Funding initiative & survey to address lack of affordable space for creatives.
In response to Austin’s dramatic growth over the past decade, with substantially higher rents and fewer spaces for local artists to rehearse, create, and perform, the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division, part of the Economic Development Department, announces the Art Space Assistance Program (ASAP). The program stems from the 2016 Austin Music & Creative Ecosystem Omnibus Resolution which identified lack of affordable space for artists as a priority concern. ASAP will assist arts organizations facing displacement, those previously displaced, or those facing lease renewals at significantly higher rates with grants to be used for tenant improvements or rent stipends. The grants will be made on a competitive basis, and priority will be given to organizations confronting immediate and critical needs. Nonprofits serving high at-risk/disadvantage communities, ALAANA (African-, Latino, Asian, Arab- and Native American) communities, and women organizations are encouraged to apply. The City also announces the launch of the Creative Space Survey, a separate but related initiative aimed at gathering further information on the space needs of Austin’s artists.
“Austin’s creative community is at the heart of what makes our City vibrant and unique,” said Meghan Wells, Manager of the Cultural Arts Division. “As affordability issues continue to grow, so too will the City’s commitment to supporting local artists in as many ways as possible. We are pleased to add the Art Space Assistance Program and Creative Space Survey to our growing list of resources aimed at cultivating and retaining artists across Austin.”
ASAP Timeline and Application
The ASAP pilot program is being launched with $200,000 in one-time funding. Organizations may apply for a financial assistance grant of up to $50,000 for tenant Improvements and up to $35,000 for rent stipend. A Grant Review Committee comprised of public and private sector leaders in the arts, banking, and real estate will evaluate the applications and make final recommendations for awards.
The anticipated schedule for awarding grants is as follows:
Informational Meeting June 29, 2017
Last Day for Submitting Questions July 14, 2017
Applications Due August 1, 2017
Awards Announced August 31, 2017
Grant Contract and Disbursement Deadline September 29, 2017
All interested applicants are asked to attend an information meeting on the ASAP program on June 29 at 6 PM in the Boards and Commissions Room at Austin City Hall, 301 West 2nd Street. The meeting will also be broadcast live on ATXN, the City of Austin's television station, and recorded and posted on the Cultural Arts Division website shortly after the event.
Complete program guidelines, including eligibility requirements and review criteria, may be accessed at http://bit.ly/2r9H73W. Applications for the ASAP program will be available shortly and may be accessed here: http://bit.ly/2tOiirj.
Creative Space Survey
In an ongoing effort to understand the specific space needs of Austin's artists, arts organizations, and other creatives, the Economic Development department has launched the Creative Space Survey. This survey will be conducted annually as part of the City’s cultural planning efforts and will help the City and partner organizations better understand the needs and constraints facing Austin's creative sector related to performance, exhibition, and/or administrative space. Austin’s creative community is asked to respond to the survey at bit.ly/AustinCreativeSpaceSurvey by August 31, 2017. (Note: The survey is not required as part of the ASAP application and has no bearing on award selection for that program.)
City of Austin Economic Development Department Cultural Arts Division (CAD)
The Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department provides leadership and management for the City’s cultural arts programs and for the development of arts and cultural industries. The Cultural Arts Division is responsible for the Cultural Arts Funding Programs, Art in Public Places Program, community-based arts development, and programs to assist the development of film and creative industries in Austin. For more information, visit www.austincreates.com.