Houston City Council approved putting $3 million worth of its allocation of CARES Act funding toward a music industry relief program Nov. 4.
“Many of these venues were the first to close,” District C Council Member Abbie Kamin said. “I have gotten numerous emails from constituents expressing not only gratitude for this but the urgency of it as well.”
A survey by the National Independent Venue Association found that 90% of its members are at risk of closing entirely.
Many venues have been closed for the bulk of the coronavirus pandemic thus far, with some, such as White Oak Music Hall and Satellite Bar, opening in recent weeks. Houston is home to over 1,400 independent music venues, according to the council agenda.
Individual musicians are eligible for up to $5,000 in aid and music venues can receive $50,000 to $100,000.
To be eligible, a venue must be within Houston's city limits and musicians must be city residents. Venues must also be in good standing with city taxes and show proof that revenues have declined significantly since the pandemic began, according to the mayor's office of cultural affairs.
The office of cultural affairs will hold two virtual information sessions on Nov. 10 for potential applicants. The session for musicians begins at 10 a.m. and the session for venue owners begins at 3 p.m.
Potential applicants can also attend 15-minute "office hours," with cultural affairs staff everyday at noon from Nov. 16 through Nov. 20.
Applications must be submitted at www.houstoncaresaboutmusic.org by 5 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 25.