Priority Program 5: Grow and Invest in Austin’s Creative Economy
Growing and investing in Austin’s creative culture is a cornerstone of the city’s identity, as well as of its economy. The focus is to encourage and support Austin’s live music, festivals, theater, film, digital media, and new creative art forms. In order to support the creative industry, this priority program will include educational and economic programs as well as programs that provide affordable transportation, work space, housing, and healthcare.
Parks and Recreation Department (Laura Esparza- Program Champion); Planning and Zoning; Austin Public Library; Economic Development
For additional information about this priority program, see page 199 of Imagine Austin, or contact the Planning and Zoning Department liaison.
Needs Assessment Studies for the Creative Sector: With the completion of the Building Austin's Creative Capacity needs assessment study of individual artsits and nonprofit arts and culture organizations, and the Austin Music Census needs assessment of Austin's commercial music industry (musicians, music industry entrepreneurs, and employees, and live music venues) Austin completes a major work plan item of the Creative Economy Priority Program. These studies, together with the pivotal Music and Creative Ecosystem Omnibus Resolution initiated by the Mayor in the Spring of 2016, provide numerous strategies to assist with the ongoing development and sustainability of Austin's creative sector.
Completion of 3 Nationally Funded Projects Builds Austin's Capacity for "Creative Placemaking": With the completion of the ArtPlace America grant-funded thinkEAST Living Charrette and Drawing LInes, and the NEA Our Town grant-funded Creative Action's Chestnut Neighborhood, Austin is strengthening its ability to conduct "creative placemaking" projects where partners from the public, private, and community sectors leverage the power of the arts, culture, and creativity to serve a community's interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth, and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place. The multi-year partnership with the Aquatics Division of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department and community partners, "My Park, My City," continues Austin's skill building in creative placemaking. Forklift Danceworks and partners have just been awarded an NEA Our Town grant to begin in 2016. The project is designed to engage residents from East Austin neighborhoods in re-imagining their relationship to their parks and pools.
Arts and Social Well-Being: Coupled with creative economy is the value of arts and social well-being. Austin's city-owned cultural centers - Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, George Washington Carver Museum, and the Asian American Resource Center have contributed much to preserving and sustaining the ongoing cultueral traditions these ceters represent. The Austin's Critics' Table Awards highlighted the MACC, the Carver Museum was awarded a University of Texas Community Partnership Award for their 30-year commitment to building community through arts and history programs, and the AARC presented Austin's first Smithsonian exhibit, highlighting the beginnings of Asians in America.