Songwriter Louisa Branscomb offers help for hurricane victims

Award-winning songwriter Louisa Branscomb is stepping up to help musicians and music lovers in Southport, NC, a coastal town that was ravaged by Hurricane Florence.

Branscomb got to know many area residents when her non-profit organization, ScreenDoor Songwriter Alliance, hosted an annual songwriting festival and music-in-the-schools programs in the small town.

Now, Screendoor is using it’s donation page on her website to collect money to help storm victims recover. “This is one little thing that I can do,” she said. “Musicians are generous. We should help musicians.”

All funds will be given to musicians or festival volunteers who submit a letter of need and proof of damage or loss, Branscomb said.

In addition to property damage, the area’s infrastructure took a beating that will result in months of repairs. It could be a long time until the area is back to some semblance of normal. 

The idea came to Branscomb while she attended AmericanaFest last week in Nashville, but in a way it also grew out of her own wrenching experience as the victim of a natural disaster. In 2011, she suffered heavy damage and losses from a tornado at Woodsong Farm in northern Georgia.

“It can get a bit lonely,” she said, and insurance payments can take a long time and don’t cover everything. “I thought, ‘I know what it’s like, so why don’t I do something concrete.’”

The idea was quickly embraced by Screendoor’s board.

Donors who use the PayPal link on her website should type Southport Fund in the optional message box. Include a mailing address to receive a tax-deductible gift receipt. Those who wish to contribute via personal check should email for instructions.

Below is a video that Louisa received from Marlon Morgan, who worked on her staff at the songwriting festival for three years. The video shows the only road in and out of the place where he lives, where his roof was blown off by the storm.

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About the Author

David Morris

David Morris, an award-winning songwriter and journalist, has written for Bluegrass Today since its inception. He joined its predecessor, The Bluegrass Blog, in 2010. His 40-year career in journalism included more than 13 years with The Associated Press, a stint as chief White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, and several top editing jobs in Washington, D.C. He is a life member of IBMA and the DC Bluegrass Union. He and co-writers won the bluegrass category in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2015.