The Economic Development Department's Cultural Arts Division manages the City’s cultural arts programs and provides leadership for the economic development of Austin's creative economy.

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The Cultural Arts Division oversees the Cultural Arts Funding Program, Art in Public Places Program (AIPP), and other programs to assist the development of creative industries in Austin, and initiatives designed to support the community’s unique cultural identity and vitality.  Watch a video about Austin’s dynamic and diverse arts community!

The Division also manages the City's African American Cultural and Heritage Facility, which fosters cultural activities, business opportunities, and creative collaboration within the African American community.

The Austin Arts Commission is an eleven-member commission appointed by the City Council, for the purpose of advising on arts-related matters. Learn more details about the Arts Commission monthly meetings.

The Cultural Arts Division staff is always available to assist with any questions about our programs and services.


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National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town Endorsement

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant provides cost share/matching grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 for creative placemaking projects. Our Town projects advance local economic, physical, or social outcomes in communities, ultimately laying the groundwork for systems change and centering equity. These projects require a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization. Endorsement Application Open: May 9 – June 13. 

Review the Our Town grant eligibility requirements including ineligible funding guidelines and frequently asked questions. The City of Austin will not endorse any project that does not meet NEA eligibility requirements.  

To qualify for the Our Town grant, local 501c3 nonprofit organizations must first apply for an endorsement via an application to the City of Austin by the deadline on June 13 at 5 p.m.  NEA limits the number of Our Town grant applicants per city. City of Austin endorsement applications submitted after the June 13 will not be considered.  

If an organization’s City endorsement application is approved, the endorsed organization is responsible for applying for the NEA Our Town grant two-part process. Please review the NEA Our Town website for NEA deadline dates, it is a 2-part submission process. 


Apply to be considered for the City of Austin endorsement. 

The NEA does not currently support multi-lingual applications. Endorsed organizations will be responsible for submitting the final application to the NEA in English. If you have questions or would like to discuss how the City of Austin can better support multi-lingual applications for endorsement, please contact us. Questions? Email Peggy Ellithorpe at


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