Photo by Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images


Organizers have extended data collection for the Greater Austin Music Census through September 9. Daily responses are becoming more frequent as the project gains traction. As of August 15, 68% of respondents completed all requested sections and provided additional comments.


Delayed from its planned June 20 release for final tweaks, the Greater Austin Area Music Census is now off to record the needs of local industry professionals. From July 15 to August 15, it will collect information anonymously, to establish new community data for the first time in seven years.

The census is conducted via online form, and is available to any self-described music professionals in Travis and surrounding counties, including musicians, venue owners, nonprofits, government agency members, and anyone with a role “in any music-related product or service industry.” Fans are the only group that the platform requests do not apply, along with a friendly note of thanks. (The 2015 census removed nearly a third of final responses, which it deemed not eligible or incomplete.)

The last music census laid out a 235-page analysis with the majority of responses (60 percent) being from musicians. As in many discussions, even now, about musicians’ experience in the Live Music Capital, it focused largely on income and affordability. It confirmed that the majority of musicians earn under both the average and median wages for Austinites in general.

Still, most (60 percent) had been living in Austin for 11 years or more, sparking a growing question in Austin cultural media: what exactly is keeping musicians here? Pause/Play — a local NPR podcast that seeks input from local music professionals and could be considered an unofficial census of its own — has tackled this question in the past year with episodes focused on housing, supplemental income, and government funds. Like the podcast, the census is more focused on tracking values within the industry than identifying solutions at this stage.

"Since nobody had really done a census of that sort in 2015, we needed to establish some baseline understandings," says Long Center vice president of programs and community outreach Bobby Garza, who helped organize the census. "We know more than we used to, especially with the help of the first census and the ongoing conversations that it sparked. We want to know some variations of those similar questions to see how much progress we've made and see what part still needs to be done."

This announcement comes from the office of Mayor Steve Adler, Pause/Play co-parent station KUTX, and equity nonprofit EQ Austin. For help gathering participants, the polling organizations have enlisted more than 50 community partners including the organization implementing the data collection, Sound Music Cities.

Other partners also include organizations commonly seen in these pro bono spaces such as the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, the SIMS Foundation, Black Fret, the Long Center, and the Recording Academy Texas Chapter. Others still are much smaller organizations, and the organizers are still accepting inquiries about new partnerships. Just as the data collection has been a community effort, there is no one organization tasked with implementing solutions once the data has been analyzed.

"I hope that this generates community conversations like it did last time," says Garza. "It's incumbent upon all of us to come [together] and think about what the solutions are ... so we can have some self determination. I think that's the best part. And then I think that the hope is that leaders will hear us...from an economic development perspective and from a city policy perspective."

To complete the survey between July 15 and August 15, visit austinmusiccensus.org.


Austin clocks in as the 4th fastest-growing city for freelancers

Free, indeed

Visitors to Zilker Park on an early Tuesday afternoon probably have to stop and wonder where all these people are coming from. Don’t they have work to do?

Maybe they do, but on their own schedules. Fiverr, a marketplace for connecting freelancers and new clients, released its fifth annual Freelance Economic Impact Report, ranking Austin as the fourth fastest-growing city for freelancers.

According to the report, Austin's 77,262-person independent workforce earned $3.4 billion in 2021, compared to the city's pool of approximately 57,000 independent workers who made $2.3 billion in 2016. The city ranked 17th for size and 16th for revenue of its independent workforce compared to other cities nationwide.

Despite Austin’s artistic proclivities (and how often artists are driven into the gig economy, like it or not), creatives represented the smallest portion (14.2 percent) of the city’s freelance revenue last year. Skilled professional services made up the largest portion (46 percent), followed by skilled technical services (39.7 percent).

It’s not just that creatives are making less money, they are also the smallest category present in Austin’s independent workforce.

Two other Texas cities appear among the 10 fastest-growing: Dallas, No. 8, and Houston, No. 10. In 2021, about 177, 500 workers in Dallas made $7.6 billion, while about 144,000 workers in Houston made $6.6 billion. This means per-capita revenue was similar in all three top-10 Texas cities, with Houston leading (around $46,000), and Austin and Dallas trailing very close together (around $44,000 and $43,000, respectively).

