Texas Workforce Commission’s Most Frequently Asked Questions (in regards to music industry professionals / contract workers)
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced today (Tuesday, June 30th) that it will delay the reinstatement of the work search requirement for unemployment benefits in Texas. This requirement, which is federal law, was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From the outset, TWC has stated that bringing back work search would be conditions-based. “Due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Texas, TWC has decided to pause the return of work search requirements at this time,” said Ed Serna, TWC Executive Director. “We will continue to monitor the situation and make further recommendations in late July.” The Texas Music Office has also compiled links to some of TWC's most frequently asked questions.
On Friday, June 26, Governor Abbott announced EXECUTIVE ORDER GA 28 relating to the targeted response to the COVID-19 disaster as part of the reopening of Texas. County judges and mayors, as appropriate, can prohibit certain outdoor gatherings of over 100 people by withholding approval of such gatherings, or can approve such gatherings with any conditions or restrictions not inconsistent with GA-28. On July 2, Governor Abbott issued EXECUTIVE ORDER GA 29 requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces, with few exceptions, in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases.
The Texas Music Office is compiling assistance information and resources for music industry professionals whose creative industries and incomes are being adversely impacted by COVID-19, resulting in loss of work due to venue closures, festival and event cancellations and travel restrictions. The TMO will continue to update this page as more information and resources become available. Likewise, some of the grants run out of funds, and then are later replished via new donations. So make sure to check back if a grant you're interested in is temporarily suspended because it ran out of funding.
Texas Music Mixtape: interview with ATX Music Office Manager Erica Shamaly About the City of Austin’s New Disaster Relief Grant Programs For Artists
Wednesday, June 3, 2020 the TMO released the debut episode of the Texas Music Mixtape, a program featuring Texas music news, interviews, and music. Featured here are the first 20 minutes of the program, including an interview with the City of Austin's Music & Entertainment Division Manager Erica Shamaly. Erica talks with Texas Music Office Marketing & Communications Specialist Marc Fort about the City of Austin's new grant programs: the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund providing $1,000 grants to the city's most vulnerable musicians, and the Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program providing up to $50,000 grants to organizations and independent artists facing displacement and difficulty paying rent for their commercial creative spaces.
Multiple cities and Texas communities continue the work of providing new opportunities for their music business professionals even during Covid-19 mitigation. We check-in with newly certified McKinney, and cities working through the process (Dallas, Brenham, Waxahachie, New Braunfels, and Waco).
Governor Abbott Announces Virtual Music Friendly Community Certification Ceremony For The City Of McKinney
Governor Abbott today announced the Texas Music Office (TMO) will host its first virtual Music Friendly Community certification ceremony for the City of McKinney, in partnership with Visit McKinney, on Tuesday, May 19. The ceremony will be livestreamed from McKinney's City Council meeting. McKinney Mayor George Fuller will be in attendance, as well as TMO Director Brendon Anthony and TMO Community Relations and Outreach Specialist Chip Adams via livestream to represent the TMO and speak about the Music Friendly Community program during the ceremony.
Texas Music Office-certified Music Friendly Communities have stepped-up to help out creatives in their cities during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn about programs in San Antonio and Fort Worth.
As almost all events are canceling and rescheduling for the foreseeable future, musicians are moving to social media and digital platforms to livestream concerts from their homes, empty venues, or wherever they can. Many Texan artists have hopped on this effort since the cancellation of SXSW, but there are plenty of upcoming series and concerts from all across the state that you can tune into as you’re social distancing. Texas Monthly, Austin 360, and others have compiled a list of Texas artists that are streaming weekly shows and DJ sessions, across all genres.