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City Council to Consider How to Keep Artists in Austin

Many arts groups, such as the Pump Project Art Complex in East Austin, face steep lease increases or expensive renovations to comply with building codes.

As artists and arts organizations are being priced out of Austin, the City Council is studying possible strategies to help them stay in the city, reports Chad Swiatecki of the Austin Monitor. The creation of a land trust is one of the tools City Council will consider next month. Austin’s Music Commission and Arts Commission have been meeting on the issue and will meet again on Monday. Council Member Ann Kitchen is completing language for the resolution which is expected to be considered at the February 15 Council meeting.

The land trust would set aside property for use for performances, studios, and other creative purposes by Austin artists or theater groups. Other ideas for the plan include economic incentives to developments that include below-market rates for arts groups and to create a microloan program to encourage residents to buy more local art. The plan will also require some buy-in from businesses and developers, but Austin just isn’t Austin without the arts.

For more details, read Swiatecki’s full article.

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