Every year, the World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF) holds a three-day summit hosted by one of the member cities, and issues a report. As a member of the WCCF, Austin—one of only four U.S. members of the 38 cities—is prominently featured in the document.
Cultural and civic leaders from across the globe, including a representative from the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division within the Economic Development Department, recently gathered in San Francisco for the launch of The World Cities Culture Report 2018, the most comprehensive assessment, to date, of the impact of culture on cities. The 2018 report details how local governments around the world are responding to challenges with cultural policies that are open to a greater range of people, practitioners, art forms and spaces. It also contains information on how cities are using culture to address access to education, social divisions and a rising cost of living.
Some of Austin’s programs are held up as an example of WCCF’s mission. The Cty is addressing its lack of affordable live and work space for artists by increasing the availability of creative spaces through partnerships with public schools (Village of the Arts), churches (Arts in Sacred Places), and by providing financial support to organizations facing rent hikes or displacement (Art Space Assistance Program). The City also participated in the WCCF’s 2018 Leadership Exchange Program to explore urban affordability for the creative sector and establish global best practices for retaining and growing affordable creative spaces. For more information, read last month’s Glasstire’s post “Austin Makes Space for its Artists,” among others.
Austin has been busy responding to the growing needs of artists and art programs. 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 additional information, visit www.austincreates.com.