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On Wednesday (November 4), Houston city officials announced a new relief program aimed to help Houston’s music community as well as music venues that had been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

$3 million of the city’s allocated funds from the CARES Act will be funding the Musicians and Music Venues Economic Relief Program, according to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and members of the Houston City Council. Eligible musicians can receive up to $5,00 and eligible venues can receive up to $50,000 or $100,000 depending on budget size.

The maximum grant award for venues depends on a budget size that is less or greater than $2 million.

“As a city, we have provided rental assistance and supported small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Turner said in a statement. “Now, we will focus on Houston’s musicians. Music venues and iconic performance spaces are a big part of our city and an important segment of Houston’s cultural life. They were delivering great live music before the pandemic, and we want them to be able to do that again, as soon as they can, and by being safe.”

After the pandemic forced numerous venues from House of Blues to Warehouse Live to close or postpone events, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs established the program as a resource for local musicians and for-profit and non-profit music venues to sustain operations during and after the pandemic.

“During a community meeting hosted by MOCA and the Texas Music Office, we heard from a diverse group of Houstonians in the music industry that one of the most pressing concerns is survival,” Debbie McNulty, director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs said. “Beyond economic relief support, MOCA is actively looking at other forms of assistance for our Houston music sector.”

To apply for the program, all applicants must complete an online form by 5 PM on November 25.


  • Must be a live music venue whose principal place of business is located within the City of Houston’s city limits.
  • Must be a musician whose principal residence is located within the City of Houston’s city limits.
  • Must provide evidence of how business revenue has significantly decreased because of government restrictions or other challenges due to COVID-19.
  • Must be in good standing with City requirements (e.g., property taxes, personal property, grounds for debarment, etc.).

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