City of Austin Announces Grants to Support Local Musicians and Preserve Creative Spaces

AUSTIN, TX — The City of Austin Economic Development Department announces two grant programs to support and sustain local creatives and organizations facing extreme hardships due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund is a $1.5 million fund that will provide $1,000 grants to Austin’s most vulnerable musicians for their immediate emergency needs
  • Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program is a $1 million fund that will provide grants up to $50,000 to organizations and independent artists facing displacement and difficulty paying rent for their commercial creative spaces.

“Austin is recognized for the creativity of our arts and music industries. These artists, musicians, and creative spaces have faced displacement and loss of income with increasing hardships,” notes Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, Acting Director for the City of Austin Economic Development Department. “As directed by Austin City Council, these two emergency grants – the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund and the Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program – will provide funding to our most vulnerable creatives in Austin.”


Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund

The Austin City Council approved Ordinance No. 20200423-067 on April 23, 2020 to designate $1.5 million for the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund. Musicians that experienced an economic hardship due to COVID-19 may apply for a $1,000 grant to cover immediate emergency needs. The Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund application will be live and accepting eligible submissions through the MusiCares Foundation on a first-come first-served basis starting on Monday, June 8th, 10am CST.

Austin musicians are encouraged to prepare their answers and documentation in advance by reviewing the checklist prior to the launch date. Visit ATXrecovers.com to preview program guidelines, eligibility requirements, and a checklist of application questions.

As part of an existing partnership with the City of Austin, the Austin Music Foundation will provide consultation to potential applicants needing help preparing documentation for the application. City staff is also working with additional local community organizations and music industry leaders to help promote the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund. These efforts will ensure the most vulnerable musicians are aware of the opportunity and are prepared to apply once the application is live June 8.

These limited dollars are focused on the most vulnerable musicians in Austin, defined as those with two months or less in living expenses currently available. Those not eligible to apply are encouraged to connect with helpful resources and opportunities at ATXrecovers.com. Austin musicians who have already received a grant from the “MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund” are not eligible to apply.


Application Preview:

Wednesday, May 27 – Sunday, June 7
Application Opens:

Monday, June 8, 10:00 a.m. CST
Application Closes *UPDATED 6/12*

Monday, June 29, 2020, 5:00 p.m. CST

For more information, including guidelines and eligibility questions, visit ATXrecovers.com or email MusicDisasterRelief@austintexas.gov or call 512-978-7769.



Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program

The Austin City Council approved Resolution No. 20200423-040 on April 23, 2020 to provide $1 million for the Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program. This grant will provide direct support to for-profit live music venues, performance spaces, art galleries, arts-focused nonprofits and individual artists facing temporary or permanent displacement.

Applicants may apply for up to $50,000 toward unpaid commercial rent and to defray rent hikes, property acquisition costs, or other space-related needs such as facility improvements or relocation-related expenditures. A Grant Review Committee comprised of public and private sector leaders in the arts, banking, and real estate sectors established by a Joint Working Group of the Music and Arts Commissions will evaluate the applications and make final recommendations for awards. The grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, and priority will be given to organizations or individuals confronting immediate and critical needs. Organizations serving historically underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.


Application Opens:

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 1:00 p.m. CST

Submit Eligibility for Rent Stipend Application

Submit Eligibility for Other Space-related Needs


Virtual Information Meeting:

Tuesday, June 9, 2020, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. CST
Free to Register for the Virtual Information Meeting which will review grant program guidelines and application questions for the Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program. Opportunity for questions and answers.


Application Closes:

Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 5:00 p.m. CST
Grant Awardees Announced:

Week of June 29, 2020

For more information, including guidelines and eligibility visit ATXrecovers.com or email CreativeSpaceRelief@austintexas.gov or call 512-974-7806.




About the City of Austin Economic Development Department

The City of Austin Economic Development Department supports business growth, creative industries, and local communities. These programs build an equitable, sustainable economy to improve the lives of all Austin residents. To learn more about helpful resources, visit www.austintexas.gov/edd and follow @econvitalityatx on Twitter.

Read the original press release here.

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