Backline & Neal Casal Music Foundation Announce 2024 Fellowship

Article Contributed by Calabro Music Media | Published on Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Backline and the Neal Casal Music Foundation have announced The Neal Casal Fellowship for 2024. After a successful inaugural year, the second annual fellowship will continue this unique opportunity to work with Backline, a non-profit organization focused on providing customized mental health and wellness resources to the music industry and their families.

The Neal Casal Fellow will again support Backline’s long-term clinical strategy, working alongside Backline’s Clinical Director and key partners to build programming to support the real-time needs of the music industry. This is a paid position, with a weekly time requirement of 10 hours per week.

Qualifications for the position include: completing or has completed a Master’s Degree in Counseling, Psychology, or Social Work and currently enrolled in accredited Counseling/Social Work Program. Knowledge and/or experience working within the music industry preferred, but not required.

"Part of our origin story will always be tied to Neal Casal's life and legacy, but the creation of the Neal Casal Clinical Fellowship has allowed us to realize the impact of this legacy in a way that allows our organization to grow sustainably, clinically, and community-wide," says Backline's Executive Director and Co-Founder Hilary Gleason. "The first year of the Fellowship was incredibly beneficial to our inner workings, and we are thrilled to announce that we are now accepting applications for the second year!"

“Supporting Backline’s mission through the Neal Casal Clinical Fellowship this past year has been a unique and meaningful experience. The fellowship allowed me to use my clinical experience to help solve problems and support Backline’s growth. It provided space to offer my perspective and creativity to projects that align with my passions. And it stretched me to take on tasks I’ve never done before, building trust in my approach and strengthening my love of collaboration. A highlight has been working with a team of kind, creative, and dedicated folks who are really good at what they do,” adds Carrie Ann Fleming who was Backline's 2023 Fellow.

Applications are now open here.

Further towards the Neal Casal Music Foundation and Backline's joint mission, last week, Tyler Ramsey shared “Flare (for Neal Casal)” the second song to be released off his forthcoming album New Lost Ages, due out February 9, 2024 via Soundly Music. The new track was written after Ramsey’s hearing of Casal’s passing and addresses the complexities that those struggling with mental health issues face.

"Sometimes people need help and they never ask for it,” says Ramsey. “And other times people send signals out, but those of us that might see them don’t know what to do to help. It captures an echo of the isolating and difficult feelings many struggle with and extends a hand, saying, you are not alone wandering gracefully across musical landscapes to free minds and souls through the undulating cadence of folk, rock and indie inclinations.”

About Neal Casal:
Neal Casal was a multi-dimensional artist with a 30-plus year career spent as a songwriter, singer, guitarist, solo artist and band member, record producer, photographer, and friend. Neal tragically took his own life on August 26, 2019 at the age of 50.

In the wake of this loss, the Neal Casal Music Foundation (NCMF) was formed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2020 to honor Neal's memory. Along with preserving his artistic legacy, the NCMF provides musical instruments and lessons to students in New Jersey and New York state schools where Neal was born and raised, as well as donating to mental health organizations that support musicians in need.

About Backline:
Backline is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides mental health and wellness resources to the music industry and their families.

Backline connects music industry professionals and their families with mental health and wellness resources—streamlining access to a network of trusted organizations and care providers that understand this line of work. They’re a critical connector for touring professionals who often lack the resources they need to address mental health and wellness needs.

Backline offers a free Case Management program, as well as support groups, workshops, meditation, breathwork, yoga, and other virtual experiences to support the music industry.