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Do you work in Austin's music scene and need financial aid? Here's a grant program that could help.

Pedestrians walk past closed music venues in the Red River Cultural District in September 2020.
Julia Reihs
Pedestrians walk past closed music venues in the Red River Cultural District in September 2020.

Austin has opened up a $2.3 million grant program to help people in the music community, which has been on a rollercoaster of openings and closings (both permanent and temporary) amid waves of COVID-19.

The program provides a one-time grant of $2,000 to qualified applicants — including musicians, sound engineers and technicians, promoters and other folks working within the industry.

Applications for the Austin Music Disaster Relief Grant program opened up Monday morning and will close Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. The program is funded by federal relief, unlike previous rounds of relief under the same name that were paid for by the city.

Eligible recipients must work in the industry and live within the Austin-Round Rock area, which includes Travis, Hays, Williamson, Bastrop and Caldwell counties.

If you're looking to apply, there's some fine print on who qualifies:

  • Independent promoters must have a staff of no more than three people and prove they've got at least two years of promoting or putting on shows that featured live music.
  • To qualify as a music industry worker, you must prove your main source of income is within the music industry. It's a bit of a catch-all, though, as that could include staff and "associated personnel working in venues and organizations within the sector."
  • To qualify as a "professional" musician, you must prove you've played for at least two years as a solo act or as part of a band or show you've released six recordings or music videos in the last two years.

Learn more about the application process on the city's website.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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