Houston Charity Guide
tuned in for christmas

Houston rap icon Bun B and local nonprofit deliver holiday help for hard-hit musicians

Bun B and Houston nonprofit deliver holiday help for local musicians

Bun B black shirt black hat
Houston rap icon Bun B personally donated funds to help musicians and professionals this Christmas. Photo courtesy of Bun B
Mark Austin Rachel Austin
Mark C Austin and wife, Rachel, started the organization to help area music industry locals in need. Photo by Pooneh Ghana
Bun B black shirt black hat
Mark Austin Rachel Austin

The pandemic has had many local musicians singing the blues, but one cherished Houston legend is ensuring these performers have a brighter yuletide.

Houston rap icon Bun B has helped the Houston Music Foundation (HMF) distribute more than $15,000 to area musicians just in time for the holidays.

“These are trying times,” Bun B tells CultureMap. “The big stars will be okay, but the average musician is having a hard time right now. We all have to help one another. I’m just trying to do what I can, when I can.”

This new disbursement is made possible by monies raised by Antone’s sandwich collaboration with Bun B, as well as a “sizable personal donation” from the artist himself, according to a press release.

That help means that this time around, HMF will expand the scope of the new distribution to include Harris County music industry professionals, gig-workers, creatives, venue staff, and more. Applicants who missed out on a grant in the first round of distributions are now invited to re-apply.

Given the significant hit live performances, concerts, and music festivals have taken with cancellations and postponements, the new funds come at a welcome time for local industry professionals.

Applications for the next round of disbursement are now open. Professional musicians and music workers will be eligible to receive a one-time, $500 emergency relief grant. Applicants must be working musicians or music industry professionals who can prove they live within county limits, are 18 years or older, and have experienced loss of work due to COVID-19.  Individuals can apply online.

More than $80,000 in grands to have been raised and distributed to area professionals thanks HMF, which was founded by Mark C. Austin and wife, Rachel, to fill a critical gap for area musicians during the pandemic.

“We are so grateful to Bun and Antone’s for responding to the needs of this community, especially right now,” said Rachel Austin in a statement. “With the holidays coming up and the pandemic dragging on, there are so many struggling to make ends meet. While this might not be a long-term solution, we hope it will provide some immediate, tangible help for those who need to put food on the table and gifts under the tree for their children.”