The City of Austin is no longer accepting applications for the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant. The deadline for submission expired on August 28, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

We are in the process of reviewing all applications submitted, and we are exploring how we can use additional federal and local funds to offer additional assistance for small businesses, start-up companies, entrepreneurs, creatives, and non-profit organizations. 

Find helpful resources: 

  • City of Austin's ATXRecovers.com - A one-stop resource to help businesses and individuals recover from the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the Musician & Artist section that includes services to help musicians and artists that are recovering from economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find resources related to funding, unemployment assistance, legal aid, consulting help, and more. 

  • Economic Development Department’s Small Business Resources Directory - Database of local, state, federal, and community resources. Filter by “Disaster Relief” to find immediate support for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

View larger version of Program Metrics


The Austin City Council approved Resolution No. 20200604-040 on June 4, 2020 to designate $3.5 million for the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant. The Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant provides immediate and equitably-focused grants to individual creatives and industry support staff in Austin. Applicants may apply for a $2,000 grant toward rent, bills, groceries, and other eligible COVID-19 related expenses. 

Musicians who already received a grant from the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund may still apply for an Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant, but they are only eligible for a $1,000 grant. 

 

For Technical Support and Application Status:

Austin Better Business Bureau

Email: CreativeWorkerGrant@austin.bbb.org

Call: 512-318-2683

 

Creative Worker Disciplines and Industries

For purposes of the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant, “creative worker” is defined as an individual whose current or primary occupation is or has been within culture, arts, heritage, or preservation.

This can include, but is not limited to, artists working in the creative sector (i.e. musicians, actors, dancers, sculptors, etc.) and staff and associated personnel working in organizations within the creative sector (i.e. curators, sound designers, light technicians, etc.).  

 

Disciplines include: 

  • Animation 
  • Architecture 
  • Ceramics 
  • Comedy or Improv 
  • Dance/Choreography 
  • Fashion Design 
  • Film/TV 
  • Folk and Traditional Art 
  • Furniture Design 
  • Gaming 
  • Graphic Design 
  • Healing Arts/Arts Therapy 
  • Heritage and Historic Preservation 
  • Installation or Public Art 
  • Jewelry Design 
  • Literary Arts 
  • Metalworking 
  • Music/Music Composition/Music Industry  
  • New Media, Tech, Digital Arts 
  • Painting, Illustration 
  • Performing/Theatre Arts 
  • Photography 
  • Printmaking 
  • Radio 
  • Sculpture 
  • Textile/Fiber Arts 
  • Web-based Content Production 
  • Woodworking 
  • Other (please list)
Scoring

Every application will be evaluated against a scoring matrix that includes criteria for economic vulnerability and equity. Half of the program funds will be allocated to applicants that score the highest according to the Application Scoring Matrix. The remaining half will be awarded by lottery among eligible applicants. Individuals from historically marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply.

 

Application Scoring Matrix

Category Criteria Available Points
Equity
  • Race/Ethnicity 
  • Gender 
  • LGBTQIA 
  • Transgender 
  • Disability 
25
Vulnerability
  • Ability to work during the City of Austin’s Stay Home-Work Safe Orders 
  • Average wages/earnings for one year 
10
Informational Webinars

Recorded Informational Webinar:

Application Preview

Revisión preliminar de la solicitud 

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معاينة الطلب

 

  • What is your full legal name? 
  • What is your street address and zip code? (No P.O. Box) 
  • What is your mailing address and zip code, if different from your street address? 
  • What is your email address? 
  • What is your phone number? 
  • What is your age? 
  • What is your date of birth? 
  • What is your gender? 
  • Do you self-identify as transgender? 
  • What are your preferred pronouns? 
  • What is your race or ethnicity? 
  • Do you identify as a member of the LGBTQIA community? 
  • Do you identify as a member of the disability community? 
  • Which Council District do you live in? Look up your council district by address here: City of Austin Council District Council District 
  • Which of the following would you consider as your primary artistic discipline? 
  • How long have you been an active creative worker in Austin? 
  • Please indicate your annual household earnings/wages, after taxes. 
  • Have you been able to work during the City of Austin’s Stay Home-Work Safe Orders between March 24, 2020 and June 15, 2020?

 

Notional Eligible Expense Form 

How will this grant potentially support you? 

The $2,000 grant is intended to offset expenses between March 1, 2020 and August 17, 2020. Please use the table below to show how the $2,000 grant will impact you. All rows do not have to be filled out. For an example, you might put $1,000 for rent payment, $500 for food, and $500 for medical expenses.  

