How to help those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, in Austin and beyond

A list of charities, funds, and resources striving to help Austin and the music industry through the global pandemic.

March 31, 2020
How to help those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, in Austin and beyond Oliver Banyard / The FADER

When The FADER first talked about doing a Digital FORT, we said that we wanted to highlight some of the charities that are working hard to help those most affected in Austin, Texas — a city that's welcomed us every year for the past two decades. Since those first conversations, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every facet of day-to-day life, and the music industry has been no exception. Touring and festivals are on pause indefinitely, travel is all-but on hold, and social distancing means that artists have to go digital to communicate with their audiences.

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With that in mind, we've put together a list of funds, charities, and resources that are helping to provide relief for those who have seen their livelihood come to a sudden halt, both in Austin and in the music community more broadly. If you can, please consider donating to, or sharing information about, any of these groups.

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I Lost My Gig


This site is designed specifically for locals of Austin, Texas who lost work due to the SXSW cancelation. You can donate directly to those whose livelihoods were impacted on the site's front page.

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund

Founded in 1993, the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund provides support for both musicians and music industry professionals who are struggling to make ends meet due to illness, disability, or age-related problems. The fund has set up resources for COVID-19 relief and all donations will go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses to those impacted due to sickness or loss of work. You must be able to prove that 50% of your income comes from music.

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Banding Together

The Red River Cultural District is working together with the Austin live music community to raise $100,000 and support the venues, artists, creatives, service/hospitality and production workers, businesses, and additional organizations that rely on SXSW, regular programming and continual income to survive. Your donations will help provide financial relief to those in the Austin live music community that have been economically impacted by the cancellation of SXSW and COVID-19.

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The Arts Administrators of Color Network

The Arts Administrators of Color Network seeks to fight for equity in the arts by providing a forum for the voices of art administrators and artists of color. They have set up an emergency fund for those identifying as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and have been financially impacted by COVID-19. All money raised will be distributed to BIPOC individual artists/teaching artists who meet the requirements as stated in their application form.

South by South Best

A group of social media marketers using these platforms to activate an effort to help Austin’s service workers directly.

Support Act

Support Act is an Australian charity dedicated to providing relief services for artists, crew and music workers as a result of ill health, injury, a mental health problem, or some other crisis that impacts on their ability to work in music. They have helped put together a GoFundMe that will donate the proceeds in the form of financial grants that music industry members in Australia can apply for.

Stand With Austin

This fund was created to receive charitable donations to support nonprofits assisting individuals and small businesses most negatively impacted by the cancellation of SXSW and least able to recover on their own. The fund was established in partnership with the Entrepreneurs Foundation.

Musician's Foundation

Musicians Foundation is formed to foster the interests and advance the condition and social welfare of professional musicians and to provide voluntary aid and assistance to professional musicians and their families in case of need.

MusiCares

MusiCares [a non-profit established by theNational Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences] provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly influence the health and welfare of the music community.

Central Texas Food Bank

We are working around the clock to understand how we can best serve our clients during the pandemic, and that we anticipate a dramatic increase in need for our services in the coming weeks and months.We believe in providing comprehensive support to address urgent issues, and to ensure that our neighbors have the tools and information needed to access food and other programs through our network—now or whenever they find themselves in need.

The Creator Fund

We are providing financial assistance to active creators who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. If you have medical, childcare, housing, or grocery needs, please apply for assistance.

COVID-19 Mutual Aid Fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC Folks

We are prioritizing LGBTQI+, non-binary, gender fluid, and gender non-conforming people of color because we often have less ties to familial support networks, we have historically been simultaneously overlooked and surveilled by welfare state systems, our needs have been surplus to mainstream political formations, and we tend to work in the gig economy.

Soze Foundation - Artist + Activist Coronavirus Relief Fund

The Soze Foundation in partnership with TaskForce and Invisible Hand have launched The Artist + Activist Relief Fund to support artists and activists whose work has been impacted by COVID-19. We will be making $250 unrestricted grants to selected applicants on an on-going basis.

MyMusicRx

MyMusicRx is the flagship program of the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA). Their bedside and online music medicine programs engage hospitalized kids of all ages and diagnoses, relieving stress, anxiety, and perception of pain.

How to help those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, in Austin and beyond