Big Medium hoping to help struggling Austin artists during COVID-19 pandemic

Local

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin is known as the live music capital of the world, but if you look around you will realize there are a lot of talented artists has well.

For artists, inspiration comes from many things — a fond memory, new experiences, or now, times of trouble.

“Inspiration in the pandemic is hard,” said Shea Little, executive director of Big Medium.

Little knows his industry doesn’t always reward its most talented artists.

“It has been an ongoing issue as to how we keep the creative class here in Austin, so as you can imagine, we are already struggling with that issue, when the pandemic hit it just became that much worse,” said Little.

Little now finds himself fighting to keep the arts in Austin alive.

As the executive director of Big Medium, he is partnering with other local groups to raise money for the artist relief fund.​

“We are going to raise about $50,000 for this fund,” said Little. “It is really just to serve as unrestricted funding to be used for whatever, basic needs.”​

There were 147 artists who applied for the funding.

“We have more than $200,000 in stated need from just the applicants we have, and we know that is not all the artists in Austin,” said Little. “So if we can raise more money, we can continue to give more money out.”​

In a city where murals teach us about hope, what will tomorrow look like for those who make it all possible?

“We are already losing some venues, some galleries, and some artists are having to leave the city,” said Little.

After the money is tallied on Wednesday, Big Medium will distribute it to the artists with the most need.

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