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Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Cuts to arts groups brings call for changes to funding mechanism

Local arts groups facing dramatic cuts in their funding levels from the city could get some relief this budget year, and possibly an earlier heads-up in future budget years if their funding allocations appear headed for a decrease.The city’s Arts…

Monday, September 17, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts space assistance doubles in new budget, but is it enough?

The city has revived the Arts Space Assistance Program that was created in 2017 and received overwhelming demand from local arts groups facing a loss of space, but was discontinued in the current budget due to lack of funding.The Fiscal…

Thursday, September 13, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Fee increase at Barton Springs among host of aquatics centers plans

A far-reaching analysis of changes in operations at the city’s pools and aquatics centers includes a jump in admission prices for Barton Springs, one of the city’s most popular tourist and recreation spots.The new fee schedule included in a recent…

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Don’t expect harmony from groups attached to $128M push for creative, culture centers

While the city’s cultural centers and the disparate arts and music communities will win or lose collectively in November when voters decide whether to approve $128 million in bond funding, it appears those groups will be working separately to campaign…

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

With hotel tax money in play, Tourism Commission meetings grow heated

The second meeting of the city’s new Tourism Commission saw the group vote down a possible $3 million marketing campaign for local live music, while also dusting off the long-running debate about public safety expenses for the South by Southwest…

Monday, September 10, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Music groups take aim at the ballot box with new nonprofit

Two months before the November midterm elections, a consortium of businesses and nonprofits involved in Austin’s music industry have banded together with the goal of having a greater influence at the ballot box.The new Music Moves Austin 501(c)(4) nonprofit has…

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Chamber groups’ funding would become leveled under proposed process

Austin’s Economic Development Department is in the beginning stages of restructuring how local chambers of commerce are funded by the city, with the goal of making the funding more equitable and available to more groups.A recent memo from interim EDD…

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Bloomberg awards let arts groups focus on growth, and affordability

More than two dozen small and mid-sized arts organizations in Austin have been awarded two-year grants totaling more than $1 million from the Bloomberg Philanthropies foundation, with the promise of comprehensive training and other tools to help in their future…

Friday, August 31, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Council approves plan to revamp incentives, with small businesses in mind

City Council voted Thursday to approve the framework for a restructuring of the city’s economic incentives programs, with the goal of increasing small business growth and improving job opportunities for lower-wage and middle-skill workers.The 9-1 vote saw Council Member Ellen…

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Nightlife vet takes the lead of music venue district on Red River

With the appointment of the first executive director for the Red River Cultural District, changes are pretty much guaranteed for the downtown stretch that includes more than a dozen live music venues and represents one of the city’s most renowned…

Monday, August 27, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Event series stresses involvement over votes for political novices

Not long into Thursday’s launch party for the Good Politics meet-and-greet event series, co-organizer Nathan Ryan knew he’d found a kindred spirit and a kind of ideal participant when he spied a male attendee sporting a sticker reading “Vote the…

Friday, August 24, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

As hotels and short-term rentals grow, a look at their impact on Austin

With Austin on pace to have more than 13,000 hotel rooms in the downtown core by 2020 – nearly double the number of rooms in 2014 – the construction of new chain and boutique hotels continues to have an impact…

Thursday, August 23, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Memo points toward cultural trust to save arts spaces

It appears City Council will move ahead with the creation of a cultural land trust and an economic development corporation in the coming months, both attempts to combat the rising cost of real estate for residents and local artists.A new…

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

County commissioners eye legal options on city’s soccer stadium deal

Travis County commissioners voted Tuesday to preserve their option to challenge the city of Austin’s deal to make a piece of North Austin land tax-exempt to facilitate the construction of a professional soccer stadium.The unanimous decision came in the wake…

Monday, August 20, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

State court puts Austin’s paid sick leave rules on hold

As the city has stepped up work to inform and prepare workers about their rights under the city’s passed-but-not-yet-implemented paid sick leave ordinance, a state appeals court has put the measure on hold while it reviews the legal case against…

Thursday, August 16, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Stadium agreement approval clears the way for pro soccer in Austin

Wednesday’s 7-4 vote to have city staff finalize and execute an agreement that will result in the construction of a professional soccer stadium on the city’s McKalla Place property in North Austin broke along expected lines.The four City Council members…

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Council vote on soccer stadium hinges on amendments – lots of them

After 10 months of discussion and roughly three months of often very public negotiations, the fate of Austin as the possible home of a professional sports franchise will come down to the fate of 28 amendments.Today’s special called City Council…

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

HealthSouth site gets top spot in ULI affordable housing study

An analysis of some of the city’s most-prized parcels of land has found that the former HealthSouth property downtown would have the biggest impact on the local housing shortage if the property were converted to affordable housing.The new white paper…

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Four city parcels ID’d for redevelopment focus in next budget

The Economic Development Department is recommending City Council spend the next budget year focusing on putting four pieces of city-owned property into higher use with mixtures of housing, commercial space, parklands and more.A recent memo detailed the department’s efforts since…

Friday, August 10, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Amendments push Council decision on soccer stadium into overtime

City Council’s expected decision on a soccer stadium deal at McKalla Place was delayed Thursday, with the 11 members agreeing to make a final vote by noon at a special meeting on Wednesday.The delay was caused in large part because…

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