Five Things That Are Worthy of Your Generous Support

Local arts organizations need your help when it comes to end-of-year giving

Because sometimes we want to give a gift to a friend or a family member, and sometimes we want to help support an entire community of creative workers and supercharge the cultural goodness of the very place in which we live. There's no lack of artistic organizations that could use a little financial somethin'-somethin' (or even volunteers) in our burgeoning city, of course, and here are just five for your holiday consideration.

Austin Film Society

Celebrating the locally based film industry and cinephile scene since 1985, Austin Film Society provides exceptional artistic projects with grants and support services, runs the AFS Cinema that brings so many premieres, classics, and underexposed gems of cinematic brilliance to light, and offers Austin Public, a technology-abetted space for our city's diverse media makers to train and collaborate in, providing more affordable access to filmmaking and film careers. (p.s. Purchase, give, or renew any membership through Jan. 2, and get an AFS Cinema Concessions card, worth five free treats.)

Blue Lapis Light

This touring aerial dance company has been wowing local crowds since 2005, the harnessed dancers suspended like daredevil angels of terpsichore from the upper reaches of bridges, buildings, and power plant stacks. "Blue Lapis Light is committed to challenging physical limitations and inspiring audiences with a sense of wonder," says their mission statement. And they do – via performances everywhere, outreach programs like Youth Taking Flight, and maintaining their soaring, 3,000-square-foot studio used for company rehearsals, community classes, and for movement artists to rent.

Texas Book Festival

The annual festival weekend is usually held around the state Capitol building each fall, as it has been for the past 26 years, although a pandemic sometimes requires a more virtual location. Still, every fest, wrangled by more than 50 committee chairs and 1,000 other volunteers, features an array of author presentations and panels, booksignings, cooking demos, activities for kids of all ages, and exhibiting vendors from across the state and country. The TBF – which also runs several literary and literacy programs – is pleased to shine a bright spotlight on Texas authors, but hosts writers from all over the world, garnering a reputation as one of the most prestigious book festivals in the country.

Austin Creative Alliance

Founded in 1975 as the Austin Circle of Theatres, now evolved (not unlike a sort of philanthropic Pokémon) into a much more powerful and wider ranging entity, ACA's mission is to "advance, connect and advocate for Austin's arts, cultural, and creative communities to strengthen and protect the character, quality of life, and economic prosperity of our region." It accomplishes this by connecting artists across disciplines to resources and a broad community network to support their work, and fiscally sponsoring more than 400 cultural events each year, empowering emerging and established artists and organizations with access to funding, insurance, and expertise.

Creative Action

If you, too, believe the children are our future, this Austin force-for-good is your huckleberry of hope. Creative Action uses the arts as a medium to inspire creativity, unlock potential, and transform the lives of students of all ages, helping them develop skills for long-term academic, personal, and career success through high-quality, socially and culturally relevant education programs led by professional teaching artists. Truth: If the kids are gonna be all right – as artists, as citizens, as thoughtfully expressive human beings – it's often due to how we've helped them along the way.

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Five Things ..., Austin Film Society, Austiin Creative Alliance, Creative Action, Blue Lapis Light, Texas Book Festival

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