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Future Forum Presents: Austin’s Creative Class, Affordability, and Creative Ecosystems

May 23, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016
Google Fiber Space
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Multiple survey and datasets, including the Music Census, Austin Music Industry Economic Impact Study 2016, the Cultural Needs Assessment, the 2013 ArtSpace report, Mayor Adler's Music & Creative Ecosystem Omnibus Resolution, as well as the dislocation of numerous arts organizations, indicate that Austin's rapid rise in property values is displacing low-margin music venues, galleries, studios, and nonprofit performance spaces even as demand for such usage grows. The pace of the real estate market simply outstrips the pace of fundraising and creative industries often lack access to affordable credit.

The loss of creative infrastructure leads to the loss of creative industry jobs, resulting in out-migration of the creative class and a decline in arts, cultural, and creative output that would harm the reputation and character of our city that is known as a creative magnet.  

However, Austin's rapid population increase presents the opportunity to develop new audiences, increase arts education, and grow creative infrastructure in order to stabilize and grow jobs for artists and creatives. Several organizations across the city are working on plans to do just that, including ideas for redeveloping Red River as a cultural tourism destination, affordable live/work housing for artists, and an Eastside Creative District that would increase the number of stages, galleries, and classrooms for performances, visual arts, and arts education.  


  • Jenny Larson, Salvage Vanguard Theater 
  • Shea Little, Big Medium/Canopy/Bolm 
  • Frank Rodriguez, Senior Policy Advisor, City of Austin Mayor's Office
  • John Riedie, Austin Creative Alliance 

The conversation was moderated by Andy Langer.


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Sarah McCracken
Director of Public Programs
LBJ Presidential Library
2313 Red River St.
Austin, TX 78705
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Deborah Arronge
Membership Manager

LBJ Presidential Library
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