Resources for Creatives in Austin

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If you’re a creative in Austin, bookmark this blog. It’s filled with tons of resources that creative people can use to sustain and grow their businesses. If you have any resources to add to the list, sound off in the comment section.


Business Resources for Austin Creatives

Compiled by Love’s Apprentice

City of Austin Resources

The Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department provides leadership and management for the City's Cultural arts program and for the economic development of arts and cultural industries

Capital Investment & Cultural Training 

  • The Alliance of Artists Communities is an international association of artists' residencies - a diverse field of more than 1,500 programs worldwide that support artists of any discipline in the development of new creative work

  • Art in Public Places Program commissions artworks, ranging from murals and sculptures to functional architectural elements, for new and remodeled public facilities.

  • Arts Commission advises city council in all arts-related matters

  • Artist in Residence Program embeds artists within City departments to develop imaginative approaches for community engagement and creative expression

  • Austin Emerging Arts Leaders is a chapter of Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network for early-career arts professionals looking for networking and professional development opportunitie

  • Emerging Teaching Artists Program is a s job training program that introduces practicing artists to the art of teaching

  • LaunchPAD Program pairs established public artists with visual artists moving into the field of public art to gain expertise while providing services benefitting a public art project for the City

  • Music Commission advises city council on music development issues

  • TEMPO allows artists to propose and create temporary public artworks in a range of themes suitable for the outdoor environment

  • Women in Jazz Association, Inc. provides Concert Series and Vocal Performance Workshops for performance opportunities and experiences of local professional and amateur jazz vocalists.

Creative Industry Programs

  • Business Expansion Incentive Program provides up to 3% wages reimbursement per job / per year (max $1,800) and up to 50% property tax reimbursement

  • Creative Content Initiative Program offers incentives to qualifying film, television, video game, & visual effects projects equal to 0.50% of wages paid to local workers. Projects produced by an Austin-based company or which significantly promote Austin may be eligible for an additional 0.25% incentive for a total incentive of 0.75%.

  • The Media Production and Development Zone 2 year sales/use tax exemption on a media production facility

  • Austin's UNESCO designation as City of Media Arts strengthens opportunities for development with UNESCO network

Cultural Funding Programs

  • Art Space Assistance Program grants to support non-profits facing permanent displacement

  • Art in Sacred Places Program spaces to work, rehearse, and perform in unused sacred spaces

  • Capacity Building Program provides funding for individual artists and arts organizations with a budget less than $200,000 to provide professional development opportunities (i.e. conferences, workshops, classes, and memberships) to enhance and strengthen the infrastructure and workforce of Austin’s creative sector

  • Community Initiatives Program offers funding to support the marketing, production, and presentation of public performances and exhibitions by nonprofits arts and culture organizations, as well as qualifying individual artists and organizations

  • Core Funding Program offers organizational and project support to local 501c3 arts and culture organizations, as well as qualifying individual artists and organizations

  • Cultural Expansion Program $ for marketing of arts organizations serving underserved audiences

  • Cultural Heritage Festivals Program provides funding to local 501c3 nonprofit organizations, individual artists, and other organizations to strengthen the marketing, production, presentation, and funding of a culturally-specific festival.

  • Neighborhood Partnering Program provides opportunities for community and neighborhood organizations to affect public improvements by sharing in the costs of those efforts with the City of Austin government. Public improvements could include such things as works of public art, beautification and enhancement projects, community gardens, and more

Public Programs & Outreach

Other Resources

  • The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified artists whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation

  • ALL ATX is Austin's musician advocate, dedicated to their promotion, success and overall well-being

  • Art Alliance Austin works collaboratively with artists, museums, independent curators, and galleries to create a diverse and powerful series of programming which highlights Austin as an emerging contemporary arts capital

  • Asian American Resource Center Community Art Exhibit Program displays artworks that celebrate the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage, history, identity and creativity of Asians and Asian Americans

  • Austin Creative Alliance advance, connect, advocate for Austin's arts, cultural, creative communities

  • Austin Emerging Art Leaders chapter of Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network

  • Austin Federation of Musicians assists local musicians with wages, work conditions, employment

  • Austin Film Society empowers community to make, watch and love film and creative media

  • Austin Jazz Alliance helps jazz musicians in Austin and Central Texas promote their music

  • Austin Music Foundation helps artists navigate opportunities in the music industry

  • Austin Songwriters Group provides opportunities through workshops, events, annual symposium

  • Big Medium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting contemporary art in Texas

  • Capitol View Arts supports the arts community through arts education, collaborative opportunities, and the preservation of venues for performances and public use

  • Dart Music International assists global artists obtain work visas, appearances

  • Faces of Austin is a short film program showcasing works by Austin filmmakers which reflect the many diverse faces, voices and experiences of Austin.

  • Health Alliance for Austin Musicians provides access to affordable health care for Austin’s low-income working musicians, with a focus on prevention and wellness.

  • I Respect Music supports a musician's rights to pay for radio airplay

  • Live Music Tutor online music platform that connects instructors, students, and enthusiasts

  • Mike Tolleson & Associates free legal clinic Wednesdays

  • MusiCares covers financial, medical, personal emergencies for music professionals

  • The Recording Academy Texas Chapter is dedicated to providing educational programming and networking opportunities to artists and industry professionals of all trades throughout the state enriching the music community through outreach and advocacy

  • SIMS Foundation financial support for mental health and addiction services

  • Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts provides individualized volunteer legal and accounting services to financially qualified artists and arts nonprofits, hosts educational seminars and clinics, and produces educational materials to increase business knowledge in the arts

  • The Texas Music Office promotes the development of the music in the state by informing members of that industry and the public about resources available in the state for music for music production, and serves as liaison between the industry and state government

  • The Writer's League of Texas provides a forum for information, support, and sharing among writers; to help writers improve on their craft and market their skills; to promote the interest of writers and the writing community at large; and to elevate the art and enterprise of writing

  • TuneCore helps artists sell music online, keep 100% of their rights/sales revenue, collect royalties

State & Federal

Texas Wide Open for Business
Texas Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Program
U.S. Small Business Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

Other Public and Non-Profit Resources

Austin SCORE

This nonprofit provides free small business counseling and resources, low cost business workshops and special customized services. Their certified mentors are experienced entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and executives with a diverse set of industries and specialties who volunteer their experience and knowledge to help small business owners and entrepreneurs achieve success.

Texas State Small Business Development Center

The Texas State University SBDC works with existing and startup small businesses to help them grow and compete in today’s global economy. SBDCs are available to provide assistance during every phase of the business life cycle. The improvements that result from their direct support of their client's activities lead to job creation, investments, and economic growth for communities throughout central Texas.

Free Training for Employees

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Skills for Small Business program, offers up to $2 million from the Skills Development Fund for training. Small businesses can apply to TWC for training offered by their local community or technical college, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). The program pays up to $1,450 for each new employee being trained and $725 for existing employees per 12-month period.

Low Cost Health Insurance

TexHealth Central Texas offers innovative health plans specifically designed to help small businesses attract and retain employees by offering them the most affordable benefits coverage to stay healthy and on the job.