Crosstalk: Arts Grants Open, KOKE-FM DJs Change Stations, and More Austin Culture News

The new Texas Touring Roster arrives

Ruthie Foster (photo by Jana Birchum)

The Texas Touring Roster has unveiled its 2024-2026 list of artists. Organized by the Texas Commission on the Arts, the roster connects statewide nonprofits with artists of all disciplines – including music, visual art, dance, theatre, storytelling, literary art, and folk art – who are willing to perform at organization events. Through grants, the TCA helps nonprofits pay those on the roster for performances. Of the 139 artists approved for the two-year program, participating Austinites include musical acts Asleep at the Wheel, Mobley, Jimmie Vaughan, Grupo Fantasma, the Peterson Brothers, and Ruthie Foster; author KB Brookins; the Conspirare choir; and Ballet Austin.

95.9 Texas Country, which recently replaced hip-hop and R&B throwback frequency The New Hot 95.9 on the FM dial, has some familiar names on its freshly announced weekday lineup. Local personalities Bob Cole, Eric Raines, and Deena Blake have all made the jump to the Audacy station after leaving KOKE-FM last month, when the alternative country station switched to an online-only format. Back on terrestrial air, Cole and Raines will host 95.9’s 6-to-10am slot, Blake goes live from 10am to 3pm, and Raines alone wraps from 3 to 7pm.

Thrive and Elevate Grant applications are open now until July 23. Launched last year, the programs offer more than $13 million to local arts organizations. The Thrive initiative selects around 35 established arts nonprofits – which must be a registered 501(c)(3) and have a five-year history of cultural/arts programming in the Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) – to receive $85,000 to $150,000 per year, for two years. Elevate offers $15,000 to $80,000 grants to fund arts organizations, individual artists, and creative businesses’ creative, administrative, and operational expenses. Applicants for the latter program must have at least a one-year history of cultural/arts programming in the Austin-Round Rock MSA. Learn more at

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