The Economic Development Department’s (EDD) response to the Austin Music & Creative Ecosystem Omnibus Resolution (Resolution No. 20160303-019) identified affordable space for artists as a priority area of concern. Preserving and increasing the supply of available space for creative people involves the public and private sector working collaboratively to assess existing space needs, anticipate future user demand, and find ways to efficiently bring forward that supply of space. The public sector plays a role in facilitating the provision of space in several key ways.
EDD's Art Space Assistance Program (ASAP) will provide grants to support non-profits facing permanent displacement, those previously displaced, or those facing lease renewals at substantially higher rates amidst a volatile real estate market. This grant program is made possible through one-time funding from the City of Austin General Fund. Non-profits serving high at-risk/disadvantage communities, ALAANA (African-, Latino, Asian-, Arab- and Native American) communities and women organizations are encouraged to apply. Financial assistance may be used for:
Only one financial assistance grant may be awarded per project/organization per funding cycle. Only organizations that have been displaced and relocated (or facing threat of such) since January 1, 2016, or that are facing a lease renewal with substantially higher rates are eligible for financial assistance grants. If City Council chooses to extend this program, funding preference will be given to first (1st) time applicants. Prior recipients will be given priority after the completion of their three-year business plan following their initial award date. Successful applicants to the ASAP program will commit to the following:
Job Retention – With receipt of these funds the organization will commit to maintain current employment levels.
Professional Development – Agree to participate is host one professional development opportunity for the community (speaker, workshop, webinar, etc.), in partnership with the Economic Development Department
Career Development – Agree to engage in career development opportunities with Austin Independent School District, other school districts operating in Austin, or other entities that provide information about career options for students in K-12.
The pilot grant program is being launched with $200,000 in one-time funding available for the Music Venue Assistance Program. Based on recent real estate trends EDD anticipates overwhelming demand for the funds. Organizations with at least a 3-year lease term may apply for a financial assistance grant up to $50,000 for Tenant Improvements and up to $35,000 for Rent Stipend. Tenant Improvement grants will require a 50% match. Potential candidates with less than a 3-year lease must be able to illustrate how the ASAP can be of benefit via required submission of a 3-year business plan and narrative.
Grants will be made on a competitive basis, determined by the criteria list below. Priority will be given to organizations confronting immediate and critical needs.
A Grant Review Committee comprised of public and private sector leaders in the arts, banking and real estate will evaluate the applications and make final recommendations to EDD. Applications must be received by August 1, 2017 to be considered for the Financial Assistance Award for FY2017.
The anticipated schedule for awarding grants is as follows:
June 29, 2017
Last Day for Submitting Questions
July 14, 2017
August 1, 2017
August 31, 2017
Grant Contract and Disbursement Deadline
September 29, 2017
An information meeting on the ASAP program will be held June 29 at 6 PM in the Boards and Commissions Room at Austin City Hall, 301 West 2nd Street. The meeting will also be broadcast live on ATXN, the City of Austin's television station, and posted here shortly following the event.
In tandem with the ASAP program, and in an ongoing effort to understand the specific space needs of Austin's artists, arts organizations, and other creatives, the Economic Development department has launched the Creative Space Survey. This survey will be conducted annually as part of the City’s cultural planning efforts and will help the City and partner organizations better understand the needs and constraints facing Austin's creative sector related to performance, exhibition, and/or administrative space. Austin’s creative community is asked to respond to the survey at bit.ly/AustinCreativeSpaceSurvey by August 31, 2017. (Note: The survey is not required as part of the ASAP application and has no bearing on award selection for that program.)