Earlier this month, the Art Space Assistance Program was brought before the Austin City Council. The program, which comes after Mayor Steve Adler’s proposals last year aimed at strengthening the city’s music scene, seeks to help local arts nonprofits pay rent and bring their spaces up to code. According to the Austin Monitor, if the program is passed, it will “provide $200,000 in grant funding for local arts nonprofits,” including stipends “of up to $35,000 to help pay rent” and grants of $50,000 to help with code compliance issues.
When asked if this method of funding would have a large impact on Austin’s art community, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo had this to say:
We tend to provide grants to some of the same organizations year after year because they’re larger, more established, they have the capacity to apply for grants. I think we have the ability to really reach out to some of the smaller organizations with a more accessible kind of program, and this could be just the right opportunity.
While the approval of the Art Space Assistance Program was supposed to happen at the May 18th City Council meeting, according to a document from the city’s website, the topic has been postponed to the June 8th Council Meeting. This appears to be due to a list of unresolved questions surrounding the program, including who will be eligible, which governmental departments will work on it, and how it might be implemented.
For more information on the program, see this document from the city’s website.