CreateAustin: The future is now

The cultural planning process has produced a draft with visionary recommendations and now needs public input

Can you imagine an Austin with low-cost living/work spaces for artists? With an artist-in-residence in every neighborhood in the city? With a one-stop website with easily accessible information on health services, affordable housing, and job opportunities for artists? With a large-scale membership organization (think AARP) that brokers services and provides advocacy for artists and to which every person involved in a creative industry or activity in Austin belongs? Some people have, and they've incorporated these and a number of similar visionary ideas into the cultural blueprint called CreateAustin. For more than a year, dozens of citizens from all corners of the community have been working together to envision Austin's cultural landscape 10 years from now and how we might get to it. They've been looking at cultural facilities, infrastructure, arts education, social support for individual artists, tax districts, public art, tourism, and everything else that will affect the cultural life of Austin in the coming years. The process has been facilitated by the Cultural Arts Division of the city's Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office and will be presented for approval to the City Council, but it's essentially a plan created of the people for the people and will be implemented largely by the people. Earlier this year, task forces were set up in six major areas – support for individual creativity, built environment, creativity and learning, communications and collaborative ventures, cultural infrastructure, and financial resources – that developed major recommendations for the big plan. Those have been summarized and synthesized into a draft document, which is being offered up for public review and commentary. As someone who has been on the inside of the process for the past year and has been witness to similar attempts at arts plans over the past couple of decades, I can attest that there are some genuinely exciting ideas being proposed – and they have a better chance of being implemented than probably any developed in any previous cultural plan. But your participation is crucial. You can get a load of the draft yourself by going to Then you can offer your thoughts on it at a community meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 6-8:30pm, at the Thompson Conference Center Dining Hall, 2405 Robert Dedman, on the UT campus. Or you're welcome to submit written comments anytime through Dec. 28, either by e-mail (via or snail mail (to Janet Seibert, City of Austin EGRSO, PO Box 1088, Austin, TX 78767). What in the plan looks good? What got left out? If you haven't been involved yet, get onboard. The future is now.

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More CreateAustin
Plan, Be
Plan, Be
The citizens who spent years dreaming up CreateAustin are now working to make it real

Robert Faires, Sept. 25, 2009

Shape of Things to Come
Shape of Things to Come
What will the arts in Austin look like in 10 years?

Robert Faires, March 7, 2008

More arts planning
CreateAustin: Mapping our future, artswise
CreateAustin: Mapping our future, artswise
Help determine what Austin's cultural scene will look like in the future by getting involved with CreateAustin

Robert Faires, Jan. 19, 2007

More by Robert Faires
Introducing the 2019 Class of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame
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The stories behind the art transformers of this year's Hall of Fame inductees

May 24, 2019

"Rosa Nussbaum: Horizonland" at Women & Their Work
The artist draws on her experience as a stranger in a strange land without her own wheels, viewing the world through the lens of a car window

May 24, 2019


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