Thanks to a resolution passed in June by the Austin City Council, working artists and creatives in the Capital City whose livelihoods were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may soon get some relief.
The resolution allocates $3.5 million to fund the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant. Eligible applicants can apply to receive $2,000 in funds to help offset living expenses and bridge financial gaps created by the pandemic and resulting lockdowns and restrictions.
“Austin’s creative community, which significantly contributes to the fabric of the City’s cultural and economic ecosystem, is facing unprecedented hardships due to COVID-19," says Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, acting director for the City of Austin Economic Development Department, in a statement released this week.
“This program will ensure individuals will receive some level of financial support.”
Creative workers who work across many fields are eligible to apply, including visual and performing arts, film and television, folk and traditional arts, art therapy, fashion, museums and historical preservation, and more. Working artists are encouraged to apply, as are associated staff who also make their living within a creative industry.
With a focus on the equitable disbursement of these funds, the Economic Development Department, the agency tasked by the City Council with managing the grant, is establishing partnerships with community organizations across the city to promote the grant to the most vulnerable creative workers in an attempt to ensure that everyone eligible is aware of the program.
Beginning Monday, August 17, creative sector workers can submit applications for the grant at ATXRecovers.com through Friday, August 28. Eligible applicants must be at least 18 years old, working in an approved creative discipline during the past two years, and can verify an economic loss associated with the pandemic. More information is available at the site listed above, including application requirements and a list of eligible creative industry fields.
The Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund, a similar program specifically for musicians administered by the Economic Development Department, has also been reopened for applications as of Monday, August 10. Even if an applicant has already received the $1,000 grant from the musicians’ fund, they are still eligible to apply for the Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant, though they can only be awarded up to $1,000 from the new grant program.