Mayor Adler: ‘We’re dealing with a crisis’ in local music, creative industries

Austin Mayor Steve Adler talks about the importance of public art March 2 in front of the new installation "Hurlyburly" located at the south end of Waller Creek.Tom McCarthy Jr. for American-Statesman

Austin Mayor Steve Adler talks about the importance of public art March 2 in front of the new installation “Hurlyburly” located at the south end of Waller Creek.Tom McCarthy Jr. for American-Statesman

Back in February, Austin mayor, Steve Adler introduced the Austin Music and Creative Ecosystem Omnibus Resolution, a kitchen sink proposal directing the City Manager to examine the feasibility of numerous ideas to help Austin’s music and creative industries. For the last four months or so the proposal has wound through various government committees and a series of community meetings, including genre-based music gatherings hosted by each member of the Austin City Council in his or her home district.

In June, the city’s Economic Development Department published a response to the Omnibus with 10 priority recommendations including affordable space initiatives, stronger development of cultural tourism around our arts industry and the agent of change principal, the idea that new development should be bound by existing community standards, i.e. a new condo development planned adjacent to an existing live music venue should absorb the sound proofing burden and vice versa.

Over the weekend, Mayor Adler posted an essay on the open publishing site Medium describing the challenges facing Austin’s music and creative industries as “a crisis.”

“Austin can’t keep losing musicians, music venues, artists, and performance space and remain the city that we love,” Adler wrote.

City Council will consider the Omnibus recommendations when they return from their July break, but Adler is pushing forward, recruiting “entrepreneurs, public policy experts, and other local experts” to explore ways to implement these reforms that could create “transformative changes that would do for our music industry what similar collaborations did to create our local tech startup scene.”

The next opportunity for the public to weigh in is Tuesday night at 6 p.m. a special called meeting of the Austin Music Commission. The meeting at City Hall is open to all and parking validations for the City Hall garage will be available at the meeting.


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