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About those art spaces, again

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

The Austin Music Commission has doubled down on its request for a list of all city-owned property, with the goal of identifying spaces and structures that could possibly be converted to house artists and creative groups that are being forced to find new spaces by the city’s hot real estate market. The request, directed at the city’s Office of Real Estate Services, came at Monday’s monthly meeting and is a follow-up to a February request, which the office declined because it said it lacks a decision-making matrix to evaluate properties’ suitability for arts uses or a way to determine what groups or individuals would be considered to utilize them. Commissioners expressed frustration at not having access to basic city information and said getting the list would be a first step in asking City Council to create a process for making some city spaces temporary homes for displaced arts groups. The February request was made after commissioners learned of the upcoming displacement of the Rude Mechs theater collective from its East Austin home because of rental increases. Other arts groups, including Austin Music People, have previously sought out similar information from the Office of Real Estate Services and received a response that the data is unavailable.

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