This resource page includes services to help musicians and artists that are recovering from economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Select the drop-down menus below to find resources related to funding, unemployment assistance, legal aid, consulting help, and more.
Contact the City of Austin if you have questions about this list or would like to recommend additional resources for inclusion.
- Grants and Funding
City of Austin Economic Development Department Small Business Resource Directory
The City of Austin Economic Development Department maintains list of local, state, federal and community resources for small businesses, sole proprietors and non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the Small Business Resource Directory and filter by “Disaster Relief” to find immediate support for your business or non-profit organization.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program (Reopened)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal. SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profits. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.
National Endowment for the Humanities' Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
The National Endowment for the Humanities is accepting applications for the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program, which supports projects that preserve and create access to humanities collections or produce reference resources. NEH expects to make up to 35 awards in two different categories: Foundations Projects (awards up to $50,000) and Implementation Projects (awards up to $350,000). NEH will offer an additional $10,000 to support inter-institutional planning and pilot activities. No matching is required.
To support artists during the COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of national arts grantmakers have come together to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States.
Artists' Charitable Fund
The Artists’ Charitable Fund is a small non-profit with a narrow focus of assisting painters and sculptors by paying a portion of emergency medical bills directly to the medical providers. The fund is not able to pay artists directly
Artists' Fellowship, Inc.
Artists’ Fellowship, Inc. financially assists professional visual artists and their families in times of emergency, disability or bereavement. The fund is focused on assisting qualified applicants with immediate medical emergencies or recovering from a medical emergency.
Authors League Fund Grant
The Authors League Fund helps professional writers continue their careers with dignity by providing no-strings-attached “loans” to pay for pressing expenses. Repayment of this emergency support is not required.
Austin Creative Alliance Artist Emergency Relief Fund
ACA established The Artists Emergency Relief Fund to help artists in Greater Austin maintain their personal and financial stability in these uncertain times. Artists may apply for up to $500 to replace verifiable lost income due to the cancellation of a specific, scheduled gig or opportunity (i.e. commissions, performances, contracts) due to COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes offers grants to entertainment technology professionals who have been hospitalized with COVID-19. The organization also maintains a list of organizations offering financial support due to work cancellations.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Emergency & Disaster Grants
The Broadcasters Foundation of America provides Emergency & Disaster Grants to radio and television broadcasters find themselves in acute financial need and do not have insurance to cover their losses after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado or wildfire, extreme flooding, house fire, or other serious misfortune.
Crew Nation Fund: Music Forward Foundation
In partnership with Live Nation, Music Forward Foundation, a charitable 501c3 organization, has established Crew Nation— a global relief fund for live music crews. Live Nation has committed $10 million to Crew Nation – contributing an initial $5 million to the fund, then matching the next $5 million given by artists, fans and employees dollar for dollar. Music Forward Foundation will be administering the fund, and managing the application, review, and award process.
Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF) Grant
The Dramatists Guild Foundation Grant offers emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.
Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund
The Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund was set up on short notice to provide direct financial assistance to musicians who have lost work as a result of COVID-19 related event cancellations.
Foundation for Contemporary Arts
Foundation for Contemporary Arts announces the FCA Emergency Grants COVID-19 Fund, which will provide relief grants to artists facing loss of income as a result of canceled performances or exhibitions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gospel Music Trust Fund
The purpose of the Gospel Music Trust Fund is to give financial assistance in the nature of gifts in time of need, in the event of an emergency or major catastrophe, terminal or severe illness without efficient insurance, to individuals who derive or have derived a substantial portion of their income from the field of gospel music.
Hero Initiative for Comic Creators
The Hero Initiative for Comic Creators offers financial support for comic book writers, pencilers, inkers, colorists, or letterers who worked on a work-for-hire basis for no less than 10 years.
