AUSTIN, Texas - The advocacy nonprofit Austin Texas Musicians and the Amplified Sound Coalition are holding a "Come and Save It" rally at Austin City Hall on November 19 at 11 a.m. to urge city leaders to distribute Save Austin's Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) funding to music venues.
“Austin’s music venues cannot wait for help any longer. We are out of time,” says musician Pat Buchta who is also Executive Director of Austin Texas Musicians.
Austin City Council voted on October 1 to approve the SAVES resolution and grant $5 million to aid Austin music's venues that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were reportedly going to available within 30-45 days of that vote.
Organizers of the rally say no funding has been issued thus far and that it appears funds may not be available until 2021. They say they agree with city officials that careful consideration should be taken in the creation of program requirements but they are asking to make $2 million available for immediate aid as many venues are at risk of closing their doors within months.
The organizers say they're also asking the city to select a qualified grant administrator who not only understands the community but also has prior grant administration experience to administer funds with complete transparency.
“Venues aren’t just buildings. Venues are jobs. Our community is made up of skilled workers, talented entertainers, and experienced professionals who need the security of knowing these jobs will be waiting for us when it’s safe to go back to work," says Jeannette Gregor with Amplified Sound Coalition.
Musicians, music industry workers, venue operators, and music fans are urged to join in the socially distanced outdoor rally. Masks will be required. Members of the music community will be speaking to urge city leaders to take action.