Buda starts negotiations with arts organization to occupy old City Hall

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Buda officials will start negotiations with an arts organization to be the new tenant for its old downtown City Hall building.

At their Aug. 6 meeting, council members voted 6-0—with Ray Bryant absent—to work on a contract with Inspired Minds Art Center, which is seeking to repurpose the facility, located at 121 S. Main St., into a center that will provide art education and theater to the community.

Austin Angels, a nonprofit that acts as a resource to children and families in the foster care system, also submitted a proposal for consideration; proposals were due June 12. The foster care organization pitched an idea to use the vacant facility as a nonprofit community center and its headquarters.

Before the council’s vote on the matter, Council Member Evan Ture thanked both of the organizations for their interest.

“It’s one of these unfortunate situations where you have to pick one at least to start negotiations with,” Ture said. “At the same time, having two amazing candidates was great to hear and to have both of these organizations in Buda is, frankly, an honor.”

Sinead Whiteside and Susan Guerra, co-owners of the art center, said the new facility would provide art instruction for children and adults, along with space for a gallery. They also proposed subleasing a portion of the property to Hill Country Theatre.

“Inspired Minds Arts Center and Hill County Theatre will collaborate to bring the only diverse art center in Hays County to Buda,” Whiteside told council members.

In 2017 the city conducted an online survey to ask residents how they thought the 5,730-square-foot building should be used in the future. Results of the survey, which had more than 380 responses, showed that 29% of respondents wanted theater space.

Additionally, 17% of survey respondents wanted space for community meetings and events, while 5% wanted public art.

Correction: A previous version of this post and headline stated that Inspired Minds Arts Center is a nonprofit, but it is an LLC. Hill Country Theater is nonprofit.

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