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Clubs and restaurants across the country have received millions of dollars in stimulus money through the federal government and now money will trickle down to musicians in the Austin area.

On Friday the Music Commission approved a recommendation for guidelines for city staff to move forward with another round of direct cash payments to musicians in Austin as well as those living in the five-county metro area. The total $2.3 million for that program will be used to provide $2,000 or $1,000 grants to eligible musicians, whose applications will be scored and weighted to prioritize equity and help those from traditionally marginalized communities.

The commission also supported adding $1.5 million to an existing program to provide grants and business planning assistance to music venues that had their business severely reduced during forced closures at the onset of the pandemic.

Not only will musicians in Austin have a chance to qualify, but musicians who live near Austin will have a chance to tap into the funds.

The decision to expand the assistance for musicians and music industry professionals to those living outside of Austin was arrived at because of the city’s growing affordability crisis, which is forcing longtime artists and others to move to Bastrop, Hayes, Caldwell and other counties even though they may still perform, record and conduct much of their business in Austin.

The story goes on to say that minorities including "Black, indigenous and Latino musicians and music industry professionals" will get priority for the funds.

So, what is your opinion of the city of Austin doling out stimulus for musicians? They have certainly been affected by the COVID pandemic. Should other cities provide stimulus to musicians? Are there workers in other industries that should also receive stimulus? Is there enough money to go around? Who should get priorities? Give us your thoughts, reaction and opinion on Facebook or on our station app.

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