The Cultural Arts Division works with numerous public and private community stakeholders to foster cultural tourism to Austin and to expand patronage of our City's cultural offerings. In 2015, arts consulting firm Public City was contracted to develop a comprehensive cultural tourism strategy. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and commissioned by the Cultural Arts Division, Austin’s cultural tourism plan is about continuing to build, invest, and provide the conditions that further Austin’s capacity to create and share the stories of the people and cultures that define the Austin experience.

BACKGROUND:

Development of a comprehensive cultural tourism strategy was called for in the 2010 CreateAustin Cultural Master Plan and again in the 2012 Imagine Austin Plan. In 2015,  Public City drafted Austin's plan, and in 2016, the Mayor's Music and Creative Ecosystem Omnibus Resolution called for its implementation. City staff responded to this directive with the 2016 Music and Creative Ecosystem Stabilzation Recommendations, which are currently being implemented. 

IMPLEMENTATION:

The Cultural Arts Division has implemented the following initiatives in response to recommendations outlined within the Cultural Tourism Plan:

FY 2017

- Developed a three-part PR & Marketing workshop series aimed at educating local artists on best practices for marketing their organizations, particularly to tourists.

- Supported City-wide Day of the Dead Festival

- Supported cultural programs developed by the Parks and Recreation Department

- Provided support for Austin artists to participate in UNESCO events and activities in alignment with the City's UNESCO City of Media Arts Designation

 

Supported the following plan recommendations:

*Showcase Austin’s arts ecosystem to visitors to uncover its rich cultural diversity

*Export Austin: Participate and lead in the global culture and global tourism efforts

*Invest in projects that are developed locally with the potential of global interest

*Leverage the reach of non-profit arts organizations in Austin to help attract visitors

 

FY 2018

- Established a partnership with South by Southwest in support of the City's UNESCO Media Arts designation (Developed media arts exhibition and companion panel discussion, as an official part of the SXSW Art Program and Cities Summit.)

- Provided support for production of the 2018 Texas Biennial catalog, which accompanied the state-wide art event

- Supported cultural programs developed by the Parks and Recreation Department

- Provided support for Austin artists to participate in UNESCO events and activities in alignment with the City's UNESCO City of Media Arts Designation

-Developed comprehensive brochure highlighting Cultural Arts Division services and a UNESCO Media Arts booklet to highlight Austin's media arts programs to local, national and international audiences

 

Supported the following plan recommendations:

Showcase Austin’s arts ecosystem to visitors to uncover its rich cultural diversity

*Export Austin: Participate and lead in the global culture and global tourism efforts

*Invest in projects that are developed locally with the potential of global interest

*Leverage the reach of non-profit arts organizations in Austin to help attract visitors.

 

FY 2019

- Expanded partnership with South by Southwest in support of the City's UNESCO Media Arts designation to include international artists (Developed media arts exhibition that included artists from other UNESCO cities and companion panel discussion, as an official part of the SXSW Art Program)

- Supported City-wide One Road Austin Festival, cultural programs developed by the Parks and Recreation Department

 

Supported the following plan recommendations:

*Allocate resources to engage experts to develop a comprehensive communications strategy

*Showcase Austin’s arts ecosystem to visitors to uncover its rich cultural diversity

*Export Austin: Participate and lead in the global culture and global tourism efforts

*Invest in projects that are developed locally with the potential of global interest

*Leverage the reach of non-profit arts organizations in Austin to help attract visitors.

 

OTHER CURRENT PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES SUPPORTING THE CULTURAL TOURISM PLAN

Daybird Music Series (in collaboration with Visit Austin)

Creation of a UNESCO Media Arts Steering Committee

Visionary Voices: lecture series in partnership with Texas Society of Architects featuring high-profile artists from across globe

Expanded programming at the African American Cultural and Heritage Facility

Expanded TEMPO Programming (Targeted at regional tourists and locals)

Brochures and ads highlighting TEMPO, CAD, UNESCO Media Arts Programs and other tourist–focused projects distributed locally and across the state

Creative Ambassadors Program