Art for free
It's called Free Night of Arts and it's a chance to enjoy theater, dance, music, opera and film screenings—for free.
Each October since 2005, Free Night of Theater (FNOT) has been providing a means for communities across the nation to experience art forms they may not encounter otherwise. A national initiative led by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), FNOT’s aim has been to increase audience development for America’s non-profit theatres by introducing new show-goers in a creative, not costly, way.
Austin-based theaters have been a part of the national initiative, organized locally through Austin Creative Alliance. This October, Free Night Austin is taking another step. Yesterday, Austin Creative Alliance announced its new and improved program: Free Night of Arts. For the first time, the Free Night Austin umbrella will be expanded to include not only theater performances, but also dance, music, opera and even film screenings.
Through Free Night Austin, not only does the public have the opportunity to experience a new genre or venue without financial obligation, but this year they will also have the opportunity to choose which organizations participate. In an interesting interactive twist, Austin Creative Alliance is introducing a public voting process. Starting this Friday, September 16, you can vote for your favorite arts events to be included in this year’s Free Night of Arts.
Voting runs through September 23, and is as easy as the click of a mouse. To vote, go to the Austin Free Night of Arts website and submit your five favorite arts happenings for the month of October.
While every group that is entered cannot participate, Thompson says Free Night Austin usually features 15 to 25 organizations. And with the expansion to “arts” from only “theater,” the Austin Creative Alliance hopes to reach an even broader audience this year. “On average we distribute over 1,000 free tickets to the Austin community through the Free Night program,” she says.
Free Night Austin is a win-win for the arts community and the Austin community at large. As Thompson says, it's “an excellent way for people to get out and see the wealth of creative talent we have living in Austin... the perfect opportunity to discover new artistic works created within our own community.”
By casting a simple vote, not only do you get the chance to win free tickets (and hopefully expand your local artistic horizons), you get to support our Austin-based arts institutions, an essential thread in the fabric of Austin, the unique place we call home.