It never fails. Come city budget time, funding for the arts always manages to
become a hot topic. This year is no different. A controversy has arisen over a
proposal to pay for operation of the Cultural Affairs Office out of the money
raised by the hotel/motel bed tax and dedicated to the arts. Recently formed
advocacy group Allied Arts and Audiences for Austin (AAAFA) notes that this
move would take $163,000 out of the total to be distributed to local arts
organizations. As a way of urging the city council to keep the cultural
contracts administration a general fund expense, AAAFA is circulating a
petition on the issue. Signatures by certified Austin citizens will be
July 4. For info, call 280-5182 or 472-5927.
If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Downtown
In an effort to throw a spotlight on the diverse and creative arts and entertainment scene downtown -- and to bring more folks into the area to sample its offerings -- the Downtown Austin Alliance is instituting a new monthly event, "First Tuesday Downtown." As the name implies, it will be held the first Tuesday of each month, 5-9pm, and will feature many area arts organizations and businesses providing special events and discounts as well as their usual fare; artists' booths and performers on the sidewalks; shows for children; concerts; exhibits; vendor tables; and whatever else they can cook up to further the stated goal of developing a pedestrian-friendly night life for all ages in downtown Austin. The first "First Tuesday" is next Tuesday, July 5; if you're in the area, look for the balloons identifying participating venues. For more info on the event and how to take part, call Anne Gilliam at 469-1766.
Congraulations to former Austin theatre artist and VORTEX Repertory Company co-founder Steve Bacher. Word from the Planet (Planet Theatre, that is, VORTEX's current home) is that Bacher married Karen Courtney last Saturday in Long Island, New York. The couple now reside in Jersey City.
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