Help support local musicians during the Coronavirus outbreak with the launch of Houston Music Foundation

Houston musician Genesis Blu | Photo: Mark C. Austin, courtesy of Houston Music Foundation

Act now to support Houston’s professional musicians, now facing financial crisis due to COVID-19 closures, with the new Houston Music Foundation, awarding one-time, $500 emergency relief grants to professional musicians residing in Harris County.

In order to provide assistance with little delay, Houston Music Foundation has partnered with Artist for Artists, an existing 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to streamline the donation and grant-awarding process.

Weeks after the COVID-19 outbreak promoted the temporary closure of all local music venues, many members of Houston’s growing roster of professional musicians have found their reliable and sustainable livelihoods suddenly stopped.

They’re faced with little to no options to perform their previously scheduled shows or to book new ones.

Seeing an urgent need in Houston’s close knit music community, Mark C. Austin, a well-known area talent buyer, and wife, Rachel Austin, a Houston digital marketing and public relations veteran, rolled up their sleeves. They’ve created the first crisis relief fund of its kind in Houston.

And qualifying Houston musicians who apply will start receiving grants as early as this week.

VODI | Photo: Mark C. Austin, courtesy of Houston Music Foundation

Who is Eligible for Support

Applicants for the one-time, $500 Houston Music Foundation grants must be working musicians who can prove they live within Harris County limits, are age 18 or older, and are experiencing loss of work due to COVID-19.

All applications received will be considered and funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

If you’re a qualifying musician, click here to apply for a grant or for more information.

How You Can Donate & Help

You can help Houston’s ever-growing live music community by donating what you’re able to support the fund.

One-time and monthly donations, in any amount, are welcomed. Donors can make small contributions that help pay in to a grant, or donate $500 or greater to support one or multiple local musicians.

All donation amounts are highly appreciated and valued. Gifts to this fund, collected in partnership with Artists for Artists, are 100% tax-deductible.   

Artists for Artists is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 corporation.

Click here donate to the Houston Music Foundation or for more information.

Gio Chamba | Photo: Marco Torres, courtesy of Houston Music Foundation

About Artists for Artists

A Houston-based nonprofit organization, Artist for Artists brings the infrastructure and resources to enable to Houston Music Foundation launch rapidly, allowing the new combined partnership to start helping musicians right away.

Artists for Artists is dedicated to enhancing quality of life for Houston-based artists by providing free medical programming and emergency support to qualified artists in times of medical or personal crisis.

This includes emergency recovery grants designed to assist artists experiencing a catastrophic career-threatening emergency. Qualified grant recipients may use awarded grants to reestablish, improve, or expand work capacity after experiencing a financial, medical, or personal hardship.

This is done in partnership with artists, other nonprofit organizations, corporate sponsors, private donors, and through fundraising activities such as art shows, galas, pop-up events, and private art collection tours.

Launching Houston Music Foundation in the Time of COVID-19

Mark C. Austin—a fixture in the live music community in Houston, in Texas, and beyond—and Rachel Austin—founder/owner/operator of locally-based Hometown Social, a digital advertising and public relations firm—are true devotees of Houston’s music, culinary, and homegrown artistic culture.

When they saw the surge of cancelations, postponements, and temporary closings facing Houston’s local music community, they put their creative minds to work.

Mark and Rachel Austin | Photo: Pooneh Ghana, courtesy of Houston Music Foundation

“Watching the pandemic unfold—we both felt helpless. We really wanted to step in and do something,” said Mark.

“When you are trapped at home and you can’t physically be there for someone you have to get creative, so I guess you could say that Houston Music Foundation is a positive biproduct of a terrible situation. The music industry is very close. We’re family, and we want to do what family does – take care of each other,” he continued.

“We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines during one more crisis. Hurricane Harvey was so painful and incredibly hard on the music industry. With COVID-19, the need for a local foundation is greater than ever and we want nothing more than an opportunity for local musicians to be cared for,” said Rachel.

Learn More About Houston Music Foundation

Houston Music Foundation was established as a crisis relief fund in 2020 and dedicated to supporting working musicians in Houston. The goal of Houston Music Foundation is to raise funds for local musicians residing in Harris County during times of crisis, and to get donations into the hands of those in need as quickly as possible. Qualified applicants are eligible for a one-time grant of $500.

This fund is an extension of 501(c)3 nonprofit organization Artists for Artists created to support musicians by way of Houston Music Foundation’s Crisis Relief Fund.

Click here to apply for aid, donate to the fund, or learn more.

Robert Ellis & the Boys | Photo: Mark C. Austin, courtesy of Houston Music Foundation