Joining the Austin, Dallas, and Houston in the top 10 were:

1. Orlando, Florida
2. Nashville, Tennessee
3. Miami, Florida
5. Tampa, Florida
6. Las Vegas, Nevada
7. Charlotte, North Carolina
9. Portland, Oregon

Although on the surface the report focuses on geography, it collected data that shows eight out of 10 freelancers believe they can live anywhere and work anytime. However, fewer than half reported that it was “a primary factor” in becoming freelancers, and a third said that work was “a primary influence” in their choice of location.

Most important, 70 percent of respondents said they were “highly satisfied” with working independently.


Nation’s largest event for Black tech entrepreneurs plugs into Austin this fall

Digital diversity

An annual conference for Black tech entrepreneurs — the largest in the country — is relocating from the West Coast to Austin.

AfroTech 2022 is set for November 13-17 at the Austin Convention Center and nearby venues. The annual event attracts more than 20,000 attendees.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers switched AfroTech from an in-person event to a virtual event in 2020 and 2021. Before the pandemic, the San Francisco Bay Area played host to the conference. The first AfroTech event took place in 2016.

Morgan DeBaun, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based tech and media company Blavity, which stages AfroTech, says she and her team were searching “for a host city that is accessible to our diverse audience and provides the infrastructure for the vibrant experiences and connection we craft for our attendees. Austin is that home.”

“I can’t wait to see everyone in person in November,” she continues, “to learn, make connections, and revel in the Black excellence that has become a hallmark of our AfroTech experiences.”

AfroTech seeks to highlight an often-overlooked share of the population.

Tickets for the Austin event are on sale now.

Black Americans continue to be underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and math sector. According to the Pew Research Center, Black workers account for only 9 percent of the country’s STEM workforce but 11 percent of the entire workforce.

“Black and Hispanic adults are less likely to earn degrees in STEM than other degree fields, and they continue to make up a lower share of STEM graduates relative to their share of the adult population,” Pew says.

Austin-based Indeed works up new $10 million program to help Americans find jobs

Employing a new strategy

Austin-based job website Indeed has kicked off a $10 million program aimed at assisting Americans who are struggling to find work.

The Essentials to Work initiative will help job seekers in the U.S. gain access to technology and transportation, as well as access to services that clear criminal records.

Half of the money, or $5 million, is going toward a partnership with the nonprofit PCs for People to provide electronic devices, connect public housing properties to Wi-Fi, and set up mobile hot spots for 10,000 lower-income people. Organizations like Austin Free-Net and Refugee Services of Texas are distributing the electronic devices at no cost to recipients.

In addition, Indeed has pledged $2.5 million to provide services for job seekers who have previous arrests or convictions that are eligible to be removed from their criminal records. The Texas Fair Defense Project is among the beneficiaries of this money.

Indeed also is chipping in $1.5 million for a Lyft program to provide free rides to people for job interviews, job training, and other work-related purposes.

The remaining $1 million is being earmarked for Goodwill’s ongoing efforts to help job seekers.

Indeed’s Essentials to Work program also will enable job seekers to create accounts, produce resumes, and complete interviews through the job website.

“Job seekers struggling economically need high-quality work options now, and Indeed can help — that’s what we do,” Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, senior director of global community impact at Indeed, says in a news release. “We know that there are a myriad of barriers that can make finding quality work difficult. While the barriers we are tackling here — access to the internet, transportation, and legal help for criminal record clearing — are only a few of them, they affect far too many people. We want to help.”

Alamo Drafthouse workers at flagship Austin location announce new union

remember the alamo employees

KVUE — Workers at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on South Lamar Boulevard have unionized and are now asking management to recognize the union, according to a release from Industrial Workers of the World.

The union, called Drafthouse United, submitted the recognition request on Monday, February 14 along with a list of workplace improvements union members wish to see implemented. Key requests, per the release, include wage and benefit increases, paid sick leave, transparency regarding COVID-19 practices and polices, and a fix to building maintenance requests.

Alamo locations in other states are mandated to pay their employees higher wages, but we are consistently one of the most profitable Drafthouses in the company. … We pay for the company to open new locations while ours is falling apart,” server Zach Corpstein said in the release.

Several other current and former employees shared statements echoing similar sentiments regarding the cinema’s handling of the pandemic. In a letter explaining why workers are unionizing, Corpstein said management initially implemented health and safety guidelines for workers and customers, but that those guidelines were quietly rescinded over time without telling employees or customers.

