A recent article in the Statesman demonstrates Austin’s commitment to creativity within the city. According to the article, a new “Create Austin Cultural Master Plan” was recently presented to the City Council after completing two years of planning.
As part of the master plan, a private nonprofit alliance would be formed in order to provide a variety of services to the creative community in Austin, including offering legal services, insurance coverage, and marketing resources. The plan also calls for consolidating the cultural functions of the city into one municipal department.
Developing the plan involved getting input from numerous private and public sector leaders. They then developed the plan, which provides a ten year plan for cultural development that involves a broad definition of the creative sector, including those involved in music, visual arts, computer gaming, film, and the digital media industry.
“This is not a master plan solely focused on the city’s budget,” said the executive director of Ballet Austin, Cookie Ruiz. “We realize that nurturing a sustainable culture of creativity comes from a combination of private philanthropy as well as civic commitment.”
To that end, the plan includes incorporating money that has been pledged through private funders. In fact, one donation has already been pledged that will cover the first three to five year of the Creative Alliance’s operating expenses.
Providing more support to the creative industry in Austin is a win-win situation for the creative individuals as well as for the city. According to the research conducted by the focus group, the creative sector provides the city with a whopping $2.2 billion in economic activity. $48 million of this is in local tax revenue and $1 billion is in the form of tourism income related to the arts.