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Write your City Council to support Arts Education!

Hello TAP Supporters!

Recently the City of Austin changed the rules on how the hotel/motel tax money can be used.

What this means is huge funding cuts for some artist and organizations, and for most, 100% elimination.

The new requirement centers around tourism. That is defined as someone spending the night in a hotel or renting a car at the airport when they arrive because that is where the tax is collected. Audiences driving from San Antonio or Temple and back in the same night do not constitute it.
If you can’t prove you can draw tourists, you will not get funding. That eliminates most of the literature, visual arts, community based and individual projects, outreach, education projects, film, and the city’s own Community Impact and Special Initiative funding. Even small theater and dance projects are at risk.

The following is a link to the online form for emailing the mayor and council simultaneously:

The text below is just a guideline, please feel free to tell your own story. Thanks in advance for your support!

Dear Honorable Mayor and Councilmembers,

It has recently come to light that the Council is considering applying a narrow interpretation of the State Attorney General’s ruling concerning the use of state Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds. Under the current interpretation that has been in place for years in Austin, HOT funds have been used to support a wide variety of creative, community-based arts organizations. These groups increase the city’s livability, complement its artistic temperament, and boost tourism by putting Austin on the map as a city with a vibrant and exciting arts culture.

All that will change if the city adopts a narrow view of the AG ruling, which states that only projects proving a direct, quantifiable impact on tourism are eligible to receive HOT funds. But there are many ways to interpret and evaluate an arts group’s impact on tourism. As City Council members, you have the discretion to continue interpreting the existing statute in such a way as to not wipe out over a hundred arts organizations that are currently enriching the lives of Austin’s citizens—particularly the largely under-served populations of children, the elderly, lower-income, and people of color. Even the city’s own Special Opportunities and Capacity Building programs will be ineligible for funding under this narrow interpretation.

As a citizen of Austin, I am asking you to reverse your recent decision to change what kind of programming is eligible for Cultural Arts funding.

About creativeactionaustin

We are based in Austin, Texas and reach more than 16,000 young people every year through our unique blend of theatre and education programs.Our programs expose young people to critical social problems and offer opportunities for them to creatively think about how they can be a part of solutions to these problems. Creative Action is a unique blend of art and education – for us, the two are intertwined. We believe that using the arts as a teaching method provides a fun, engaging and inspiring way to learn – it incorporates the whole mind and body.

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