Austin music venues receive $1.34M in COVID-19 relief grants

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Photo credit Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via USA TODAY NETWORK
By Talk 1370

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- More than $1.3 million in COVID-19 emergency relief grants has been distributed to 67 live music venues, City of Austin officials announced Tuesday.

The grants, from the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund, are part of a $5 million program established by the Austin City Council in December 2020. The emergency grants are part of the program's first phase.

“Economic Development Department and Long Center staff worked through the holidays to get these funds to local live music venues," Austin Chief Economic Recovery Officer Veronica Briseño said in a statement. "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 program was aimed at venues that were facing an immediate risk of closure. The first phase called for each of the 67 venues to receive a $20,000 grant.

The second phase of the program allows for grants of up to an additional $140,000 per venue, which will be distributed in monthly payments of a maximum of $40,000 per month. Each applicants must complete a technical assistance evaluation and an Equity Strategic Plan before applying for the second phase.

“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.”

For eligibility questions and application assistance, contact the Long Center by email at saveaustinvenues@thelongcenter.org or by phone at 512-457-5181.