You do not have to supply documentation/receipts at this time. If there is an audit of the grant, we will require proof of eligible payments offset by this grant.  

If you are only eligible for a $1,000 grant because you already received a grant through the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund, you only need to show an expense breakdown for $1,000. 

 

Eligible Expense Expense Incurred
(3/1/20 - 8/17/20)
Rent/mortgage  
Food and other necessities  
Non-recovered costs from canceled events  
Inventory/supplies for artistic practice  
Insurance/medical expenses  
Personal protective equipment (PPE)/sanitation supplies   
Other (please describe):   

 

Required Documentation 

Please upload a biography, resume, discography, portfolio, curriculum vitae, or other type of documentation that demonstrates active participation in the creative sector in Austin during the past two years. Acceptable file formats include: doc, docx, pdf, jpg, png, xls.

Eligible Applicants
  • Must have a verified home address in a City of Austin Council district  
  • Artists working in the creative sector (i.e. musicians, actors, dancers, sculptors, etc.) and staff and associated personnel working within the creative sector (i.e. curators, sound designers, light technicians, etc.).   
  • Individuals over 18 years old 
Ineligible Applicants
  • Arts organization board members who have no other creative sector activity 
  • Individual creative sector workers who have not been active during the past two years 
  • Individuals under 18 years old on the date of the application  
  • Permanent, full-time City of Austin employees 
  • Members of any City of Austin Commissioner or Board  
  • Individuals who reside outside an Austin City Council District 
Expenses: Eligible and Ineligible

Eligible Expenses:  

These funds are to offset eligible expense made between March 1, 2020 and August 17, 2020. 

  • Rent/mortgage 
  • Food and other necessities  
  • Non-recovered expenses from canceled events  
  • Inventory/supplies for artistic practice  
  • Insurance/medical expenses   
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation supplies 

 

Ineligible Expenses: 

  • Costs incurred prior to March 1, 2020  
  • Expenses paid by other grants or loans 
  • Lost income from cancelled events 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Preguntas Frecuentes

Các Thắc Mắc Thường Gặp

常见问题常見問題

الأسئلة المتداولة

Do I need to repay money received through the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant?

No. You do not need to repay money received from the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant. 

How much funding can I request?

Most applicants can request $2,000. If you already received a grant from the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund, you can request $1,000 from this program.  

Is there a matching funds requirement?

No. There is not a matching funds requirement for the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant.

Are eligible creative workers guaranteed to receive funds?

No. Due to widespread need, the City anticipates requests for aid will surpass the $3.5 million allocated to the program.  

How will the grant recipients be selected?

Every application will be evaluated against a scoring matrix that includes criteria for economic vulnerability and equity. Half of the program funds will be allocated to applicants that score the highest according to the matrix below. The remaining half will be awarded by lottery among eligible applicants. Individuals from historically marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply. 

Category Criteria Available Points
Equity
  • Race/Ethnicity 
  • Gender 
  • LGBTQIA 
  • Transgender 
  • Disability 
25
Vulnerability
  • Ability to work during the City of Austin’s Stay Home-Work Safe Orders 
  • Average wages/earnings for one year 
10

 

What are my next steps after I submit my grant application?

Once you submit your application, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application. After the application window closes, the Austin Better Business Bureau will notify eligible applicants of their award status in approximately 10 business days.   

Will I get confirmation that my application has been received?

You will receive a confirmation email confirming receipt of your application.

How will I receive funds from the City of Austin if selected for the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant?

The Austin Better Business Bureau will send funds by check or electronic transfers. Factors that might affect this timeline include the volume of grants being processed and the delivery timing of the United States Postal Service.

What should I do if I am having technical difficulties with the application? 

Please contact Austin Better Business Bureau at CreativeWorkerGrant@austin.bbb.org or 512-318-2683.

Do I need to attend a pre-application meeting before applying?

No. You do not need to attend a pre-application meeting before applying. However, you are encouraged to attend an informational webinar about the program or watch the video recording. A list of informational webinars is located at the top of this page. 

What are the reporting requirements for the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant?

The application requires creative workers to complete a Notional Eligible Expense Form to document eligible expenses for reimbursement. You do not have to supply documentation (e.g. receipts) with your application. If there is an audit of the grant, we will require proof of eligible payments offset by this grant.  

Am I eligible to apply if I receive Cultural Funding from the City of Austin?  

Yes. You may apply for the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant if you receive Cultural Funding from the City of Austin because the programs are funded through different sources.

