Grant Administration

Supporting Austin's Creative Sector Through Grant Administration

The City of Austin has a long history of providing critical funding for experiences and destinations that draw visitors to our City. This funding is made possible through the Hotel Occupancy Tax. This is a statewide tax fund collected from hotels and other tourist-related accommodation providers to promote the very cultural activities that attract Austin-based tourism in the first place. 

In 2023, the City contracted Create Austin to administer and manage its five HOT Cultural Funding Grant Programs: The Austin Live Music Fund, The Elevate Grant, The Nexus Grant, The Thrive Grant, and The Heritage Preservation Grant. 

Our role is administration and logistics. We ensure that grant funds are distributed, and support people through both the application and award process. As stewards of public money, Create Austin is also tasked with providing quality financial reporting to the City and the community.

Create Austin is responsible for:

  • Managing Grant Applications: Initial collecting and processing of applications.
  • Distributing Funds: Ensuring that awarded funds are appropriately disbursed to recipients.
  • Financial Reporting: Collaborating with City of Austin staff on expense reporting.
  • Logistics Coordination: Assisting and advising on City of Austin timelines, deadlines, and milestones for each grant program.
  • Document Management: Maintaining records for each grant program.

Create Austin is not responsible for:

  • Selection of Awardees: The decision-making process for which applicants receive grants.
  • Setting Grant Criteria: Deciding the qualifications or requirements for grant eligibility.
  • Policy Creation: Designing or amending any policies related to the grant process.
  • Determining Grant Amounts: Deciding how much money is awarded for each grant category.
  • Defining Grant Categories: Creating or defining the specific categories or types of grants available.
  • Fundraising: Actively seeking or raising additional funds for the grant programs.
  • Endorsing Specific Projects: Promoting or endorsing any specific projects funded by the grants.
  • Grant Renewals: Deciding whether a grant can be renewed or extended for recipients.
  • Evaluating Artistic Merit: Assessing the quality or value of applicants’ artistic contributions.

About the Grants

Austin Live Music Fund

This fund was established by City of Austin and provides an ongoing budget for cultural funding programs for Austin’s music industry.

Elevate Grant

Grants for arts organizations, individual artists, and creative businesses that produce culturally vibrant and diverse artistic content.

Nexus Grant

Grants for new and emerging local small organizations, individual artists, and small arts businesses to produce creative public projects.

Thrive Grant

Provides focused investment to sustain and grow arts organizations that are deeply rooted in and reflective of Austin’s diverse cultures.

Heritage Preservation Grant

Promotes tourism through historic preservation projects and activities inclusive of all stories rooted in history and heritage.

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See the impact

Calendar of
Grant-funded Events

Browse local events that have been funded by grants from the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department.

Creativity should be prioritized in our city – creating vibrant neighborhoods, social impact, sustainable economics, and job opportunities. By working together, we can enrich the lives of all who live in and visit our vibrant city.

By the Numbers

Austin Live Music Fund Applicants and Awardees

Established by the City of Austin, the Austin Live Music Fund provides an ongoing budget for cultural funding programs for Austin’s music industry. See statistics and details from the City of Austin Economic Development Department for the 2023 Live Music Fund Event Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

To apply to one of the five grants administered by Create Austin, visit our Submittable Grant Management Platform. For more information on each program, you can explore our Resource Hub or visit the City of Austin website:

It is important to look at the city’s eligibility guidance for each program, to find the grant application closest suited to you or your organization.

While most of the public resources available for 2023’s round of grant programs will be found through the City of Austin, Create Austin is working to produce a great number of additional resources to support future applicants, current grantees, and community networkers. These will include, but not be limited to: public training sessions on grant writing, engagement opportunities for community collaboration and feedback, and detailed guidance on application processes, timelines, and eligibility.

The Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) is a statewide tax collected from hotels and other tourist-oriented accommodation providers. It is used to support the cultural industries within cities that drive tourism. The five City of Austin grants administered by Create Austin are funded exclusively through this source.

As a contractor of the city, Create Austin is not responsible for the selection of grant awardees. Our role is administration and logistics – ensuring the grant funds are distributed and providing financial reporting back to the city.

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