Since MTF’s establishment in Austin last year, it’s provided $565,000 worth of free medical care to musicians—making it just the latest organization to try to crack the city’s musician welfare problem. But even with its growing Rolodex of do-gooders, the Live Music Capital of the World is still struggling to keep the show going. Affordability continues to be an ongoing issue—one that’s hardly confined to Austin’s musicians—and consistent streams of revenue have been difficult for artists to access, especially in the era of digital streaming and low music sales. According to HAAM’s most recent reports, more than 60 percent of its members are barely making enough money to get by every month.
Austin is dubbed the Live Music Capital of the World. For some, it’s hard to make it a living at it, especially if you…say….break an arm. CBS Austin anchor, Allison Miller, introduces us to the nonprofit, Musician Treatment Foundation, making a difference, keeping artists playing without skipping a beat.
“Okay, now I’m getting nervous,” admits Jonathan Horne, crossing a skyway between a parking garage and the adjoining medical center.
The night before, he’d endured grisly, pre-surgery nightmares, but the morning arises serene. As Horne enters the lobby of an orthopedic practice, the receptionist presents him with paperwork: “You know what to do.”
Indeed, he does. This is the third hand surgery in the last nine months for one of Austin’s premier guitarists.
Jenifer Jackson, an Austin-based guitarist, was on the verge of taking out a loan to fix a shoulder injury that had forced her to cancel several tours when she received some good news: She had an appointment the following Monday with a top orthopedic surgeon and wouldn’t be paying a penny for his services. The assistance was career-saving.
Austin is home to pioneering nonprofits, such as HAAM and SIMS, that serve the health needs of the music community. Add another: The Musician Treatment Foundation, which aims to heal vulnerable shoulders, elbows and hands, and kicks off with an Elvis Costello benefit concert Oct. 22 at the Paramount Theatre.