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Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Monday, April 9, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Council approves preservation projects with $5.5M from hotel tax

More than a dozen projects related to the preservation of Austin’s historic buildings will move ahead, with more to follow in coming budget years, using money from the city’s portion of its Hotel Occupancy Tax.Last month City Council approved a…

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Music Commission’s ‘hub’ concept prompts request for $15M bond increase

The Austin Music Commission is asking City Council to add $15 million to November’s bond package to buy or build property that could be used as a music hub to support the city’s flagging music industry.At Monday’s meeting the commission…

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Drug cases pinch SIMS budget as local opioid abuse grows

A surge in substance abuse cases, specifically opioids, in Austin’s music community has put one of Austin’s most well-known music nonprofits in financial trouble and on the lookout for public and private dollars to combat a growing health crisis.The SIMS…

Thursday, March 29, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts Commission seeks $25M bond increase to fund ‘adaptive’ creative space

The Arts Commission has asked City Council to add $25 million to this fall’s infrastructure bond package. The money would be used to provide more rehearsal and performance space for arts groups that are quickly running out of usable space…

Monday, March 26, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Council approves study of McKalla Place as soccer stadium site

City staff will spend the next two months studying if a city-owned parcel near the Domain could be a possible fit for a proposed professional soccer stadium.At Thursday’s meeting City Council members voted 9-0 to have the city manager and…

Friday, March 16, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin’s music preservation efforts draw praise. But is it enough?

The attention placed on Austin’s music community in recent years by local leaders – most especially the affordability issues and stagnant income levels of working musicians – went under the magnifying glass Tuesday at South by Southwest. Attendees of the…

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

MACC seeks full expansion cost – up to $40M – in fall bond election

The advisory board for the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center will ask members of City Council to more than double the $15 million that was recently recommended to be provided to the center from an expected fall bond…

Monday, March 12, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City to study McKalla Place as home for soccer stadium

It appears city leaders want to move ahead with making a piece of city-owned land north of the downtown core available as the site for a possible soccer stadium.Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo has co-sponsored a resolution that will direct…

Thursday, March 8, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Music proponents continue push for venues in CodeNEXT

Proponents of Austin music and the health of clubs and music venues are still pushing to make the final version of CodeNEXT more favorable to those businesses, after failing to win over the planners who contributed to the third draft…

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Pols, industry vets join forces to lead Austin music economy

Under the aegis of one of Austin’s most successful entrepreneurs, a collective of some of the city’s most entrenched business and government leaders has set its sights on keeping Austin’s music community from being priced out of existence.The group known…

Thursday, March 1, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Parks board vote calls for protection, improvement of Guerrero Park

Public opposition to the possible construction of a soccer stadium in East Austin has turned city leaders’ attention toward finding the funds to improve Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park.At Tuesday’s meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board, a resolution…

Thursday, March 1, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City pauses arts program amid protests, possible MACC opt-out

The city has paused a program intended to create much-needed venue space for local arts groups amid controversy and concern over how it would mesh with cultural groups that operate out of city cultural centers.Laura Esparza, manager of museums and…

Monday, February 26, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Accelerator targets gap between businesses, middle-skill workers

Middle-skill job growth, specifically Austin’s problem of matching longtime residents with jobs in growing industries, is the next target for the Impact Hub social improvement accelerator.The hub, which operates from sites in North and South Austin, is taking applications through…

Friday, February 23, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Musicians’ wage debate eyes benefits, cost of increased activism

A new movement seeking to put more money in the pockets of Austin musicians is looking at the pros and cons of increasing political activism by artists – among other tactics – as a way to give them more influence…

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Review points the way for Central Health improvements

A recent study of Central Health’s services and performance for the Austin area has recommended that the agency take further steps to improve health care access for all residents – especially marginalized communities – as well as toward improving its…

Friday, February 16, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City exploring solutions for creative spaces crisis

The city is looking at a variety of strategies for assisting creative businesses and nonprofit organizations that are increasingly being priced out of theaters and other spaces due to Austin’s fast-rising cost of living. At its Thursday meeting, City Council…

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City looks to retain arts and culture amid growth

A pair of reports from the Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department give city leaders perhaps the clearest road map yet for how to preserve and create artistic and cultural clusters that many worry are threatened by rapid…

Monday, February 12, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Board, public debate may slow approval of MACC master plan

City and community leaders hope to move forward with a spring approval of a new master plan for the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center despite a frequently contentious meeting of the center’s advisory board last week marked by…

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City busking program brings public music performance into question

Austin’s long-debated policy concerning the legality of paid acoustic street performance – widely referred to as “busking” – returned as an issue of some discussion Monday, with the city’s music office attempting to change both the perception and enforcement of…

Monday, February 5, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Stadium opposition moves east to Guerrero Park

East Austin residents and other community groups are pushing for City Council to take a vote on a resolution that would remove city parkland from the sites under consideration for a proposed stadium for a Major League Soccer club.Groups such…

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