Health Alliance for Austin Musicians Purchases First Permanent Home

Nonprofit kicks off 1.6M public fundraising campaign for new facility

HAAM CEO Paul Scott backed by the nonprofit's new building (Photo by Rachel Rascoe)

The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians has purchased their first permanent location in South Central Austin.

The building, at 3036 South 1st Street, is currently under renovation to help more musicians access free or low cost healthcare services under the nonprofit’s unique model. Debuted at a groundbreaking event Wednesday morning, HAAM plans for the new facility to be fully open by the end of September 2022.

“Our mission is focused on making sure that people have access to affordable healthcare, as well as access to prevention and wellness services,” said HAAM’s new CEO Paul Scott, who replaced longtime head Reenie Collins last fall. “By having a permanent home, we’re going to assure that they’ll have that access for the long term. We know that live music is a long-term investment and critical component to making Austin what it is.”

L-R: Heather Ladage, Paul Scott, Alison Silverstein, Matthew Long, and Lesly Reynaga (Photo by Rachel Rascoe)

With a view of St. Edward's University in the distance, the two-story building previously housed administrative offices for Foundation Communities. Upon completion, the facility will include space for musicians to receive assistance with healthcare services, food insecurity, as well as access to computers and a “Musician's Resource Lounge” with a stage for small performances. Staff also plans to move their fan-favorite offering of low-cost custom earplugs to the new space.

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Hanss Blair said while they do hope to nurture in-person connections among musicians in the new building, HAAM does plan to continue offering virtual signup for open enrollment come November.

Austin musician Lesly Reynaga, a member of HAAM, applauded the nonprofit’s expansion of services to meet musicians’ needs during the pandemic.

“It was just so refreshing to see that HAAM really rose to the challenge to expand beyond what it had already built with healthcare,” she said. “Being a part of an ecosystem where we have access to healthcare, and we have that extra safety net, is so important.”

The new building was made possible by a legacy donation of nearly $2.7 million from Robin and Bud Shivers, the latter of which founded HAAM in 2005. The St. David’s Foundation’s contribution of $1.25 million – alongside support from the Topher Family Foundation and Cayetano Development – amounts to $4.4 million of HAAM’s $6-million-dollar fundraising goal. To make up the rest, HAAM launches the public-facing portion of the organization’s capital campaign for the new building.

“By having a permanent home here, we will be able to reduce our overhead, and as a nonprofit, we don’t have to pay property taxes,” said Scott. “That means that more of our dollars and more of your dollars will be going into programs and services, and less into overhead. This capital campaign is really important to know that we’re investing in our musicians and members every day, and that is our focus.”

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

HAAM, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Paul Scott, Lesly Reynaga

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