International Bluegrass Music Association - Bluegrass Trust Fund
The International Bluegrass Music Association Trust Fund Board of Trustees has set aside up to $150,000 of current assets to create the Bluegrass Trust Fund. This fund offers COVID-19 crisis assistance. Any funds donated to this new account will be added to the existing funds being committed.
James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund provides critical financial assistance to small, independent restaurants that, due to the COVID-19 national disaster, have an immediate need for funds to pay set operating expenses and keep from going out of business
Jazz Foundation of America
The Jazz Foundation of America Fund offers financial support, housing assistance and pro bono medical care for musicians who have made a living playing blues, jazz and roots music.
Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant
The Joan Mitchell Foundation provides emergency support to U.S.-based visual artists working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and/or drawing, who have suffered significant losses after natural or manmade disasters that have affected their community.
Motion Picture & Television Fund
The Motion Picture and Television Fund provides temporary financial assistance for needs created or complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Motion Picture and Television Fund can also help with issues including health insurance, mental health assistance, rent, food, and other essentials.
MusiCares: COVID-19 Relief Fund
The non-profit leg of the GRAMMY Awards has expanded its services to include lost income due to the cancellation of scheduled gigs or performances due to COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Music Health Alliance
The Music Health Alliance offers emergency financial assistance for music professionals who are unable to pay their basic living expenses (health insurance/food/health care) over the next two months.
Music Maker Relief Foundation
The Music Maker Relief Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, was founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it, ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time.
New York Foundation for the Arts
The New York Foundation for the Arts & Robert Rauschenberg Foundation maintains a list of awards and grants for individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pinetop Perkins' Foundation Assistance Fund
PAL provides financial assistance to elderly musicians for medical and living expenses. Preference is given to blues artists, though musicians in other genres may be eligible depending on available funds.
SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation has created the COVID-19 Disaster Fund is now available to eligible SAG-AFTRA members who have been impacted by this pandemic.
Southern Smoke Foundation
Southern Smoke Foundation provides funding to individuals in the food and beverage industry who are in crisis.
Stand with Austin, Via the Austin Community Foundation
The Stand With Austin Fund was established in partnership with the Entrepreneurs Foundation to receive charitable donations to support nonprofits assisting individuals and small businesses most negatively impacted by the cancellation of SXSW and least able to recover on their own.
Sweet Relief Fund for Musicians and Music Industry Workers
The Sweet Relief Fund provides immediate assistance for musicians and music industry workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds can be applied towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food, and other vital living expenses to those impacted due to sickness or loss of work.
The Actors Fund
To help our community during this public health crisis The Actors Fund has partnered with other entertainment industry organizations to provide emergency financial assistance to those in immediate financial need.
The Blues Foundation
The Blues Foundation established the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns.
- Coaching and Classes
City of Austin Small Business Division
The City of Austin Economic Development Department's Small Business Division provides business training, educational events, and coaching to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Small Business Division's mission is to foster job creation and support the growth of new and existing businesses by providing capacity-building information, tools, and resources.
BiGAUSTIN is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive training services, one-on-one assistance, and loans to individuals who want to achieve self-sufficiency by starting their own business.
Get Back in Business is a resource site to aid and assist businesses in creating a plan for disaster recovery as well as finding help after economic and natural disasters.
Austin Music Foundation
The Austin Music Foundation provides free online programs for the Austin music community.
Austin Texas Musicians
Austin Texas Musicians has been working around the clock with City leaders and our music nonprofit partners to help inform, create, and navigate efforts related to COVID-19.
- Tax Assistance
Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants can help individuals find a certified public accountant to assist with planning and reaching financial goals. TXCPA also has resources explaining the tax implications of COVID-19 federal laws and changes to the Internal Revenue Services’ deadlines and processes.
- Legal Assistance
COVID-19 High-Risk Worker Hotline
Are you a front-line staff member who needs help due to COVID-19? The Austin Voices call center can help (in any language) provide referral services related to legal case management, assistance applying for unemployment, and one-time financial assistance. COVID-19 High-Risk Worker Hotline Phone Number: 512-493-4288, open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas
The Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas, Inc. is a nonprofit service that can help business owners find Austin area attorneys. TXCPA also has resources explaining the tax implications of COVID-19 federal laws and changes to the Internal Revenue Services’ deadlines and processes.
