AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin woman who runs a nonprofit for local artists is now hoping to create change on a national level by working with the Biden-Harris administration.

The Austin Artists Project, founded by Mela Sarajane Dailey, is helping keep the local music scene alive during the pandemic.

“We are a nonprofit that wholly specializes in funding opportunities for underserved artists, and when the pandemic hit, everyone became an underserved artist, so our work just went through the roof,” Dailey said.

In less than a year, Dailey’s nonprofit has given out more than $100,000 in grants, organizing concerts for musicians to play online, socially distanced outside and even at a drive-in venue.

The nonprofit is also in the process of expanding to help local visual artists, actors, dancers and writers, as well.

A GRAMMY-winning musician herself, Dailey’s work was noticed. She was asked to serve on a Biden-Harris Arts and Humanities Task Force to help the new administration with its goal of ensuring at least half of new appointments are women, people of color, people with disabilities or LGBTQIA.

Those four groups represent the people she was already striving to help in Austin.

“I was concerned to see the number of positions that have been left vacant for the past four years,” Dailey said. “This administration is committed to filling all positions and to making sure people who haven’t always had a voice have a voice at the table.”

She continued, “There are so many positions that I would love to see filled by people of color and women and people with disabilities. There’s just a different perspective that isn’t always included that’s absolutely necessary if we’re supposed to represent all of us.”

Dailey hopes eventually, she can work in a more permanent position with the new administration help to impact arts education and opportunities.

“Just thinking really outside of the box and using things that have worked in Austin, Texas and taking them on a national [level] and scaling them up,” she said of how she hopes to work for the country.

Dailey added she’s particularly inspired by soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris, who represents the diversity she seeks to embrace.

“I already have my Converse picked out,” she laughed, referencing Harris’s frequent pick for shoes, “I’m ready. I’m ready to go.”