The City of Austin is no longer accepting applications for the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund. The deadline for submission expired on June 26, 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. 

 


 

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. These grants are for Austin’s most vulnerable musicians experiencing economic hardship. Eligible local musicians must be able to demonstrate income loss due to the COVID-19 global pandemic to apply for a $1,000 grant.

 

Checklist
  • Personal Contact Information 
     
  • City of Austin Council District of Verified Home Address 
     
  • Average Monthly Household Income 
     
  • Are you receiving Unemployment? Weekly Amount? 
     
  • Average Monthly Household Expenses? 
     
  • Do you have more than two months living expenses available today? - Upload most recent bank statements 
     
  • Annual Income from music activities last year? 
     
  • Are you a member of any organizations? - Include Membership Numbers Optional Question 
     
  • Professional Career History – How many years you have been performing in the music industry? Instrument/Performance Process? Primary Genre? 
     
  • Brief Work History as a Musician/Performer in the Music Industry – Include any commercially released recordings and/or videos, if applicable 
     
  • Are you currently employed outside the music industry? If yes, where? 
     
  • Briefly describe how you were affected financially by COVID-19? 

 

The following required items will accompany completed applications: 

  • Documentation of loss of income (copy of your contract, flyers or links to event sites listing your involvement in the canceled event, letter/email from employer identifying cancellation, etc). 
     
  • Detailed music industry background documentation (articles, liner notes, letters from employers, etc). 
     
  • A biography, resume, discography, key songs or film/TV credits 
Eligible Applicants

Eligible Applicants must have a verified home address in a City of Austin Council district.

Applicants must document their participation as a professional Austin musician in at least one of the following ways: 

  • At least 2 years of documentation showing that Applicant has regularly performed as a professional musician—solo or as part of a band—*in studio recordings or live performances to public audiences in Austin, Texas, or
     
  • 6 released recordings (singles), or
     
  • 6 promotionally released music videos 

 

*Updated for clarification on May 28, 2020

Ineligible Applicants
  • Austin musicians who have already received a grant from the Musicares COVID-19 Relief Fund
     
  • Musicians with more than 2 months living expenses available today will not be considered (bank statements or other documentation will be required for verification). 
     
  • Home address is not located in a City of Austin Council District 

Frequently Asked Questions

Español PDF

Why must two months of income be noted? Is this with consideration for a debt, future losses, unemployment benefits, joint checking accounts and savings?

It is important to make notation of your circumstances in your application. There is not a specific number or financial circumstance that will immediately disqualify you from receiving a grant, each application will be individually reviewed by The Musicares Foundation to determine eligibility.

*Added for clarification on June 3, 2020

I already received a Musicares COVID-19 grant, why can't I apply for the Austin Music Disaster Relief grant?

This determination was made by the City of Austin and The Musicares Foundation with consideration for the nationwide list of Musicares applicants, including those in Austin, who have already received a grant and the most vulnerable Austin musicians who have an immediate need.

*Added for clarification on June 3, 2020

Why is this fund only provided for musicians?

The Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund, per City Council Ordinance No. 20200423-067, allocates $1.5 million dollars in emergency reserves specifically to musicians.

*Added for clarification on June 3, 2020

Why must a musician live within the 10 districts of the City of Austin to receive a grant?

Funds were allocated for the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund for citizens of Austin, of which the Austin City Council is allowed to geographically govern.

*Added for clarification on June 3, 2020

What qualifies as a “released song”, does an original song released on Soundcloud count as a release?

Yes, songs released on Soundcloud, iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, and other audio distribution outlets will be acceptable as audio releases.

*Added for clarification on June 3, 2020

Does a letter from someone in a band in which you’ve played live gigs for two years suffice for the 2 years documentation requirement?

Yes, a letter confirming employment from a band leader, live music venue or other employer is among the items that can be included in your supporting documents in your application.

*Added for clarification on June 3, 2020

Who is eligible to receive funds from the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund?

At least 2 years of documentation showing that Applicant has regularly performed as a professional musician—solo or as part of a band—*in studio recordings or live performances to public audiences in Austin, Texas, or 6 released recordings (singles), or 6 promotionally released music videos are eligible to receive funds.

*Updated for clarification on May 29, 2020

Who is considered Austin’s “most vulnerable musicians”?

Any Austin musician who meets the minimum eligibility criteria and who has less than 2 months living expenses available today (bank statements or other documentation will be required for verification).

Can individual members of bands apply to receive the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund grant?

Yes, any Austin musician who meets the minimum eligibility criteria may qualify to receive funding as long as they regularly perform—solo or as part of a group—in live performances to public audiences in Austin, Texas, that are advertised and promoted to the greater Austin community. Examples of eligible musicians include backup singers, DJs, drummers, singer/songwriters, drag performers, etc-- anyone on stage performing for a public audience as part of musical performances.

How will the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund applications be reviewed and approved? 

Applications will be received, sorted by identifying question to determine immediate need, and then processed for on a first-come, first-serve basis as time-stamped at completed application submittal. 

Do I need to be a member of a music trade organization to be eligible for the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund grant? 

No, memberships are not required. Working musicians who meet the eligibility requirements can submit an application. Applicants who are members of various trade organizations may enter that information on the application. This information will only be used for reporting purposes.

Do I need to repay the dollars received through the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund?

No, the awardee does not need to pay back grant funds to the City of Austin.

Are grant funds considered taxable income?

No, cash grants and are not classified as income. 

Can I apply for a grant for multiple members of my band? 

No, all musicians must individually apply for a cash grant.

 

MusiCares

 

 

 

The Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund application is accepting eligible submissions through the MusiCares Foundation.

MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly influence the health and welfare of the music community.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nzW2lZjjLZ0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>