TDH: 8/22/11

City Council commemorates the Live Music Capital

TDH: 8/22/11
Photo by John Anderson

No sooner than last week’s City Council meeting ended, another one’s on tap Thursday. While controversy courts this week’s agenda, like the returned settlement motion in the Nathaniel Sanders II shooting, let's ease our way back in with a collection of creative class items, including the 20th anniversary of a certain designation you may have heard of.

The mayor’s office is trumpeting three resolutions addressing Austin’s entertainment scene and economy. First up is an item from Lee Leffingwell, Mike Martinez and Chris Riley updating economic analyses of the city’s various creative industries. The press release notes will updates will supplement “information last collected during the 2001 Music Study, 2004 Film Study, 2005 Cultural Update and 2006 Gaming Study.” The cost of the studies are to be shared with stakeholders from the various fields (although the agenda backup at this time doesn’t get into details at this point); Riley is quoted as saying, “Thanks to a strong participation by the music, film, gaming and visual arts sectors, we’re going to get a fresh understanding of our creative industries at a significant cost savings to our taxpayers.”

Also on tap is a separate item from the same three sponsors addressing MusicianCorps, “a National Service Program (AmeriCorps) that will help promote music education in schools and public programs.” Not mentioned in the press release, but contained in the backup language on that item, is a directive that “The City Manager is directed to provide an accounting of the Downtown Venue Relocation Program, created by Resolution No. 990415-39, and should funds remain, provide recommendations on how to tailor the program to better suit the current needs of the music community in 90 days.”

The city's last stab at that program came in 2005, when council attempted to reconfigure “the Music Venue Relocation Program for Downtown Development” to assist in rebuilding Midtown Live, a popular black entertainment venue whose fire prompted a separate conflagration of racial acrimony; the item was "postponed indefinitely and withdrawn from the agenda.” According to its backup, the 2005 resolution itself was an attempted repurposing of a 1999 loan program that was essentially created to assist with moving and reopening Austin’s storied Liberty Lunch. (And we all know how well that worked out.) Looks like this item is the latest take on such a project, likely timed to coincide with momentum of the Downtown Plan and its expected impact on the Red River club scene. Is the third time the charm?

Lastly, this Thursday will also commemorate the 20th anniversary of Austin's designation as “The Live Music Capital of the World.” Come the meeting’s 5:30pm break for – what else? – live music and proclamations, Leffingwell, Martinez and Riley will celebrate the anniversary, jam to Marcia Ball, and “present special recognition to the 1991 City Council and 1991 Music Commission as well as other key people involved the adoption of ‘Live Music Capital of the World’.”

It was Aug. 29, 1991, when council adopted Resolution 910829-46 – an item from council member Max Nofziger and Mayor Bruce Todd – stating that “the City Manager or her designee is authorized to adopt ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ as the official slogan of the City of Austin, to be proudly displayed in connection with all correspondence, promotion, public relations and publicity.”

See the full deets below:


AUSTIN, TX – Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Councilmember Mike Martinez and Councilmember Chris Riley are sponsoring an item from council to update the data related to Austin’s creative industries. The item will appear before City Council on Thursday August 25th.

“Austin is a creative community and our creative industries help drive our local economy,” said Mayor Lee Leffingwell. “These industries generate billions of dollars locally and employ thousands.”

The economic analysis will include recommendations and will update information last collected during the 2001 Music S