KUT’s Get Involved:Forums program seeks to connect the people of Austin with local issues and the non-profits that serve them through civic engagement and civil discourse. We aim to make information and resources comprehensive and easily accessible to the public via our on-air and digital broadcast, provide volunteer opportunities and inspire action.
Current Topic: Musician’s Healthcare in Austin.
Our first Get Involved Forum will focus on Musician’s Healthcare in Austin. This page will serve as a resource page for local musicians and the community searching for information and resources. The page will highlight the issue and the organizations providing a variety of healthcare services to local musicians. We’ll explore why the issue requires community support and highlight key volunteer opportunities to get you involved. On October 17th, KUT will host a forum at the Cactus Cafe with a panel of speakers from non-profits serving musicians and musicians themselves. After a moderated panel discussion, we will have time for audience Q & A. The forum is free and open to the public. We encourage you to attend and find out more from two local organizations – HAAM and the SIMS Foundation. Find out how you can make a difference and keep Austin the vibrant live music destination it is famous for.
Texas Music Matters’ David Brown talks to local musicians and community leaders about their Healthcare options.
Local Organizations working to provide healthcare for Austin Musicians
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) – Keeping Music in Austin Alive & Well
The mission of the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians is to provide access to affordable health care for Austin’s low income, uninsured musicians, focusing on prevention and wellness. Austin is the “Live Music Capital of the World,” yet many professional working musicians are self-employed and rarely have access to health insurance. Without insurance, they can’t afford preventive health care, including primary medical care, basic dental services and mental health counseling.
The music industry is an important contributor to Austin’s economy:
- Nearly $1 billion in economic activity, more than $25 million in local tax revenue each year.
- It provides 11,200 jobs.
- Austin has more than 8,000 musicians.
- Millions of dollars added to the city’s economy and tens of thousands of visitors from around the world brought annually by Austin City Limits Music Festival and South By Southwest Music & Media Conference.
Source: Texas Perspectives, City of Austin, 2004
Sims Foundation – Helping Austin Musicians Stay in Tune
The SIMS Foundation’s Mission is to provide access to and financial support for mental health and addiction recovery services for Austin-area musicians and their families. SIMS was founded in 1995 by the friends and family of Sims Ellison, a talented young Austin musician, after his battle with depression ended in suicide.
Austin is hailed as “The Live Music Capitol of the World” for good reason. With over 200 live music venues and internationally recognized music festivals such as SXSW and ACL, thousands of musicians make this city their home. Unfortunately, with the rising cost of living and increasing competition for jobs in the music business, many musicians find themselves struggling financially and emotionally.
Irregular hours, travel schedules, financial insecurity and proximity to alcohol and drugs can take their toll on musicians and their families, sometimes resulting in depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and alcohol and drug abuse. Professional musicians are often uninsured or underinsured and cannot always pay out of pocket for expensive counseling and addiction treatment. That’s why SIMS is here to help.
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