AUSTIN (KXAN) — An annual celebration keeping music alive in Austin and helping those who play get connected with health care begins Tuesday.
More than 200 free performances will take place in the city, partnering with stores and restaurants that will donate some proceeds to help the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, or HAAM. The non-profit helps provide affordable health care for working musicians, many of whom have multiple jobs and live below the poverty line.
“HAAM Benefit Day is our biggest event of the year and is a great representation of why Austin is such a unique Texas city,” said Matthew Long, event chair and HAAM Board member. “Showcasing all of this immense talent on one day is a terrifically exciting way to celebrate Austin culture, and HAAM is devoted to making sure this culture is here to stay.”
This year’s HAAM Benefit Day comes on the heels of potential changes to national health care requirements, including President Donald Trump’s promise not to enforce the individual mandate requirement of the Affordable Care Act. Previously, those who elected not to get health insurance had to pay a fine, which prompted more people to sign up. With that mandate gone, the need for HAAM could rise, making Tuesday’s fundraiser even more important.