority of NGL’s 350 plus employees worked in the office. But within the course of a weekend and two business days, nearly everyone was transitioned to work from home.

NGL continues to keep its employees and the community a top priority. Knowing that many people are concerned not only for their health and safety but also worried about how they will survive financially, the leadership team at NGL decided to give back and support Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.

The generous donation of $75,000 from NGL and its employees will help to provide 225,000 meals to people in the community. NGL is a longtime donor and proud to support Second Harvest, an organization committed to ending hunger. 

This is a stressful time, many people have children at home, elderly parents, family members at-risk and are concerned for their own health and safety. There is so much happening right now, being worried about where your next meal will come from shouldn’t be an issue. We are all in this together, and nobody should go hungry. With our contribution we hope those in our community receive the resources needed to keep their spirits up and remain healthy,” shared Knut Olson, NGL President & CEO.

Second Harvest will be creating care boxes for families impacted by coronavirus in southern Wisconsin. Second Harvest anticipates it will need to create 100,000 care boxes to families struggling with hunger after the closures of schools and businesses.

“As a result of unprecedented times, Second Harvest is having to take unprecedented measures to make sure the needs of those struggling with hunger are met,” said Second Harvest President & CEO Michelle Orge. “We are honored and grateful that National Guardian Life Insurance Company has put their trust in us to meet their desire to help the community through these trying times. It is through meaningful partnerships like this that we, collectively, will come out stronger in the end.”

About NGL

Established in 1909 National Guardian Life Insurance Company is an insurance company headquartered in Madison, Wis. Licensed to do business in 49 states and the District of Columbia, NGL markets preneed and individual life and annuities, as well as group markets products. Information about NGL can be found at; Facebook: and LinkedIn:

About Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin

Since 1986 Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin has put more than 100 million meals on the tables of the 1 in 10 who are facing hunger in southwestern Wisconsin. Learn more at:

National Guardian Life Insurance Company is not affiliated with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America a/k/a The Guardian or Guardian Life.


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Timpano Consulting: Virtual Q&A for Nonprofits

Timpano Consulting is hosting a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, March 31 at 1PM CT to offer perspective and share insights about navigating the crisis.

Experienced advisors will field your questions for whatever is on your mind when it comes to moving your nonprofit forward through these unprecedented times.

Register for the free session at

Questions can be submit with registration or at

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Timpano Consulting: Free strategy sessions available to nonprofit leaders

Timpano Consulting is offering free strategy sessions for nonprofit leaders needing support as they work through their responses to the pandemic.

Benefit from Chief Strategist Melanie Schmidt’s vast experiences and breadth of expertise to devise strategies for continuing to advance their work through these challenging times.

Sessions are up to 45 minutes and can be scheduled online at through April 6, 2020.

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LIFT Consulting/Automation Arts: How to Manage a Remote Workforce

There are unique challenges in managing a remote workforce. Questions that we often hear are:

–What is the most effective way to communicate with a remote workforce?
–What technology platforms are best to use and why?
–How frequently should I check-in with my employees?
–How do I manage employees’ productivity?
–How do I manage team meetings?
–How do I get employees to work together as a team?

Matthew Pletzer, CEO of LIFT Consulting, and Shaun Trudell, President of Automation Arts, will answer these questions and provide valuable tips and strategies for prospering while managing a remote workforce.

Join us for a free webinar focused on helping you navigate managing a remote workforce: