Arielle Silver ’16

Arielle Silver sitting on wooden steps

Arielle Silver ’16 (Los Angeles, MFA), adjunct faculty in the Los Angeles Undergraduate Studies Department, joined the team at The SONA Foundation, which develops programs, resources, and grants to support songwriters’ mental health, financial wellness, and career development. 

The SONA Foundation is the sibling organization to Songwriters of North America (SONA), which has been a powerful force for songwriters and music creators in lobbying Congress to bring about legislative changes in order to modernize how songwriters get paid in the era of digital streaming. Formed by a small group of songwriters in lieu of the legal right to organize a union and collectively bargain for fair pay and workplace practices, SONA envisions a better life and career trajectory in the modern digital-streaming world for the music creators who are the backbone of the music industry. 

The SONA Foundation developed out of growing awareness that while songwriters need industry-wide advocacy, they also need personal support. Earlier this spring, The SONA Foundation launched a partnership with City National Bank with Music and Money, a four-part series on financials for songwriters. Launched in May for Mental Health Awareness month and continuing through June Pride and beyond, SONA Foundation teamed up with for a series of live-on-Zoom conversations with songwriters and Backline clinicians talking about mental health challenges for songwriters from the studio to the stage. Coming soon are two grant-based initiatives: The Songwriter Fund, an emergency grant which to date has provided more than $250,000 directly to music creators and will be relaunched later this year, and a mental health grant, which will provide funding and access to therapy for songwriters.

Silver is a performing songwriter. She currently serves as President of the Folk Alliance Region-West Board of Directors and is co-owner and teacher at Bhavana Flow Yoga. Her fifth studio album, Watershed, will be released later this year.