The Arts are Elementary – a Fundraiser for Groups that Promote the Arts Among Austin Youths

Austin TX Street Art
  • Rising housing and commercial rental costs are driving art from our community.
  • The Austin Creative Alliance is holding a fundraiser for groups that promote the arts among youths in Austin.

This week I’m writing about something I care passionately about. We have a problem in Austin and we need to pay attention to it or we are going to lose a lot of what makes Austin great.

Austin built its cool around the arts. Everyone knows how much live music there is here. And its reputation as an artist conclave is known throughout the country, if not the world. There are many reasons for that, but I think most of us would agree that its true.

But we have a big problem. As housing costs have risen, artists are finding it extremely difficult to live here. And as rent for commercial space has risen, studios and venues are disappearing. And we are losing our cool. And that’s a big problem.

We Need to Step Up and Help Out


I’m not an artist. I wish I were. Frankly, I don’t know that much about art. Those who know me well know I think the Gin Blossoms are the greatest American rock band of all time. Actually, I think that makes me an art afficianado. Because they rule.

While I may not have the highest end taste, I love art. I love going to live music shows. I love going to the Paramount and seeing talks or plays or music. I love going to the local art shows and studio tours. But we are going to lose those unless we take action soon.

The Austin Creative Alliance recognizes this issue. And it is trying to do something about it. Its mission is to advance, connect, and advocate for Austin’s arts, cultural, and creative communities to strengthen and protect the character, quality of life, and economic prosperity of our region. Its CEO John Riedie and the rest of its staff work tirelessly to ensure art remains a big part of living in Austin. Full disclosure – John is a very good friend of mine. But that doesn’t make that statement any less true. In its 47 years of service, ACA has sponsored over 400 cultural events and serves over 3000 artists annually.

So why write about this now? Because ACA’s The Arts are Elementary fundraiser is happening TODAY ONLY! It is a fundraising drive for the many arts organizations that ACA fiscally sponsors who are dedicated to enriching the school environment and/or the artistic lives of youth in Austin. This includes groups like the Austin Flamenco Academy and Ballet Afrique and the Glass Half Full Theatre. According to Riedie, “COVID hit arts funding particularly hard and many arts education programs are still struggling to bring their budgets back to full strength. This fundraiser is a great way to help close that gap so kids in Austin can continue to tap into their creativity.”


I am writing this, therefore, to ask you to donate to The Arts are Fundamental fundraiser. TODAY. The groups involved are so vital to giving the youths in our community an outlet for creativity. And I am putting my money where my mouth (or typing fingers) are. Bukowski Law Firm has pledged to match all donations up to $3500. Because its important. The arts are the lifeblood of our community.

And we are losing them. If things continue as they are, there is no telling what the Austin community will look like in 5, 10, 15 years. All I can tell you is that it will be a lot smaller and a lot less fun than it is today. And that makes things worse for all of us.

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