Large financial award expected to spur creative community projects

The city of Austin has received $656,500 to bring more art to its streets and neighborhoods.

ArtPlace America awarded $256,500 for project Drawing Lines in which 10 artists—one for each newly drawn City Council district—will capture the character of that district with the neighborhood's help. The artists will then come together and create a singular work representing what they learned about the community.

"We are thrilled that this project will support opportunities for artists to work directly with community members to discover, understand and ultimately express an understanding of the diverse identities that we have within our newly formed districts," said Lynn Osgood, partner with Austin-based GO collaborative, a creative placemaking design and planning firm, in a news release.

The project is expected to last 12 months and has a project budget of $725,000. Additional funding will come from Fusebox and the thinkEAST project.

A new creative living community called thinkEAST Living Charette is the second project awarded money by ArtPlace America, totaling $400,000 in contributions. The project will utilize the concept of creative placemaking and create a "creative district of affordable living, working, learning," artistic expression and performances, according to the news release.

"I think that with creative placemaking, it's about all the diverse people that come together to make a place. Where there could be murals that a business commissions an artist to do, it's kind of a singular place," said Janet Seibert, Civic Arts program consultant. "Creative placemaking is talking about long term, vibrant, creative place that people would want to be. It's happening in Austin without ArtPlace."

The community will be located on a 24-acre former tank farm.

thinkEAST is led by local nonprofit Fusebox. The 2015 Fusebox Festival will be a prototype for testing what aspects the creative community will need. After the festival is over, the master plan for the new community will be created, Cultural Arts Division Manager Megan Crigger said.

"thinkEAST Living Charrette models a future that will provide a new standard for current fast growing development in Austin, informing how creatives can have an impact on neighborhood, town centers and corridor development as identified in the Imagine Austin Growth Map," Crigger said in a news release.

By Jennifer Curington
Jennifer covers Austin City Council, its various committees and local business news. After covering Florida's 2013 legislative session she graduated from Georgia Southern University and joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2014.


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