Austin Texas Musicians, an advocacy nonprofit, and Arching Dog Productions have partnered to bring a series of free concerts to Texas border cities in an effort to register voters and ensure that all Texans show up and speak up at the polls in November.
Events “Músicos Unidos Para Votar” and “Roe the Vote” are both providing music and entertainment to draw people together and discuss important topics, such as women’s reproductive rights, that are crucial to this next election.
John “Moose” Dismukes, the owner of Arching Dog Productions, and Pat Buchta, the founder of Austin Texas Musicians, joined Studio 512 Co-Host Rosie Newberry to tell us more.
What is the impact you hope to see out of these events?
“If I can get a few people registered to vote and voting, then I have done my job. My hope is to get many. With ‘Roe The Vote’ we are having Planned Parenthood TX and Lilith Fund attend and help educate people as to what they do as well as raise money for these organizations. A good portion of the money from the door will be split between both organizations,” Dismukes said.
“We will also have JOLT and League of Women Voters out to help register people to vote. I also hope for the very talented up-and-coming musicians we have playing for them to increase their audience and fans as well.”
What impact has Austin Texas Musicians had thus far?
“Austin Texas Musicians began in 2019 with the sole purpose of serving as the trusted voice of Central Texas Musicians. Since then we turned musicians out to vote to secure the Live Music Fund, the first-ever sustainable public funding for live music in the U.S. We’ve rallied to secure $6M in COVID relief funds for musicians, and $5M for venues. We’ve supplied musicians with unemployment benefits and income opportunities through partnerships with Texas Workforce Commission, Workforce Solutions, Congressman Doggett, and more. Now we’re focused on issues of affordable housing, creative spaces, and voter registration across all of Texas,” Buchta said.
How did we get to creating both of these events?
“After the Dodd decision by SCOTUS, I was deeply concerned about our state and federal government, and my artist McKenna Michels, as well as other artists we knew, wanted to help to do something about it,” Dismukes said.
“I approached my attorneys Mike Tolleson and Gwen Seale and I was introduced to Pat Butcha who was already organizing similar benefits with ATX Musicians. So we talked and began ‘Músicos Unidos’ for three of the border areas of Texas and ‘Roe the Vote’ to let our Austin musicians have their voices heard as well as create voter registration opportunities.”
How did ‘Músicos Unidos Para Votar’ come into being?
“We saw in 2019, when musicians showed up to vote for a portion of Hotel Occupancy Taxes to support music, that we have perhaps the largest political voice in this city when we work together. We want to empower more musicians to stand up and speak up for the issues that affect them, so we looked around the state to see where voter registration was lowest. About that time, we met Moose with Arching Dog Productions, who was looking to make a real impact through music as well,” Buchta said.
So you have voter registration concerts in Austin, Laredo, and the Rio Grande Valley this month! What can people expect when they come to the event?
“The ‘Músicos Unidos’ shows are free to the public! The only requirement is proof of voter registration or you can sign up with our team of Volunteer Deputy Registrars onsite. Bring the family, bring your friends, and enjoy some of the best Tejano, Mariachi, and Cumbia music Texas has to offer,” Buchta said.
To learn more about “Roe The Vote” and how you can participate, go to AustinTexasMusicians.org.
This segment is paid for by Arching Dog Productions and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.