2016 CEO Report

Turning Austin's Boom into Opportunities for Arts, Culture and Creativity

Since January 2015, the Austin Creative Alliance has convened a series of Creative Sector Summits to progressively address the affordability challenges facing the arts, culture and creative industries in Austin. With over one hundred organizations and leaders from music, performing arts, film, visual arts, design and media participating in the process, the summits identified the most urgent shared issue as a crisis in creative infrastructure. Amid skyrocketing property costs and rapid population growth we confront a looming loss of music venues, theaters, galleries, studios and work space. Across the board, successful organizations with strong audiences and long histories of contributing to Austin's economic and cultural life face displacement solely because they cannot increase revenue quickly enough to keep pace with a booming real estate market.

In response, summit participants pooled ideas and data, the ACA researched development and civic solutions, and smaller groups defined what success looks like for their business models. The resulting proposals will be presented at this briefing to the ACA membership, which will also look at the summit process so far, review what other cities have done and discuss how we can address short term emergency needs. Most importantly, we will turn toward the huge opportunities offered by our city's growth. If the arts, culture and creative industries come together with a unified voice in the civic conversation, we can leverage our region's booming population into huge new audiences, expanded arts education, and growth in creative infrastructure, resulting in more jobs for creatives and a continually vibrant, innovative, homegrown culture for Austin.


Shea Little, Big Medium, ACA Board Chair

Jenny Larson, Salvage Vanguard Theater

Debbie Kizer, Imagine Art

Brad Carlin, thinkEAST

Matt Puckett, Mother Falcon

Matthew Hinsley, Austin Classical Guitar

Michelle Schumann, Austin Chamber Music Center

John Riedie, CEO, Austin Creative Alliance

ACA is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.

81 San Marcos St, Suite C1 Austin, Texas 78702
512/247-2531 512/247-2538 fax

With additional support from: