As city delays aid for Austin musicians, a call for businesses to step in

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In an effort to get businesses to show more support for Austin’s music industry, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians said it now has a key investment to help maintain their services, as musicians have to wait longer for funding from the city. .

Earlier this month, City of Austin staff said staffing shortages were partly to blame for the delay in securing $3 million for artists and promoters under the Live music backgrounds.

HAAM said its new partnership with PNC Bank will help them meet the urgent health needs of musicians, while helping to hire musicians for more gigs and provide financial education.

“Hopefully we can get them to play at places like PNC Plaza at ACL Live and Waterloo Greenway. And at Chamber events where we’re the sponsor of live music, and all the other fun stuff that we have here in Austin,” said PNC Austin Regional President Dillan Knudson.

The partnership will last for a year, although Knudson hopes to maintain it after that.

HAAM CEO Paul Scott hopes more companies will follow suit — not just for his own music nonprofit, but also for others in Austin.

“A lot of our companies and businesses are selling Austin as the live music capital of the world,” he said. “We’re asking our musicians to take on this kind of Live Music Capital of the World moniker, we also need to be creative in helping them stay here so we can keep that moniker.”

He said they were working on partnerships with other companies, but would not reveal them at this time. HAAM is also hosting a Corporate Battle of the Groups next month, a fundraiser they hope companies will support.

More resources and policies to help are on the horizon – a music census will be launched next month.

Austin’s music industry “health check” will be led by a local company called Sound Music Cities. The hope is that the new data will shed light on the industry’s biggest challenges and how to address them.

This will be the first music census in nearly 10 years.

PNC Bank has announced a year-round partnership with HAAM. The announcement follows broader pressure for the company to show its commitment to Austin’s music industry.

This new partnership with HAAM will make PNC the exclusive nonprofit financial education partner, presenting sponsor of HAAM Day – Austin’s largest fundraising event supporting local musicians, and a stage and performance sponsor. VIP party at the next HAAM Corporate Battle of the Bands.

In a recent internal survey of its members, HAAM found the results below:

  • $10,000 in lost income in 2021, average HAAM member
  • 41% of members have struggled to pay their rent or mortgage
  • 900 members received unemployment benefits
  • 65% had late payments or accumulated credit card debt
  • 56% of members said they don’t have enough to get by or barely enough to get by
  • 34% worry about or face food insecurity

In the first quarter of 2022 alone, HAAM had more than 220 NEW registered musicians. PNC Bank’s investment will help the organization continue to provide health services to the musicians who make Austin the live music capital of the world.

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