2013 Cultural Arts Funding Allocation Keeps Austin Weird

by Bill Davenport October 5, 2012

Steve Dubov’s Barton Barriers, 2010

The City of Austin has announced the allocation of its fiscal year 2013 Cultural Arts Funding Program awards. Notable for diversity, and many small grants to specific, quirky projects, either directly or through a broad-minded sponsored project option, the long list is cumbersome to untangle, but interesting.  Here’s a summary of  the visual arts recipients:

Most orgs got funding to keep on keeping on-
Austin Center for Photography got $4,900.
Austin Fine Arts Alliance, Inc. AKA Art Alliance Austin got $75,000.
Austin Museum of Art – Arthouse, Inc. got $155,750.
Austin Museum of Digital Art got $8,270.
Austin Visual Arts Association got $45,097.
Jazz (and visual arts) org DiverseArts Culture Works got $26,000.
Serie Project Inc. got $29,000 to advocate for Latino Art through screenprinting
TIPS on Art, art organizers with an eye on a new building in Downtown Austin, received $8,504.
Big Medium got $53,700 and they sponsored magazine Pastelegram ($5,000)
Wax Track Gallery, outdoor monument makers, received $7,441.
The newly-nonprofit, performative art space Co-Lab Projects got $13,951.

Other orgs sponsored sub-projects by artists and others:

Fluent-Collaborative got $4,300 for a sponsored Project with Jennifer Chenoweth.
The Mexic-Arte Museum got $142,200 for itself, and sponsored projects by Daniel Llanes ($8,200), Johnny Degollado ($12,674), Robert Rodriguez ($8,200).
Disability arts advocates VSA arts of Texas got $67,500, and sponsored projects by Mindy Moore ($8,864) and Theron Parker ($11,000).

Margaret Meehan, Laceing, 2011

Though Women & Their Work only got $72,500 for themselves, the org emerged as the umbrella-in chief for a raft of sponsored projects totalling $202,595, the largest total of any arts org in Austin. WTW sponsored projects included Art of the Pot ($4,400), Asian American Community Partnership ($9,603), Austin Area Art from the Streets ($15,000), Bennie Klain/TricksterFilms, LLC ($12,200), Christopher Cogburn ($13,000), Denise Prince ($5,000), Erin Curtis ($4,700), Glass Ceiling ($2,694), Gopher Projects ($4,063), Heloise Gold ($4,600), Jayson Oaks ($10,000), Julie Nathanielsz ($4,300), Kalalaya ($1,000), katherine terumi shorb ($4,083), Lauren Gurgiolo ($4,700), Nancy Schiesari ($12,600), Quixote Entertainment ($3,900), Shay Ishii Dance Company ($5,875), and Women Printmakers of Austin ($8,377).

Officially, “all funding requests must support activities related to programming and projects that are open to Austin residents, visitors and tourists, and are consistent with the promotion and enhancement of The City as a cultural destination.” It’s nice to see that the authorities handing out the handouts apparently see the value in crazy projects as tourist attractions. Maybe, lacking competition from the finely-tuned development departments of major museums, smaller visual arts orgs find credibility easier to come by?

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