State Bar of Texas Legal Disaster Hotline
The State Bar of Texas toll-free legal hotline, 800-504-7030, connects low-income people affected by a disaster with legal aid providers in their area. The hotline is answered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Individuals may also contact the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service at 800-252-9690 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.
Texas Legal Answers
Texas Legal Answers is a free online platform where individuals can pose specific questions related to disaster civil legal issues and have them answered by volunteer attorneys.
Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts
Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts provides Texas artists and arts organizations with legal and accounting assistance to enable them to maximize their potential, shape our cultural landscape, and contribute to the creative economy.
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) provides free legal services to individuals facing most forms of civil legal problems, including bankruptcies and foreclosures, accessing public benefits, and litigating for civil rights. Specializing in more than 45 civil legal practice areas, TRLA represents clients in cases ranging from landlord-tenant disputes handled through Justice of the Peace courts to complex litigation heard in state and federal courts.
Austin Chamber COVID-19 Legal Resources
The Austin Chamber of Commerce compiled a list of legal resources offered by their member organizations. Several Chamber members created COVID-19 resource kits for businesses and developed COVID-19 response teams to help businesses remain operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Eviction Protections
Austin Tenants Council
Operating under the philosophy that everyone has a right to safe, decent, and fair housing, the Austin Tenants Council fulfills thousands of requests each year for help with housing problems. Austin Tenants Council programs focus on housing discrimination; tenant-landlord education and information; and housing repair and rehabilitation.
Housing Opportunities for Musicians and Entertainers (HOME)
Emergency housing assistance grants are available for a maximum of $500, payable directly to landlord, mortgage company, or utility companies. Applicants must be at least 55 years old and have a minimum of 20 years as a working musician to qualify.
City of Austin Eviction Protections
Beginning June 1, landlords intending to issue a Notice to Vacate to tenants with 5 months or more of owed rent can register with the City of Austin’s RENT Program. In accordance with Mayoral Order No. 20210527-030 (PDF), landlords are no longer prohibited from issuing a Notice to Vacate if their tenant has unpaid rent and has exhausted all available rental assistance remedies. Austinites in need of rental assistance can still apply to the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program.
Travis County Eviction Protections
Read the latest Travis County Eviction Orders. This order extends the prohibition of eviction proceedings to August 1, 2021, unless terminated or modified by a subsequent order. The orders have been modified to address the backlog of unpaid rent some Austin landlords may have.
Travis County has numerous online resources for tenants facing eviction, as do the county’s Justice of the Peace Precinct Offices. The Travis County Sheriff’s Office provides a concise brochure for Evictions and Lease Terminations. A more extensive description of tenant rights in Travis County can be found through the Travis County Law Library and Self-Help Center. While not a substitute for consulting an attorney, the site provides easy-to-understand kits for appealing an eviction, filing appeal bonds, and the record expungement process.
Federal Eviction Protections
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act restricts lessors of covered properties from filing new eviction actions for non-payment of rent and also prohibits charging fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent.
The CARES Act also provides that a lessor of a covered property may not evict a tenant after the moratorium expires except on 30 days’ notice—which may not be given until after the moratorium period.
“Covered properties” include properties that (a) participate in a “covered housing program” as defined by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (as amended through the 2013 reauthorization); (b) participates in the “rural housing voucher program under section 542 of the Housing Act of 1949”; (c) has a federally backed mortgage loan; or (d) has a federally backed multifamily mortgage loan.
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians
The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) maintains a COVID-19 resource page for local musicians, including resources for those in need of health insurance and telehealth services.
The SIMS Foundation provides mental health and substance use recovery services and supports for musicians, music industry professionals, and their families.