Thursday, June 30, 2022

First Monkeypox Case Confirmed in Travis County, Jun 30, 2022

As an update to Austin Public Health’s (APH) initial announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testing has confirmed Travis County’s first monkeypox case. APH Epidemiologists have completed an investigation and are conducting contact tracing of people who had direct close contact with the resident while contagious. 

The resident continues to isolate at home. APH is also investigating five presumptive cases who have symptoms that are consistent with monkeypox. Initial case investigations indicate these persons did not have a history of international travel.

“This spread of monkeypox within our community is concerning. Anyone who believes they may have symptoms of the virus should reach out to a medical provider immediately,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “This virus is predominantly spread through close, intimate contact with others. You should avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone showing rashes or sores.” 

Monkeypox is rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact. The virus can be transmitted by person-to-person contact including:  

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids.
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.  
  • Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta. 

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:  

  • Fever  
  • Headache  
  • Muscle aches and backache  
  • Swollen lymph nodes  
  • Chills  
  • Exhaustion  
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands/palms, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.  
    • The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. 

There are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent infection with monkeypox:  

  • Minimize skin-to-skin contact, especially if a person has been exposed to the virus, showing a rash or skin sores.  
  • Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have been in contact with monkeypox.  
  • Practice good hand hygiene. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for people infected with monkeypox.  

As of Thursday, the CDC is tracking at least 396 monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases in the U.S. At least 10 cases have been confirmed in Texas. 

Independence Day Holiday Closures


Several City of Austin offices and facilities will be closed

Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day

Parks and Recreation Facilities Schedules
City of Austin Recreation Centers, Senior Centers as well as Museums and Cultural Centers will be closed on Monday, July 4. City parks, playgrounds, tennis centers, and golf courses will be open for their regularly scheduled hours on Independence Day. View City pool hours online at Find all Austin Parks and Recreation facility closure information at

Austin Public Library Schedule
Austin Public Library branches, Austin Central Library, and the Austin History Center will be closed on Monday, July 4. Library resources that are available remotely can be accessed at the Austin Public Library website

Recycling, Compost and Trash Collection Schedules
All Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) trash, recycling and compost collections will be unaffected for the Independence Day holiday. For the most up-to-date information on all your ARR collections, download the Austin Recycles App for your Apple or Android device. Or visit to sign up for collection reminders and alerts.

Administrative offices will be closed Monday and the Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center (RRDOC) remains closed to the public for the time being. Visit for updates on the status of the RRDOC and the availability of drop-off appointments.

Austin Energy Schedule
Both Austin Energy Utility Customer Service Centers (walk-in branches) and the Utility Contact Center (call center) will be closed Monday, July 4.

Austin Public Health Schedule
Austin Public Health’s testing and vaccine sites will be closed on Saturday, July 2.

Austin Animal Center Schedule
The Austin Animal Center will be closed Monday, July 4 and will return to normal hours of operation on Tuesday.
Holiday Celebrations
The City of Austin is encouraging Austinites and visitors to know how they are going to get home before they leave the house for the holiday celebrations, so they can get home safe. Visit to see a list of options.

For questions about City services or information call 3-1-1. You can also submit service requests from the Austin 3-1-1 mobile app.

Life-Saving Program Provides Pre-Hospital Blood Transfusions to Multiple Patients


Program to be Expanded Following Positive Results in First Six Months 

A pilot program that enables paramedics to provide blood transfusions to patients who are hemorrhaging blood before they reach the hospital is already helping to save lives in Austin-Travis County. 
Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (ATCEMS), the City of Austin's Office of the Chief Medical Officer, and local blood bank We Are Blood launched the program in December 2021, ensuring that at least two response vehicles are equipped with whole blood at any time.

It has enabled ATCEMS paramedics to give patients who are losing blood in a traumatic or medical emergency a transfusion of Low Titer O+ Whole Blood at the scene of an emergency or on the way to the hospital, saving precious time for patients experiencing life-threatening blood loss. 

The blood is carried in specialized coolers inside the ATCEMS units. These coolers maintain an FDA mandated temperature between one and six degrees Celsius. 

In the first six months of the program a total of 28 patients have received blood in the field – 15 of them for trauma and 13 for a medical issue – giving them a much higher chance of survival than if they had waited until they arrived at the hospital for treatment. 

Excessive bleeding is the leading cause of potentially survivable pre-hospital deaths. Patients who get transfused within 30 minutes of injury or life-threatening hemorrhage have a significantly increased chance of survival. 