He also addressed staffing issues brought about due to low pay and “churning new employees through training quickly and throwing them into situations normally reserved for veterans.”

“Our aim in unionizing is not to submit a list of demands to Alamo Drafthouse’s corporate offices, but one of proposed solutions so that we can work together to create a better future,” Corpstein said.

Former Austin City Council member and congressional candidate Greg Casar tweeted his support for the group on Tuesday night.


Continue reading this story and watch the video on KVUE.

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4 Austin-inspired cocktail recipes to whisk you away from the Texas heat this summer


Now that summer weather has arrived in Austin, we can tell you’re thirsting for some new drinks to try. And with World Gin Day coming up on June 10, we’re sharing a few recipes from local Austin restaurants (and Austin’s favorite Topo Chico!) we hope you’ll enjoy.

The following recipes feature some of our favorite ingredients or mixers we’re loving at the moment. Whether your drink of choice is a cocktail or mocktail, we’ve gathered four bright and bubbly beverages to help whisk you away from the Texas heat. And if you prefer to drink them rather than make them, three of these lovely libations can be found on the seasonal summer menus at their respective restaurant.

Aba’s Rhubarb Rose Gin and Tonic
This cocktail was created by Senior Beverage Manager Thomas Mizuno-Moore.

½ oz lime juice
¼ oz honey syrup
½ oz Fruitful Mixology rhubarb liqueur
¾ oz Brockmans Gin
¾ oz Hendrick’s Flora Adora
2 oz tonic water
Rosebud tea, for garnish


  • Combine lime juice, honey syrup, Fruitful Mixology rhubarb liqueur, Brockmans Gin and Hendrick’s Flora Adora in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake until cold.
  • Add tonic water to the shaker, then strain over fresh ice in a double old fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with rosebud tea and enjoy!

Blueberry Sparkler Mocktail by Topo ChicoBecause everyone needs a good go-to mocktail recipe in their life.Photo courtesy of Topo Chico

Blueberry Sparkler Mocktail by Topo Chico
This beverage might not be gin-themed, but it does make a great refreshing mocktail. If you don’t have Topo Chico Sabores on hand, you can substitute it with sparkling water.

1 Blueberry Topo Chico Sabores
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon slices and additional blueberries, for garnish

Blueberry Syrup Directions:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries are soft and the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the blueberry mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Once cooled, use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the blueberry mixture into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids and set the blueberry syrup aside.

Mocktail Directions:

  • In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ounce of the blueberry syrup, and lemon juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until chilled, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Fill a glass with ice and strain the mixture into the glass. Top off the glass with Blueberry Topo Chico Sabores (or sparkling water) and give it a gentle stir to mix.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and additional blueberries, if desired. Enjoy your refreshing Blueberry Sparkler!

Tillie's seasonal summer cocktailThis colorful cocktail is a lively take on a gin martini.Photo courtesy of Tillie's at Camp Lucy

Empress Gin Martini by Tillie’s at Camp Lucy
This martini recipe was developed by Paolo Lazarich, the mixologist for Abbey Row Restaurant at The Old Bell Hotel in the United Kingdom. Fun fact: Camp Lucy owners Kim and White Hanks also own The Old Bell Hotel, which is rumored to be England’s oldest hotel.

3 oz Empress 1908 Gin
1 oz dry vermouth
Splash of lemon juice
Lemon and rosemary for garnish


  • Add the Empress 1908 Gin, dry vermouth, and lemon juice to a glass and stir gently.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy.

\u200bSummertime Spritz by Dean's Italian Steakhouse There's nothing like a summer spritz.Photo courtesy of Dean's Italian Steakhouse

Summertime Spritz by Dean's Italian Steakhouse
This recipe is geared toward a mixologist who enjoys the little details that make a cocktail so unique, such as making their own oleo saccharum or curating the perfect flower as a garnish.

½ oz lemon juice
½ oz strawberry oleo saccharum
¼ oz Aperol
¼ oz Giffard Abricot
1.5 oz Zephyr Gin
2 oz Brut champagne
1 each cocktail flower


  • Combine all ingredients except Brut champagne into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Fill a wine glass with ice and add the Brut. Fine strain the cocktail into the glass.
  • Garnish with the cocktail flower

Extravagant estate in West Austin hits the market for $4.25 million


An imperial estate in the Lost Creek neighborhood of West Austin has become the latest addition to the city's stabilizing real estate market. The property was listed at $4.25 million.

