AUSTIN, TX – The City of Austin Economic Development Department received an award from The National League of Cities for excellence in its 2023 Cultural Diversity Awards program.
The award honors community leadership in developing creative and effective programs to improve cultural diversity. Submissions for the program were grouped by population and evaluated for creativity, community impact, and program scope. The City of Austin was awarded second place in the population of 500,001+ category for its innovative program: Cultural Funding Review Process.
The Economic Development Department's rigorous three-year Cultural Funding Review Process involved deep community conversations and self-analysis to dismantle racist institutional systems, re-imagine what transformational change looks like in the local cultural ecosystem, and re-define the City's role in supporting culture more equitably. The new funding programs that grew out of this Cultural Funding Review Process signal a necessary paradigm shift in the City's investment in arts and culture.
"Over the years, Austin has gained an international reputation for its vibrant cultural scene. At the same time, our city has seen a cultural divide. If this is left unabated it can damage the diversity of our cultural ecosystem and city. Our team has worked hard to re-imagine what a thriving cultural system looks like and what our role is to support it. The Cultural Funding Review process consisted of 36 months of engaging with Austin’s creative community with a willingness to embrace the change that will allow Austin to live up to its reputation as a world-class creative capital for all. We are honored to receive an award from the National League of Cities acknowledging this process that highlights our continued work to build a more equitable Austin." - City of Austin Economic Development Director, Sylnovia Holt-Rabb.
The City of Austin was chosen from more than fifty communities across the country that submitted applications.
"I applaud the winning municipalities and respective city leaders for demonstrating effective, quality programs across their communities,” said NLC President and Mayor of Tacoma, WA, Victoria Woodards. “Our cities, towns, and villages are filled with diverse residents, who are the root of what makes our communities great. Ensuring they feel included and supported through culturally diverse and innovative programs brings us closer to providing endless possibilities for all residents in our communities."
Learn more about the Cultural Funding Review Process.
Winners were recognized at NLC’s 2023 Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C. To learn more about NLC Cultural Diversity Award winners.
About the City of Austin Economic Development Department
The City of Austin Economic Development Department supports business growth, creative industries, and local communities. These programs build an equitable, sustainable economy to improve the lives of all Austin residents. To learn more about helpful resources, visit www.austintexas.gov/edd and subscribe to our newsletter. Connect with us @AustinEconDev on Facebook, @AustinEconDev on Twitter, and @AustinEconDev on YouTube.
Información sobre del Departamento de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad de Austin
El Departamento de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad de Austin fomenta el crecimiento empresarial, las industrias creativas y las comunidades locales. Estos programas construyen una economía equitativa y sostenible que enriquecen las vidas de los habitantes de Austin. Para obtener más información acerca de recursos útiles, visite www.austintexas.gov/edd y suscríbase a nuestro boletín. Conéctese con nosotros en @AustinEconDev en Facebook y @AustinEconDev en Twitter y @AustinEconDev en YouTube.
About The National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions.