City of Austin Reinstates Creative Ambassador Program

September 26, 2018

The City of Austin Cultural Arts and Music and Entertainment Divisions, part of the Economic Development Department, will reinstate the City’s Creative Ambassadors Program. Open to creative professionals across disciplines, the program provides official City designations and small stipends to Austin artists traveling outside of Texas in promotion of their creative projects. First launched in 2014, the program was temporarily suspended as the City explored how best to incorporate it into its larger cultural tourism strategy. The retooled program, which launches October 1, will run on an annual (versus monthly) cycle and will now provide $1,000 grants for ten artist recipients.

“We are pleased to reinstate the Creative Ambassadors Program,” said Meghan Wells, Manager of the Cultural Arts Division. “This initiative opens new avenues of dialogue between Austin and markets worldwide, and increases the international presence and reputation of our local artists.”

“The Music Office is excited to work with the Cultural Arts Division on this collaboration providing capacity for our artists to share their art with the widest audience possible, while fostering new networks with other cities around the world,“ adds Eric Shamaly, Manager of the Music and Entertainment Division. 

The Creative Ambassadors program is open to artists of all disciplines, including, but not limited to: musicians, visual artists, filmmakers, and performing artists. Austin-based individual artists and arts organizations who have confirmed plans to travel nationally or internationally to present or promote their work. Applicants will be evaluated on their level of expertise in their chosen discipline, including the number of years they have been working in their artistic area and any prior awards or recognition they have received for their work. The selection panel will also consider how the artists and their proposed project will support the Creative Ambassador Program goals of enhancing Austin’s global profile as center of creativity; supporting the local creative community; and facilitating dialogue between other regional, national and international arts agencies and their communities. The Panel will select a diverse cohort, reflective of many artistic disciplines by artists from all cultural communities, including ALAANA (African American, Latino, Asian American, Arab American, Native American) artists and arts organizations, plus applicants who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community or the differently-abled community.

Selected ambassadors must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Attend a training session with City of Austin staff before travel 
  • Represent Austin in at least one meeting with a government, arts agency or anchor creative organization in the destination city, as approved by the City of Austin
  • Meet with national and international delegations visiting Austin, as needed 
  • Forward any press coverage related to the project/travel/ambassadorship to the City of Austin
  • Submit a post‐trip report to the City of Austin

Applications for the Creative Ambassador Program will be accepted from October 1- December 1, 2018. Complete program guidelines and a link to the application system may be found at www.austintexas.gov/department/creative-ambassadors

Selected applicants will be announced in January 2019. The Creative Ambassador designation is valid for one year and all required activities and reports are due at the end of the year-long cycle.