Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Thursday, September 3, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts, Music Commission meeting aims to multiply $12M creative space bond

A joint meeting of the arts and music commissions expected to take place Sept. 11 could help multiply the dollar value of the city’s creative space bond using a new development entity. The date for the meeting hasn’t been set,…

Monday, August 31, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Council eyes September for EDC creation, with S. Congress and music venues as priorities

City Council is expected to vote next month to approve the legal documents that would create an economic development corporation, or EDC, that many members see as a remedy for threatened arts spaces, housing for the homeless and other real…

Thursday, August 27, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

City opens process for using $12M approved to preserve creative spaces

The city has launched the process of finding properties and organizations that could be matched in the next 12 months for public-private partnerships focused on preserving creative spaces around the city. The newly released request for information is the first step…

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Community Development Commission to study new uses for police funding

The Community Development Commission has formed a working group to recommend how City Council should make reductions to the Austin Police Department budget, and may move to sign to recent resolutions from three other commissions in support of the budget…

Monday, August 24, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

ULI panel explores the lessons of transit-oriented development

With transit-oriented developments likely to become more prevalent as Austin relies more on mass transit in the coming years, the planners and builders involved in their creation are confronted with the issues of affordability, displacement and appropriate economic incentives. Those were…

Friday, August 21, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

City to consider Walter Long park vision, while county moves ahead with expo center plans

City Council will consider and possibly adopt the vision plan for Walter E. Long Metro Park later this month, more than a year after the plan was recommended for adoption by the Parks and Recreation Board. A memo late last…

Thursday, August 20, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Study weighs market impact of convention center expansion, predicts rebound from Covid-19

A new market analysis finds that the proposed expansion of the Austin Convention Center would bring more than 1,700 jobs to the city and add $306 million in annual economic impact from the local events and tourism industry. The market viability study…

Monday, August 17, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

City opens grant program to assist creatives impacted by Covid-19

Artists and workers involved in the city’s creative economy can apply today for $2,000 awards from Austin’s new Creative Worker Relief Grant program. The program, which has $3.5 million in total funding, is the latest spun up by the Economic Development…

Friday, August 14, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

City seeks diversity in applicants tasked with redrawing Council district map

Just over six weeks ahead of the application deadline, the Office of the City Auditor is seeking candidates from Latino and other minority groups interested in helping to create the city’s next City Council district map. Applications for the Independent…

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Report lays out possible structure for new economic development corporation

A consultant’s report recommends the city move to create an economic development corporation modeled after existing bodies in New York City, Philadelphia and Atlanta to allow for fast and flexible development deals around the city. The report from QBL Partners…

Monday, August 10, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Latino groups ask Music Commission to support creation of Latino music fund

A new coalition is pushing the Music Commission to support allocating some of the city’s funds for live music to Latino musicians. Members of the Latin Music Coalition Austin spoke at last week’s meeting of the Music Commission to highlight…

Friday, August 7, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin joins national pilot program exploring how to safely reopen music venues

Austin has signed up as a pilot city for a national effort to establish guidelines for music venues looking to reopen safely once the public health threats from the Covid-19 pandemic are lessened. Today the city will announce its partnership…

Friday, August 7, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

UT incubator takes the lead in health care consortium targeting Covid-19 and future pandemics

The University of Texas’ Austin Technology Incubator is leading a new consortium of more than 50 health care organizations from around the state working to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for future widespread disease outbreaks. The Texas Global Health…

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Staff memo spells out options, tight time frame for Council’s push for active transit bond

City staff members have expressed concern to City Council over direction to put together a bond proposal for the November election that would look to generate $750 million to fund sidewalks, trails and other “active transportation” improvements. Last week Council…

Monday, August 3, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Study pushes city toward using data, results in plans to address homelessness

The city and organizations working to solve homelessness will adopt a more data-heavy approach to achieving the goals of the 2018 Action Plan to End Homelessness. The move to handle contracts for homeless services in a results-focused way is expected…

Friday, July 31, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

With stages silent, Austin’s music venues need help to stay open

 In his role as spokesperson for the cluster of live music venues concentrated on Red River Street, Cody Cowan relies on a graphic visual to convey the reality of those businesses’ prospects of surviving the Covid-19 pandemic. Now fully…

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

City moving forward with plans for $12M to acquire space for artists, musicians

This week City Council is expected to consider an agreement with the Texas Facilities Commission that will begin the process of acquiring creative spaces around the city using a $12 million bond approved in 2018. The interlocal agreement would approve…

Monday, July 27, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Music Commission eyes police dollars instead of hotel tax to support Black music fund

Included in the Music Commission’s request to create a Black Live Music Fund may be a suggestion that the city look for money outside of the Hotel Occupancy Tax – including funds intended for law enforcement – to rebuild the…

Thursday, July 23, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin music venues seek $20 million from city to prevent closures

Austin’s Music Venue Alliance plans to ask the city to provide $20 million in aid specifically for music venues that have been closed since mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Music Venue Preservation Fund request was discussed at Wednesday’s…

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Push for 2021 charter amendments could make Austin a ‘strong mayor’ city

A new group of community activists and political insiders intends to push for amendments to the city charter that could bring about a change to a “strong mayor” form of government, along with other changes focused on increasing voter turnout…

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