Am I eligible to apply if I received funding from other City of Austin COVID-19 programs?

Yes. You may apply for the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant if you received funding from other City of Austin COVID-19 programs. If you have received a grant through the Austin Music Disaster Relief Grant, you will only be eligible for $1,000 from this grant.

Does this City of Austin grant affect forgivability of any federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds that were received from the U.S. Small Business Administration?

No. Receiving funds from the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant will not affect the forgivability of federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds. 

Is this application available in multiple languages? 

Yes. This application is available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Is this a one-time payment?

The Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant is a one-time payment.  

Are there various milestones that must be achieved to receive funds from the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant?

No. There are no milestone requirements to receive a grant from this program.

What restrictions will be placed on the funds granted?

These funds offset eligible payments made between March 1, 2020 and August 17, 2020.

What are the date ranges for eligible expenses?

March 1, 2020 – August 17, 2020

Are early applicants given any priority in allocations?

No. The Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant is not a first come-first serve program.

Can reimbursements be submitted for taxes?

No. Funding for this program cannot be used to reimburse taxes.

I am not an artist, but I work at a venue. Am I eligible?

Creative Workers from Live Music Venues; Performance Venues/Theaters; Museums/Art Galleries:

You are eligible to apply if you are or previously employed and/or contracted by a locally based organization that falls within one of the Economic Development Department's definitions of either a “Live Music Venue”, “Performance Venue / Theater”, or “Museum / Art Gallery”:

  • Live Music Venue: An establishment where live music programming is the principal function of the business and/or the business is a live music destination, and where the venue clearly establishes the ability of an artist to receive payment for work by percentage of sales, guarantee or other mutually beneficial formal agreement for every performance. A live music venue is a destination for live music consumers, and/or its music programming and is the primary driver of its business as indicated by the presence of at least five (5) of the following:  
    • Defined performance and audience space; 

    • Mixing desk, public address (PA) system, and lighting rig; 

    • Back line; 

    • At least two of the following: (i) sound engineer, (ii) booker, (iii) promoter, (iv) stage manager, or (v) security personnel; 

    • Charges cover charge to some music performance through ticketing or front door entrance fee; 

    • Markets specific acts through show listings in printed and electronic publications; 

    • Hours of operation coincide with performance times; or 

    • Programs live music at least five nights a week. 
       

  • Performance Venue/Theater: An Austin-based establishment whose principal function and mission is to present live performances, plays, live music, film screenings, or other performances of artistic work produced by an artist, or arts and culture organization, accessible by public audiences. 
     

  • Museum/Art Gallery: Facility whose principal function and mission is to exhibit, present, and/or sell artistic work in a variety of media produced by an artist, artist collective, or arts and culture organization, accessible by public audiences.

Do I have to provide a bank statement or receipts that show an economic loss from COVID-19?

No. You do not need to provide receipts, furlough notices, bank statements, or anything else demonstrating an economic loss at this time. As part of the application, you do have to check a box asserting and verifying that you have experienced some type of economic hardship (loss of job, reduction in hours, reduction in income, medical expenses, etc.). If there is an audit of the grant, we will require proof of eligible payments offset by this grant.

What kind of documentation should I provide to show my active status of working in Austin's creative sector?

We accept any type of documentation that demonstrates active participation in Austin's Creative Sector. You can upload up to four documents on the application portal, but one is probably all you need. Points are not associated with this application requirement, but documentation is required for eligibility. Make sure your documentation demonstrates your participation in more than one event or activity during the past two years.  

Some options for documentation may include the following:

  • Current resume/CV  
  • Current biography 
  • Screenshot/pdf of LinkedIn work history 
  • Press which demonstrates your involvement within the creative sector over the past two years 
  • Your portfolio from the past two years (screenshots, printouts, and scans are acceptable) 
  • Marketing materials which demonstrate your involvement in connection with performances, exhibitions, showings, productions, collections, or recitals over the past two years; these may be in the form of posters, graphics, or flyers from websites or social media 
  • Materials which display the works or products you have created and sold over the last two years, including but not limited to screenshots of your website or the website of another vendor which exhibits or sells your works or products 
  • Credits or liner notes from the past two years  
  • Advertising to Austin residents purchased in past two years   
  • Participation in East Austin Studio Tours (EAST) in 2018, 2019 
  • Contracts for performances, exhibitions, showings, commissions, recitals, productions, or production services during the past two years 
  • Letter from your employer or manager which states your role and involvement in the creative sector during the past two years 
  • Website screenshot of events/concert schedule with locations during the past two years