The magnificent three-story home was originally built in 2009, making great use of Austin's Hill Country views that can be seen from every single room. The home spans 8,215 square feet on just over two acres of land, surrounded by lush trees and enclosed with a private gated entrance.

Natural light floods the inside of the home, highlighting intricate details and complimenting the high ceilings. The home boasts five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and three half-baths. The primary suite is reminiscent of an upscale resort, containing its own spa-like bathroom, walk-in closets, and access to a private balcony.

In the kitchen, the 60-inch wolf range is an aspiring chef's dream. The area has plenty of space and storage with its rich brown cabinets, a sub-zero refrigerator, a cabinet-mounted wine rack, two sinks, and more.

8105 Talbot Lane in AustinThe 60-inch wolf range is an aspiring chef's dream.Photo courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

A few other highlights of the home include a game room, media room, terraces, and a resort-style pool deck with an accompanying hot tub, kitchen, and fire pit. The two-car garage also includes a guest suite above it, with a single bedroom, kitchenette, and half bath.

Looking into the property's history, it was listed in June 2022 for $4.9 million, which was reduced to $3.9 million by September. The home was reported as sold in October of that year before being re-listed for its current $4.25 million price in 2023.

8105 Talbot Lane in Austin

Photo courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

The estate is located at 8105 Talbot Lane in West Austin.

The estate is located at 8105 Talbot Lane, which is a brief 10 minutes from downtown Austin, and is zoned for the highly-esteemed Eanes Independent School District. The listing is held by agent Wade Giles of Douglas Elliman.

Uchi spinoff to debut "whisky omakase," bar pairings, and bao in Austin

Raising the Bar

Uchibā isn't a new concept, nor is it newly promised to Austin, but it's finally getting closer to becoming a reality. The bar and restaurant spinoff from Uchi (translated as "Uchi Bar") announced today that it is set to open in late summer in the Google Tower.

Hai Hospitality, the parent group of famous omakase restaurant Uchi, more casual sushi restaurant Uchiko, and drop-in Asian barbecue restaurant Loro, announced the idea in October of 2021, setting a launch date in fall of 2022. The intent was always to open the restaurant in the Google Tower (601 West 2nd St.), so the difference now is just timing.

The original Uchibā opened in Dallas in 2019, operating upstairs from Uchi, an Austin export. This exchange is now coming back around, blurring the lines of what's from which Texas city. Similarly, the lines are blurred between what each restaurant serves, since Uchibā does include some of Uchi and Uchiko's most popular dishes: hot and cool tastings, agemono (deep fried bites), raw fish rolls, yakitori, and more, including dessert.

Of course, there will be lots of menu items that are unique to Uchibā, especially when informed by the spirits behind the bar. Some of these food and drink pairings include the Hawaiian-ish spiced ham misubi with nori, rice, and tepahe, a fermented pineapple drink; and the vodka and caviar with olive oil, burnt butter, brioche, and chives. As well as these "duos," the bar will offer omakase flights for whiskey and agave spirits.

“At Uchi we combine flavors and textures to create what we call the ‘perfect bite,’” said Chef Tyson Cole, the James Beard Award-winning chef who started the Uchi brand, in a press release. “With Uchibā, we wanted to take that a step further by unifying food with cocktails and spirits. Our 'Perfect Pairs' and the whisky omakase play off this idea with intentional combinations of food, cocktails and the the amazing array of Japanese whiskies behind the bar.”

Some menu items aren't just unique to Uchibā; They're also only available at the Austin location, thanks to its chef de cuisine, Vaidas Imsha. His menu includes categories that don't appear at the Dallas location — "Buns + Bao" and dumplings — and a long list of items that could constitute their own menu independently. Among these are a Caesar salad with Japanese twists; a Wagyu beef bulgogi with radish kimchi; two fish crudos with refreshing additions like asian pear and cucumber aguachile; and the more straightforward karaage spiced up with kimchi caramel and yuzu pear.

Uchibā will operate Sunday through Thursday from 4-10 pm; until midnight on Fridays; and until 11 pm on Saturdays. Happy Hour will be from 4-6 pm Monday through Friday.

Uchiba Austin

Photo courtesy of Uchibā

Although Uchi is from Austin, Uchiba, the upstairs bar, has only existed in Dallas until now.