Houston’s gig economy workers have been hard hit during the pandemic — artists and creatives especially so. To that end, several local charities have stepped in to offer aid. Most recently, the Houston Music Foundation gifted $15,000 to area professionals, with funds largely raised by local rap legend, Bun B.
Now, the City of Houston has announced a total of $5 million distributed to artists, cultural organizations, music venues, and musicians. The CARES funds were distributed to 691 recipients (226 artists, 308 musicians, 36 music venues, and 121 arts and cultural organizations) via the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) in collaboration with Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), and Mid-America Arts Alliance (MAAA), according to a press release.
The MOCA CARES relief grant programs were offered twice in 2020, in August and in November. All funds have been distributed, per the city.
Recipients of funding represented a variety of musical genres and artistic expressions; a majority reported that their artistic practice makes up their primary source of income, making these funds critical. A total of 1,736 applicants reported losses of $165.6 million, according to the City.
“We want to thank musicians and artists for their role in the community as we, as a city, work together during this global pandemic,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner, in a statement. “While we see positive signs regarding vaccines, we know that we must continue to protect ourselves and each other. The City’s commitment to music venues, musicians, cultural institutions, and artists is a part of a variety of supports like broadband access, rental assistance, and small business relief.”
A full list of the recipients and their respective allotments can be found here.