City of Austin / Travis County has made available another relief program for households impacted by loss of work due to COVID-19. RISE 2.0 $2000 relief grants will be dispersed via a lottery to applicants who qualify.
This program is being periodically funded by the COA, last round of funding and applications was opened on August 19th, which may still have funds available, but is also somewhat first come first serve. There are income thresholds to qualify, and awards are decided via lottery.
Creative Workers Relief Grant
The Creative Worker Relief Grant is a direct result of advocacy on part of Austin’s Chapter of Soundgirls.org in partnership with IATSE Local 205 to earmark some of the CARES Act municipal funding for creative worker relief. It provides for up to a $2000 grant to cover expenses incurred due to COVID-19 loss of income from March 1st to August 17th. This program was definitely designed with live event professionals in mind, among many other disproportionately affected creative fields.
You can start/stop the application process at any time, so feel free to start it now so you can become familiar with the questions. The video webinar above and FAQ on their site are also excellent resources.
Additional eligibility questions can be fielded by: Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts Email: Call: 512-588-9971
For application process technical support: Austin Better Business Bureau Email: Call: 512-318-2683
Awards are to be split. 50% of them are based on a weighted matrix of vulnerability. The other 50% are lottery based. They are NOT based on how quickly you get your application in.
As you may know, IATSE has partnered with the Actors Fund to assist members who find themselves in financial need due to being out of work during the pandemic. This morning I spoke with a very helpful contact named Barbara Davis over at the Actors Fund who walked me through the application process and documentation requirements.
The application takes about two weeks to process. She says that they’ve also recently partnered with Netflix and have funds available for crew members who need help.
Members who are not able to make ends meet for the next month or two, are encouraged to begin the application process asap to see if you qualify for a grant. On *average*, the grant amount is a one time issue of up to $1000. This is not an income replacement program, it is a financial grant to assist IATSE members help with meeting basic needs such as rent and utility bills.
If you’ve found that you require more assistance than you are able to receive through TWC unemployment benefits, visit the link below to get your application started with Actors Fund. The Actors Fund grant is to supplement, not replace your unemployment benefits.
If you’re having difficulty providing the required documentation (work history up to five years, proof of up to $6500 per year earned in stagecraft, etc) contact me for help. Miss Davis said that we can provide proof of work history if you do not have access to your W2s. Work history is archived on Call Steward or available through your employers HR departments. I am eager to assist those of you who find you need help navigating this process. Please reach out and ask.
Miss Davis also mentioned the Live Nation / Crew Nation has resources available to those who work in live music concert industry so I am looking into that and will send information on the application process as it becomes available.