DAWA Launches No-Cost Content Studio for BIPOC Creatives

Austin creatives and orgs can apply ahead of August opening

The new DAWA Studios in downtown Austin (Courtesy of DAWA)

On Tuesday, during a promotional event with Tito's, local support group DAWA (Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action) announced the launch of a new downtown podcasting and livestream studio.

DAWA Studios will be available to BIPOC artists, creatives, and organizations free of charge at 800 West 5th Street, Suite 100A. Resources available in the space will include professional editing software, lighting, cameras, and audio equipment to create online content like livestreams, videos, and podcasts. On Instagram, the organization explains that the studio “will be entirely subsidized through donors, grants, and revenue generated from the studio ([by] corporate and non-BIPOC clients).”

DAWA Studios (Courtesy of DAWA)

Set to officially open in August, DAWA invites interested creatives to apply now at this online form.

DAWA founder Jonathan "Chaka" Mahone, former Austin Music Commission Chair, shares via press release: “We want to build a robust ecosystem that locates, develops, and empowers the incredible artists and organizations that are underrepresented here in the city. As an organization, we are building the structures that I wish were here when my wife and I moved to Austin 12 years ago. Now is the time to build our own resources and tell our own stories.”

Half of husband-wife musical duo Riders Against the Storm, Mahone founded DAWA to provide emergency financial assistance to people of color working as artists, musicians, social workers, healthcare providers, and service industry workers. In the past two years, the organization has distributed $153,000 in direct financial assistance to over 600 Austinites. Collaborations with Tito’s culminated in a packed-out South by Southwest kickoff showcase of all Black women artists at Stubb’s in March.

Mahone’s mastery of community-building via live streaming and online content includes distributing $32,000 of fundraising in less than a week to impacted Texans during the February 2021 winter storms. The new studio is also made possible through partnerships with Six Square, Juiceland, and Twelve Rivers Realty. He hopes for DAWA Studios to act as an incubator for Austin talent and create hours of online content for free.

Established Austin rapper Anastasia Hera adds via press release: “This studio is providing the access and amplification we need as artists of color in this city. In sharing this powerful platform with like-minded creatives, DAWA Studios is doing the work to ensure that we are properly seen, heard, and felt.”

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Rachel Rascoe
Faster Than Sound: 10 New Things to See at Hot Summer Nights
Faster Than Sound: 10 New Things to See at Hot Summer Nights
New bands, new names, and new releases among the hundred-plus free-entry acts

Aug. 5, 2022

Remembering Radio Legend John Aielli, 1946-2022
Remembering Radio Legend John Aielli, 1946-2022
Longtime KUT and KUTX host was loved for his eccentric insights and eclectic taste

Aug. 5, 2022


DAWA, Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action, Jonathan "Chaka" Mahone, DAWA Studios, Riders Against the Storm

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle