The City of Austin offers a number of services and resources for artists, arts organizations, and creative sector businesses across many of the city’s departments. Whether you’re looking for funding for a project, need help getting your business off the ground, or are looking to open a cultural venue, make sure to check out our lists of resources the City of Austin provides to help find the right services for you.

 

Grants & Funding

The City of Austin offers grants and funding for a number of cultural uses, from funding for community initiatives and festivals to funding to support your organization’s operations. Take a look at this guide for a listing of the various cultural funding options the City offers.

Core Funding Program

The Core Funding Programs offer organizational and project support to local 501c3 arts and culture organizations, as well as qualifying individual artists and organizations.
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Community Initiatives Program

The Community Initiatives Program offers funding to support the marketing, production, and presentation of public performances and exhibitions by nonprofits arts and culture organizations, as well as qualifying individual artists and organizations.
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Cultural Heritage Festivals Program

The Cultural Heritage Festivals Program provides funding to local 501c3 nonprofit organizations, individual artists, and other organizations to strengthen the marketing, production, presentation, and funding of a culturally-specific festival.
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Capacity Building Program

The Capacity Building Program provides funding for individual artists and arts organizations with a budget less than $200,000 to provide professional development opportunities (i.e. conferences, workshops, classes, and memberships) to enhance and strengthen the infrastructure and workforce of Austin’s creative sector.
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Opportunities for Artists

Are you an artist, musician, filmmaker, performer, or even all of the above? Make sure to check out these resources for upcoming artists opportunities, commissions, competitions, artist residencies and more. The City of Austin hosts a number of opportunities for artists to share and display their work throughout the year and this page lists the many programs that offer calls to artists to submit their work or apply.

Neighborhood Partnering Program

Managed by the Public Works Department, the Neighborhood Partnering Program (NPP) provides opportunities for community and neighborhood organizations to affect public improvements by sharing in the costs of those efforts with the City of Austin government. Public improvements could include such things as works of public art, beautification and enhancement projects, community gardens, and more.
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TEMPO: Austin’s Temporary Public Art Program

The TEMPO program allows artists to propose and create temporary public artworks in a range of themes suitable for the outdoor environment. It provides the opportunity for innovative, thought provoking artwork that impacts the way people experience their environment, and invites dialogue and interaction with others.
Annual calls for submission can be found at austintexas.gov/department/aipp-opportunities

 

Resources for Public Artists

In the realm of public art, artists must work closely with design professionals, contractors, city officials, and community members. Creating project budgets, complying with contractual requirements, and meeting deadlines are necessary to the process. Learn more

 

Get Noticed for Your PR and Marketing

This three-part series, created with input from PR and marketing professionals, CAD staff, and key local media, was hosted in 2017. Each video offers essential public relations and marketing strategies to help artists promote their projects and engage more successfully with their constituents.

PR & Marketing for the Arts

Social Media Marketing & Engagement

Media Arts Roundtable

 

Application Best Practices

In 2017, we invited leaders of Austin's top art shows to present best practices and tips on how to apply and succeed at their events! These videos feature a panel discussion organized by the Austin Creative Alliance and proudly supported by the Cultural Arts Division.

Best Practices to Apply & Succeed at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Best Practices to Apply & Succeed with the Cherrywood Art Fair

Best Practices to Exhibit & Succeed with Blue Genie Art Bazaar

Best Practices to Exhibit & Succeed with the East & West Studio Tours

 

The People's Gallery

The People’s Gallery is a free exhibition of the work of Austin-area artists within the City of Austin’s City Hall. An opening reception kicks-off the new exhibit each year in February and the exhibit remains on display for one year.
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Austin Public Library

The Austin Public Library system (APL) is composed of a Central Library and 20 branch locations that all offer performance and exhibition opportunities. To locate the various branches around Austin please visit library.austintexas.gov/locations
For artists and performers who seek to use space within APL, we invite them to send their inquiries to the following contacts:

Sharon Herfurth, Adult Program Manager
512.974.7420
Sharon.Herfurth@austintexas.gov
To view current programming offered by The Austin Public Library please visit library.austintexas.gov/events
 

Jieun Beth Kim, Exhibit Coordinator
 512.974.7379
Jieun.Kim@austintexas.gov
To view current exhibits offered by The Austin Public Library please visit library.austintexas.gov/events/exhibits

 

Public Artist Training Program

DAC inaugurates a training program for visual artists this January 2018 in creative design for Public Art with an overview of budgeting, engineering, site selection, and proposal preparation. Students will have the opportunity to dialogue with nationally known public artists. Produced in collaboration with Art in Public Places.
Learn more

 

