Austin has long been known as a hub of and for creativity. Monikers like the “Live Music Capital of the World” and “Keep Austin Weird” are known by those far outside of Austin’s City Limits. While it might have been music that initially landed Austin on the map, it’s our entire creative ecosystem that has continued to make Austin a uniquely special location.
Austin is home to creativity of all sorts – for those who are just beginning their careers to well-regarded household names. The filmmaking community fosters emerging filmmakers and celebrates established auteurs like Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, and Terrence Malick while also serving as a film-friendly location complete with production spaces for commercial, film, and television productions. Austin’s visual arts community welcomes audiences for EAST, a long-standing annual self-guided art tour of the work of independent eastside Austinites, while also celebrating renowned artists like Ellsworth Kelly, who’s final piece “Austin” resides at the Blanton Museum of Art. Austin also embraces its top-notch theatre scene which includes independent festivals and theatre companies as well as the ZACH Theatre where “Immortal Longings,” the newest work by Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally, first premiered. And that’s without even mentioning our robust gaming industry, graphic design community, and renowned music, film, and television festivals.
In a 2010 economic survey conducted for the City of Austin, the city reported over $4.35 billion in economic activity from the city’s creative sector. And as more folks join the creative industry, this number will only continue to grow.
It should come as no surprise that in 2015, Austin became the very first city to be recognized by UNESCO as a Creative City of Media Arts, showcasing to the rest of the world just how creative our city is.
Ashland Viscosi empowers and educates the creative community through her company Creatives Meet Business, its annual three-day professional development conference The Experience (CMBXP), its podcast (Creatives Meet Business Podcast), and her consulting work.