In launching the pilot program last December, after more than three years of planning, Austin-Travis County became one of several pre-hospital systems in the state who are revolutionizing the treatment of pre-hospital medicine. 

“This program represents a huge shift in mindset in how we manage trauma,” said Dr. Jason Pickett, Chief Deputy Medical Director for the City of Austin. “Giving whole blood helps patients and saves lives. We’re not just getting them to the hospital, we’re reversing the effects of shock early, increasing their chances of long-term survival. Early use of whole blood can also reduce the amount of blood a patient has to receive by half, conserving our community resource.” 

“By starting trauma resuscitation out in the field we are buying the patients time, getting them treatment earlier so they can make it to the hospital and surgery, increasing trauma survival rates,” said Heidi Abraham, Deputy Medical Director for the City of Austin.

“Even in the first few weeks of this program it became apparent this was a huge need within EMS,” said ATCEMS Captain David Leclere. “One unit of blood can make a difference, and after transfusions we can quickly see blood pressures increase, and an increased level of consciousness.” 

Following initial results and data analysis, the City is in the process of expanding the program, as well as developing a strategy for the most equitable deployment of this resource. By the end of 2022 up to 11 EMS supervisor and EMS physician response vehicles are expected to carry whole blood.

ATCEMS is committed to and invested in making the lifesaving resource of whole blood even more readily available to residents and visitors to the City of Austin and Travis County. 

For more information about We Are Blood, or to book an appointment at any of their three donation locations or multiple mobile drives, visit

Patient Case Study

In May 2022 Karanai Ravenscroft suffered a life-threatening hemorrhage and needed an emergency blood transfusion, which ATCEMS medics were able to provide on scene and on the way to the hospital, saving precious time and giving her the best chance to fully recover.

Today, June 30, Karanai met the EMS crew who gave her the life-saving blood transfusion. Speaking after the meeting, at an EMS station in northwest Austin, she said: "I needed to see the guys, and tell them what they mean to me. Today my four children have their mommy, my husband has his wife. This program saved my life and the lives of my family."

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Summer Pool Schedule Update

As lifeguard hiring and training continues, new pools will open for the July 4 weekend. Martin (1626 Nash Hernandez Sr. Rd.) and Dottie Jordan (2803 Loyola Ln.) pools will reopen on Sunday, July 3. Beginning July 10, Ramsey (4201 Burnet Rd.) and Mabel Davis (3427 Parker Ln.) pools will open. 

To allow greater access over the July 4 weekend, Deep Eddy Pool is rescheduling its normal monthly closure from Tuesday, July 5 to Tuesday, July 12. On July 5, the pool will be open 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM for lap swim only and 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM for recreational swimming.

Increased pool operations come as the Austin Parks and Recreation Department reaches 551 lifeguards ready-to-work. The Department continues to hire and train lifeguards to operate summer pools. Pay ranges from $16 to $19 an hour depending on experience and certifications. Staff get bonuses, paid sick leave, a free bus pass, and flexible scheduling. Information on becoming a lifeguard is available at

For a complete listing of pool schedules, visit

Austin Water Achieves Major Milestone in Infrastructure Upgrade


 Over 50,000 new digital meters installed throughout the City of Austin

Austin Water has replaced nearly a quarter of all residential water meters as part of a major effort to modernize critical infrastructure and support customer efforts to conserve water and save money on their bills.

More than 50,000 new My ATX Water digital meters have been installed and by 2025, all customers served by Austin Water will have a new My ATX Water meter. The new digital infrastructure will provide a better understanding of how the entire water distribution system is performing at any given moment to enhance resilience to impacts from extreme weather.

“Advanced metering infrastructure is a significant strategy identified in Water Forward, Austin’s 100-year plan for water,” said Robert Goode, Interim Director for Austin Water. “This new infrastructure will be critical in helping to identify water loss from leaks and provide Austin Water with better information about areas with outages so that we can respond quickly to get things back online again.”

The My ATX Water program also includes a portal that gives Austin Water customers near-real-time data to better track and manage water use. Customers can set water use thresholds that would push notifications via email or phone. They can also sign up to receive customized water saving tips based on the water use specific to their household. The My ATX Water customer portal will also provide alerts about continuous water usage that could indicate a leak. The portal is currently available to all Austin Water customers, regardless of whether they have received the new digital meter yet.

