The Austin Chronicle

Planet Plan It

By Robert Faires, May 13, 2005, Arts

As Austin moves closer and closer to Extreme Makeover: The Downtown Edition, with high-rise office towers and multistory condo and apartment buildings set to sprout all over the place, it seems prudent to ask: Where do the arts fit into all this? You can not only find out the answer so far but contribute to the direction of the arts in future downtown planning by attending a Community Charrette sponsored by the city of Austin's Cultural Arts Division this Saturday. Over six hours, participants will learn about work to-date on a Downtown Arts Master Plan, current civic and public art trends, and a project timeline, then be able to discuss specific districts stretching from Auditorium Shores to the UT campus (Seaholm, West End Market, Warehouse, Second Street Retail, Uptown, East Sixth, Rainey, Red River, et al.) in terms of their existing conditions and the future, with the arts further integrated into them to enhance downtown for residents, businesses, and visitors. The Downtown Arts Master Plan will provide a framework, guidelines, and an action plan for civic arts and public art that will contribute to creating a culturally dynamic downtown.

Jennifer Murphy and David Leard of CitiArts, the Charlotte, N.C., consultant hired to help the city facilitate the Downtown Arts Master Plan, will lead the charrette, which will be held Saturday, May 14, 9am-3pm, at Waller Creek Center, 625 E. 10th. For more information, call Janet Seibert, Cultural Arts Division, at 974-7860.

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