5. Grow and Invest in Austin's Creative Economy

The Creative Economy Priority Program (CEPP) team brings together individuals from different departments to address the development of arts spaces and creative industries, cultural tourism and multicultural identity, and music and arts scene to better serve Austin's growing population.  
“Creativity is the engine of Austin’s prosperity. Arts, culture, and creativity are essential keys to the City’s unique and distinctive identity and are valued as vital contributors to our community’s character, quality of life, and economy.”
Creativity, as defined in Imagine Austin, reflects both the value of the economic impact of the arts and the value of arts for social well-being. The creative economy is an economic concept that creative assets generate economic growth and development in a community. It includes interconnected industries that focus on providing creative services, or creating and promoting intellectual property products. The importance of the arts is also about how culture connects and binds people to each other and a place. Neighborhoods with a critical mass of cultural assets and a web of social networks are more likely to experience stable social diversity as well as economic revitalization.

Creative Economy Indicators Summary

We're Improving
number of annual cultural contracts applications
participation in arts, culture, and small business workshops hosted by the city of austin
overall investment in the arts by the city of austin 



Due to the unavailability of data from an originally identified source, the indicators that were associated with the Creative Economy Priority Program have been replaced by indicators that could be reliably tracked. The indicators listed below are reflective only of the City of Austin’s involvement and influence in the creative economy in Austin. Therefore, these indicators are limited in what they can tell us and not necessarily representative of the vast creative economy in our city. However, they do provide a perspective of the City of Austin’s contribution to and involvement in Austin’s creative economy.
Below you will find a detailed analysis and description of each of the Creative Economy indicators. 

#118 number of annual cultural contracts applications

Description: This indicator measures the number of cultural contract applications received through the various cultural funding programs administered by the Economic Development Department's Cultural Arts Division. The City of Austin provides cultural arts programs for the Austin community by contracting with arts organizations for specific services. These contracts are referred to as Cultural Services Agreements, or Cultural Contracts.
This indicator relates to the level of community cultural activity taking place in Austin, supported by the City. Imagine Austin states that arts, culture, and creativity are essential keys to our city's unique and distinctive identity and should be values as vital contributions to our community's character, quality of life, and economy.
Analysis of Results
The number of applications received has increased dramatically in the past two years from the levels seen in 2012-2014 due to increased community interest and participation, increased City outreach, and refinement of Cultural Arts program offerings by the City of Austin.
Methodology
This indicator is a count of all cultural contracts applications received by the Cultural Arts Division.
Data Source + Collection Cycle
annual
Learn More
The Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department is responsible for the Cultural Arts Funding Programs, Art in Public Places, community-based arts development, and programs to assist the development of creative industries in Austin. Visit their website to learn more.

#119 participants in arts, culture, and small business workshops hosted by the city of austin

Description: This indicator measures the number of participants who attended workshops offered by the Economic Development Cultural Arts Division and Small Business Program as well as the Parks and Recreation Department.
This indicator relates to the level of participation by the community to engage with and learn from City workshops geared toward professional development, education, and community networking designed to support the capacity, sustainability, and growth of the creative sector in Austin. Imagine Austin calls for increased participation in arts and culture activities by residents and visitors alike.
Analysis of Results
The number of participants has varied over the past 5 years due to adjustments to workshop programming and fluctuations in available associated workshop resources.
Methodology
This indicator is an annual count of workshop attendees based on sign in sheets and registrations.  
Data Source + Collection Cycle
data collected annually
Learn more
Learn more about arts, culture, and small business workshops and programming hosted by the City of Austin by visiting their websites: Small Business Program,  Cultural Arts, Parks and Recreation Art Programs

#120 overall investment in the arts by the city of austin

Description: This indicator measures the amount of funding from the City of Austin invest to provide support to arts activities and contracted arts services in Austin. This includes funding for the Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department, Parks and Recreation Department's Arts and Culture Facilities, and the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport's Changing Exhibits Program. 
This indicator relates to the financial investment in the arts made by the City of Austin. Imagine Austin calls for the creation of places that reflect the inspirational and creative spirit of Austinites through design, public art, and beautiful public spaces.
Analysis of Results
The amount of Hotel Occupancy Tax funding overall (and the percentage available for cultural funding) has increased steadily over the past several years, due to increased tourism in Austin.  In addition, City investment in capital improvement (providing 2% for the Art in Public Places Program) from Bond and Enterprise funds has continued to rise, and program support provided by individual City Departments (e.g., Aviation, Economic Development, and Parks and Recreation) has continued to serve as a source of investment in the creative community. 
Methodology
This indicator is calculated by summing arts funding by the City of Austin each fiscal year. Funding sources included are the Economic Development Department Cultural Arts Division's cultural funding programs, Arts in Public Places, and the TEMPO temporary art program, plus support of eleven museums and cultural centers offering employment, training programs, and exhibition and performance spaces to local artists. Also included is the funding for the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport's Changing Exhibits Program. 
Data Source + Collection Cycle
City of Austin
data collected each fiscal year

Priority Program #5
Laura Esparza of the Parks and Recreation Department is the Creative Economy Priority Program Champion. 
Contributing departments include: Economic Development Department; Planning and Zoning; Parks and Recreation; Austin Public Library; Aviation