Artists’ Resource Center

Functioning as a no cost meeting and research space for the arts community, the Artist Resource Center offers space for collaboration and the tools for creatives to develop and advance their careers in the arts. Free portfolio reviews by DAC staff.
Learn more

 

Peer Panelists

The Peer Panel Review Process ensures fairness in reviewing cultural funding applications, as well as a consistent quality of arts & cultural programming supported by the City of Austin. The Cultural Arts Division utilizes consultants as panelists who demonstrate expertise in a given creative fields.
Learn more

 

 

Artist Access Program

Artist Access Program in the Parks Department provides free rehearsal space and low-cost performance space for Austin-based artists.  Applications due December 15. 
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Dougherty Arts Center Visual Artist Residency Program

The Dougherty Arts Center’s new Visual Artist Residency Program is a volunteer work exchange that will provide visual artists with the space, facilities, time, and professional interaction to help them develop as practicing artists in exchange for creating outreach opportunities within our community.
Learn More

 

Art in Public Places

The Art in Public Places Program (AIPP) commissions artworks, ranging from murals and sculptures to functional architectural elements, for new and remodeled public facilities. By City ordinance, 2% of all eligible capital improvement project budgets are allocated to commission or purchase public art for that site.
For upcoming calls-for-entry and artists opportunities, visit austintexas.gov/department/aipp-opportunities

 

LaunchPAD: Public Art Mentorship Program

Interested in a career in public art? Through the LaunchPAD program, AIPP pairs established public artists with visual artists moving into the field of public art, so they can gain expertise while providing services benefitting a public art project for the City.
For upcoming calls-for-entry and artists opportunities, visit austintexas.gov/department/aipp-opportunities


 

Professional Development & Small Business Services for Artists

Artists and creatives are businesses too! Make sure to check out some of the professional development opportunities and small business services that cater specifically to artists and creatives. From career coaching to small business loans, these services help you get started as your own small business and can help you take your creative practice to the next level.

Family Business Loan Program

The Family Business Loan Program is a public-private partnership between the City of Austin, HUD, and participating private lenders to offer low-interest loans to qualified small businesses that are expanding and creating jobs. If you think this is the right program for you or if you would like to get more information, call (512)978-2502 to set an appointment to discuss your project with a Loan Program Advisor.
Learn more

Business Skills Certificate

Classroom education on a wide range of relevant small business topics is available at a low cost. Taught by The University of Texas Professional Development Program, these classes can really help the small business owner become better prepared for the day-to-day management of a business. Participants who complete any six classes will receive a Business Success Skills Certificate. A complete list of upcoming classes and events at austintexas.gov/smallbiz

Austin Center for Events

The Austin Center for Events (ACE) oversees the permitting and planning for temporary special events and festivals in the City of Austin. ACE is an interdepartmental team consisting of representatives from multiple city departments working together to support special event planning and permitting. The Austin Center for Event’s goal is to keep all special events safe while promoting quality of life and boosting economic prosperity through the support of special events.
More information may be found at austintexas.gov/citystage or by calling the ACE office at (512)974-1000.

 

ATXgo - ADA Toolkit

Learn nationwide accessibility standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and explore resources for making your venue inclusive and accessible to everyone.

Souly Austin

Souly Austin is a program of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department that provides a flexible set of tools and resources to assist in the formation of merchants associations that will anchor Austin’s business districts. A merchants association is a group of business owners that work together to anchor and stabilize neighboring businesses by organizing around beautification efforts, marketing and promotions, business retention, and economic development activities within a commercial district. Merchants associations act as a unified voice and assist in leading and influencing positive changes in their district.
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Creative Space Development

Curious about starting your own venue or creative space? Have a venue that needs some help with code compliance? Looking to band together with other creative spaces in your area? Check out some of the services available for creative spaces such as incentives, funding, and professional assistance on this page.

Looking for even more services for artists? Check out the Small Business Resource Directory for services on other local, state, and national agencies that support the arts.

ASAP: Art Space Assistance Program

The Art Space Assistance Program (ASAP) provides grants to support non-profits facing permanent displacement, those previously displaced, or those facing lease renewals at substantially higher rates amidst a volatile real estate market. Grants will be made on a competitive basis with priority given to organizations confronting immediate and critical needs.
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Creative Content Incentive Program

The City of Austin offers incentives to qualifying film, television, video game, and visual effects projects equal to 0.50% of wages paid to local workers. Projects produced by an Austin-based company or which significantly promote Austin may be eligible for an additional 0.25% incentive for a total incentive of 0.75%.
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Media Production and Development Zone Incentive

The Media Production and Development Zone incentive, nominated by the City of Austin and administered by the Texas Film Commission, is a two-year exemption on sales and use taxes charged on select equipping of a media production facility.
Learn more