El Sadek to Work with Watershed Protection Department for Program's Inaugural Year
AUSTIN, TX—The City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division, part of the Economic Development Department, announced the launch of the City’s first Artist-in-Residence program this past February. Today, the division has announced the selection of Rehab El Sadek as artist-in-residence for the program’s inaugural year. She was selected by City staff from a competitive applicant pool, and will be embedded within the Watershed Protection Department for a nine-month residency beginning in May.
A painter, photographer, printmaker and installation artist, El Sadek has an established social and artistic practice. She has initiated workshops and creative interventions on issues ranging from women’s rights to children with disabilities. A native of Egypt now based in Austin, El Sadek has created work in locations as far away as Africa and Pakistan, and as close as Dallas. She has had solo exhibitions in galleries in Amsterdam, London, and Cairo, among other locations, and has been included in dozens of group presentations.
“We are pleased to welcome Rehab El Sadek as the first Artist-in-Residence with the City of Austin,” said Meghan Wells, Cultural Arts Division Manager. “Rehab brings to the program a creative practice that investigates the importance and impact of social issues through her own unique cultural and artistic lens.”
The mission of the Watershed Protection Department is to protect lives, property, and the environment in Austin by reducing the impact of flood, erosion and water pollution. To that end, El Sadek intends to use her residency to create artworks “that engage the public around concepts of nature,” and to implement a plan for raising awareness about the role of water in the environment. Specifics of her artwork and her process for community engagement will be developed in coming months in collaboration with Watershed Protection staff.
The Artist-in-Residency program was chosen from a field of staff-generated proposals in the City’s Idea Accelerator initiative, administered by the Office of Innovation, with the goal of embedding artists within City departments to help resolve problems, provide innovative or new process improvements, and engage residents around community issues in creative ways. It supports various City initiatives and efforts, including the Music and Creative Ecosystem Omnibus Resolution, Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, and the City’s newly launched Equity Assessment Tool. In future years, the Cultural Arts Division hopes to expand the program to include a wider range of participating City departments, with artists working in multiple disciplines.
City of Austin Economic Development Department Cultural Arts Division
The Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department provides leadership and management for the City’s cultural arts programs and for the development of arts and cultural industries. The Cultural Arts Division is responsible for the Cultural Arts Funding Programs, Art in Public Places Program, community-based arts development, and programs to assist the development of film and creative industries in Austin. For more information, visit www.austincreates.com.
City of Austin Watershed Protection Department
Watershed Protection protects lives, property and the environment of our community by reducing the impact of flood, erosion and water pollution.
City of Austin Innovation Office
The City of Austin's Innovation Office helps diverse and inclusive teams examine challenges and opportunities to surface better ideas and solutions that make a lasting, positive impact. They work with internal and external partners to develop, test, organize, and encourage innovative projects with the goal of fostering a culture of innovation within the City of Austin.