One of the biggest obstacles for new and experimental theatre and dance companies in Austin to overcome is finding a performance space in which to rehearse and perform. With so many companies vying for a limited number of spaces, prior reservations and rising costs often leave smaller companies waiting six months to a year before they can even consider mounting a production.
Recognizing these challenges, an Austin area non-profit helps creative organizations find and rent spaces so the show(s) can go on. The Creative Fund (TCF) is a collective of art-loving patrons and businesses who fundraise on behalf of chosen new work artists so they can concentrate on the creative process.
"These artists have the ideas and they have the shows, but they often have nowhere to put them on," explains TCF Board Chair, Scott Lawrence. "It's our mission to help raise awareness of the creative arts and to pay the venue costs since that has become such a burden to so many groups."
After a grant application for their particular projects, ten local arts organizations were awarded the so-called Q Rental Subsidy Grants for 2012 in April. These artists can now apply their awards toward venue rentals anywhere in town within the coming year. (And, in case you're wondering, the "Q" stands for the "cues" that are given to performers to know when they're about to go on stage.)
Several of this year's grant recipients will be in attendance at TCF's next fundraiser on Wednesday, May 23, an Alice in Wonderland themed party called "Through the Looking Glass" at AMOA-Arthouse's Laguna Gloria.
Members of Poison Apple Initiative, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, Glass Half Full Theatre and others will be present for storytelling, cultural dancing, and even a puppet show throughout the grounds.
With plenty of food and drink, themed costumes and a DJ, this is a fundraiser that promises to be just as creative as the work it supports. "This is how you make philanthropy sexy," Lawrence laughs.
To join the fun and show your support for new works in Austin, get yourself a ticket, grab a drink, and head on down the rabbit hole.
"Through the Looking Glass" springs to life Wednesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. at Laguna Gloria. Tickets are available through the TCF website.