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City announces $2.5M in grants for musicians and artists

Thursday, May 28, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

The city’s Economic Development Department is opening two grant programs for local musicians and creatives, and yesterday released details on how individuals and organizations impacted by the pandemic can access $2.5 million in funds. The Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund will provide $1,000 grants to musicians for emergency needs and currently has $1.5 million in the fund. The Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program now has $1 million to provide $50,000 grants to organizations and artists “facing displacement and difficulty paying rent for their commercial creative spaces.” Artists seeking aid through the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund can review their eligibility here. Eligible applicants can apply for grants beginning Monday, June 8, at 10 a.m., with grants to be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. According to a press release from the city, “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 Austin musicians who have already received a grant from the MusiCares Covid-19 Relief Fund are not eligible to apply.”

Organizations and artists may apply now through June 17 for the $50,000 Creative Space Disaster Relief grant, which can be applied to “unpaid commercial rent and to defray rent hikes, property acquisition costs, or other space-related needs such as facility improvements or relocation-related expenditures.” Grants will be evaluated by a grant review committee and announced the week of June 29. Interested parties can find a Rent Stipend Application and other space-related needs application online. The city will be holding a virtual information meeting about the grant program on Tuesday, June 9, from 3-4 p.m. The event is free and registration is here. Guidelines and eligibility requirements can be found at or by emailing or calling 512-974-7806.

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