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City of Austin doling out $1.34 million in emergency funding to local music venues

A total of 67 local live music venues will be awarded relief grants.

AUSTIN, Texas — The City of Austin's Economic Development Department on Tuesday announced it will be awarding $1,340,000 in relief grants to 67 local live music venues hurt by the pandemic.

This funding was provided through the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund, a $5 million program established by the city council on Dec. 3 through Resolution No. 20200103-013. As a part of its partnership with the City, the Long Center processed applications and handed out grants as part of Phase 1 of the program.

"Economic Development Department and Long Center staff worked through the holidays to get these funds to local live music venues," said Veronica Briseño, Austin's chief economic recovery officer. "We are proud that this support has benefited many cultural and economic icons in our community, and we are determined to build upon the initial grants by offering support through technical assistance and additional financial resources."

The Long Center began accepting Phase 1 applications on Dec. 11, with the first funds being disbursed by Dec. 24.

Recipients are asked to complete a technical assistance evaluation and an Equity Strategic Plan before applying for enhanced grant funding of up to $140,000 in Phase 2. Applications submitted by the deadline of Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. will continue to be processed, with notification going out this week. 

The City of Austin will also continue to post updated metrics for economic impact through the online dashboard of the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund.

“In less than a month, we were able to partner with the City of Austin and distribute over a million dollars of emergency funds to venues at a critical time,” said Cory Baker, president & CEO of the Long Center. “Our team looks forward to the next phase the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund where we can provide additional financial support as well as initiate a technical assistance program for venues that need it.”

The two phases of the fund are described as follows:

Phase 1: Emergency Funding

  • Eligible applicants experiencing immediate risk of closure will receive a $20,000 grant, which the Long Center distributed from Dec. 11 through Jan. 11.
  • Additional services available to venues receiving emergency funding include: legal and accounting services; real estate advice and guidance on lease negotiations; and other professional services and long-term planning from community experts.

Phase 2: Enhanced Funding

  • Only Phase 1 grant recipients are eligible to apply for additional grant funding in Phase 2.
  • Phase 1 grant recipients must complete a technical assistance evaluation and an Equity Strategic Plan in order to apply for additional funds.
  • Eligible applicants from Phase 1 can apply for additional grant funding up to $140,000 (this does not include funds received from the first phase). The funding will be distributed in monthly payments with a maximum of $40,000 per month.

For questions on eligibility or application assistance, contact the long center at saveaustinvenues@thelongcenter.org or 512-457-5181.

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