Arts Funding

The Creative Fund announces its inaugural award to Austin performance companies

The Creative Fund announces its inaugural award to Austin performance companies

Austin’s proliferation of small performance companies creates an exciting cultural landscape for audiences but a sometimes frustrating dearth of resources for the companies themselves. While the City of Austin’s Cultural Contracts funded over two hundred projects for the 2012 fiscal year, they can’t give everyone money and some companies are just too small to apply.

Many groups though can still make it work; after all, Austin is a town where talented actors, designers, dancers, musicians, box office personnel, directors and even stage managers will contribute their skills for a pittance. The biggest hurdle for many companies then — even those that persuade its creative team to work for beer and hugs — is the venue. Last we checked most of the theater spaces in Austin request cash and/or a percentage of ticket sales for the use of their stages. For a brand new or struggling group, that hurdle can be too high to clear.

The Creative Fund (TCF), a “collective group of like-minded, arts-focused, passionate individuals coming together to support emerging and innovative arts in Austin” is stepping up to address the current financial gap in the local performance scene. Through their Q Rental Subsidy Grant program, TCF puts “money back into the Austin performing arts community by providing artists with a location to showcase their work.” In simpler terms, they help performers and companies pay for that all-important space and provide a networking platform for artists, patrons and community members.

Many applications for funding are long, difficult and complicated with many restrictions about the whos and the whats and the whys. Artists can’t be merely creative; they need to have an administrator’s sense of logistics, budgets and grant writing (or supporters who will help out). The Creative Fund seems to realize the kind of barriers this can create for emerging companies and solo artists, and has created a simple, online application that’s open to anyone for any venue.

TCF will review and award grants on a quarterly basis with a flexible funding schedule allowing projects with shorter planning periods a greater opportunity to apply. They recently opened their first round of applications, and they announced today the inaugural award of $8,750 to ten local performing arts groups with upcoming productions. It’s a diverse list including dance, video puppetry, theater and performance art.

"We are excited to award 10 deserving performing arts groups with rental subsidy funds all collected within our first year," said Scott Lawrence, Board Chair for The Creative Fund. "This is just our first step of investing in Austin arts and we've already received such an amazing response from artists and the Austin community. I can't wait to see where we go next!"

To learn more about The Creative Fund and how to apply visit their website: http://thecreativefundatx.org.

Q Rental Subsidy Grant Award Winners:

Forklift Dance
A Solo Symphony - A Dance for Conductor Peter Bay

At the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts
July 12 - 14, 2012

Fusebox
An Evening with William Shatner Asterisk

At the Salvage Vanguard Theater
April 22 - May 6, 2012

Generic Ensemble Company
The Experiment
At the Blue Theatre
April 29 - May 13, 2012

Glass Half Full
FupDuck

At the Salvage Vanguard Theater
August 9 - 25, 2012

The Hidden Room Theatre
Rose Rage

At the York Rite Masonic Temple
July 26 - August 11, 2012

Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Co.
Scenes Flamboyant (and intimate)

At the AustinVentures Studio Theatre
April 27 - 28, 2012

Palindrome
Accidental Death of an Anarchist

At Up Collective, The Vortex, Huston-Tillotson University, Republic Square Park
May 13 - June 3, 2012

Poison Apple Initiative
Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom

At The Broken Neck
October

Tapestry Dance Company
12th Annual Soul to Sole Festival Concerts

At the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts
May 30 - June 2, 2012

Teatro Vivo
Austin's Latino Experience

At the Dougherty Arts Theatre
July 30 - August 11, 2012

News_Houston Society for the Performing Arts_William Shatner_Shatner's World_March 2012
Fusebox
An Evening with William Shatner Asterisk
At the Salvage Vanguard Theater
April 22 - May 6, 2012
Photo by Joan Marcus
Austin Photo Set: News_Katherine_the creative fund_awards_april 2012_forklift dance_peter bay
Forklift Dance
A Solo Symphony - A Dance for Conductor Peter Bay
At the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts
July 12 - 14, 2012
Courtesy of La Scena Musicale
Austin Photo Set: News_Shelley Seale_Tapestry_dance_Dec 2011_4
Tapestry Dance Company
12th Annual Soul to Sole Festival Concerts
At the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts
May 30 - June 2, 2012
Courtesy of Tapestry Dance Company