City opens applications for two emergency grant funds for artists, musicians

The city has $2.5 million in two separate programs earmarked for emergency relief


The city of Austin’s Economic Development Department has opened the application process for two emergency relief programs aimed at assisting the city’s music and arts communities.

The $1 million Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program will provide grants up to $50,000 to both for-profit and non-profit organizations as well as to independent artists facing displacement and difficulty paying rent for their commercial creative spaces.

The $1.5 million Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund will provide $1,000 grants to musicians for their immediate emergency needs.

“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,” Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, acting director for the Economic Development Department said in a press release.

Both programs were approved by the Austin City Council on April 23.

Related: Austin City Council approves $2.5 million in relief aid for artists, musicians

Grants from the Creative Space Disaster Relief Program will provide direct support to both for-profit live music venues, performance spaces and art galleries as well as 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 displacement-related expenditures.

  • Applications open: May 27 at
    Virtual information meeting: 3 p.m. June 9, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Register to attend online.
    Applications Close: 5 p.m. June 17

The Music Disaster Relief Fund is for Austin’s most vulnerable musicians experiencing economic hardship. Eligible local musicians must be able to demonstrate income loss due to COVID-19 global pandemic may apply for a $1,000 grant.

Applicants will be asked to submit personal bank statements, documentation of loss of income and other information. Applications will be taken on a first-come first-served basis starting at 10 a.m. June 8.

  • Applications preview: Through June 7 at open: 10 a.m. June 8
    Applications close: 5 p.m. June 12

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
An award-winning arts journalist, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is the founder and editor-in-chief of Sightlines.

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