“Being able to provide this tool to our customers is important, particularly with this summer’s worsening drought conditions,” said Randi Jenkins, Assistant Director of Customer Experience for Austin Water. “As lake levels continue to drop, customers can see exactly how much water they are using in near-real-time. Having this information at their fingertips will really help reduce water use across the City. And as costs for gas and food are rising and impacting so many household budgets, the portal can help customers save on their water bill.”

Austin Water is currently rolling out an initiative to encourage customers to sign-up for notifications and alerts from the My ATX Water portal. For more information, head to

Rain to River Community Vision Survey Now Available in Multiple Languages

The City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department (WPD) is seeking community input to guide the creation of their next strategic plan called Rain to River: A Strategic Plan to Protect Austin’s Creeks and Communities. This plan will guide Watershed Protection's priorities and decision-making for the next decade.  

Rain to River's Community Vision Survey and interactive map is now available in Spanish The survey seeks input about how Austin residents view Austin’s creeks and communities. Watershed Protection will use that information to develop goals and explore the community’s vision for how to tie in equity and climate change into the core of their work. The survey also features a map that residents can use to place markers to provide information about drainage problems they’ve experienced, favorite places to enjoy Austin's creeks and natural areas, or ideas for how to make things better.  

Paper surveys in Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Korean, French, and Hindi are available upon request and can be sent to you by emailing or by calling 512-974-2237. Paper copies are also available at all Austin Public Library locations. The survey software also has an auto-translate function to support over 100 languages via Google Translate

Visit to learn more about Rain to River, the work of Watershed Protection, and why the department is updating the plan. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

COVID-19 Precautions Warranted Ahead of July Fourth Holiday Weekend

Austin Public Health (APH) is monitoring widespread transmission and declining immunity, including reinfections. Health officials recommend preventive measures to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 during Independence Day celebrations. Last week Travis County’s COVID-19 Community Level was upgraded to medium.  

With so many gathering and traveling to celebrate the holiday, indoor masking is recommended, especially if you’re at risk for serious illness from COVID-19. Stay home if you’re experiencing symptoms, even if it’s just a scratchy throat or you think it’s “just allergies”. Before gathering, get up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, including any recommended booster doses, to protect yourself and your community. 

"We’re seeing concerning trends with our disease indicators which is especially worrisome as we head into a holiday weekend. The new omicron sublineages BA.4 and BA.5 are overtaking BA2.12 and are causing reinfections that are more likely to cause lung problems in at-risk people and may lead to hospitalization and the need for ICU care. People of all ages and risk levels will be gathering and should be mindful of each other,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “Test now, get up to date with your vaccines, and try to celebrate this weekend outdoors. Taking these steps will help protect loved ones and our hospital systems.” 

A key surveillance metric, new cases per 100K population in the last 7 days, climbed above 200—a threshold signaling increased risk. Additionally, new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100K population for the last week rose to 5.8, and the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients the last week rose to 2.5%. 

“We have highly-trained staff at our testing and vaccine sites that are here to help make sure you have a safe weekend with family and friends,” said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup. “We encourage families, especially those with young children, to come to our Old Sims clinic to start getting up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older. APH offers vaccine to all eligible age groups. While most children in Travis County get their vaccines from physicians’ offices, APH is prepared to fill in the gaps until supply is more widely available. Appointments aren’t required at the Old Sims Elementary Gymnasium clinic (1203 Springdale Rd., Austin, TX 78721). 

  • Wednesday and Thursday: 2-7 p.m.  
  • The clinic will be closed on Saturday, June 2, for Independence Day weekend.

The Shots for Tots program is also available for underserved communities. 

Free N95 respirators   

Wearing a well-fitting mask offers protection for yourself and those around you. Free N95 respirators are available at some local pharmacies. Use a feature on the CDC’s website to find a location near you.     

Free COVID-19 tests   

APH encourages testing before and after gatherings, especially if you plan to be in close contact with individuals who are at risk. A third round of free mail-order COVID-19 test kits is available through the federal government. You can also pick up free rapid antigen tests at APH's Metz Elementary testing site (84 Robert T. Martinez Jr. St., Austin, TX 78702).   

Testing and Vaccination Information   

Find vaccine providers using ( in Spanish) or by texting your zip code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic.   

APH clinics offer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations without an appointment, although creating an account online in advance saves time. COVID-19 vaccinations are free and require neither identification nor insurance. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 or visit

A list of Travis County vaccine distribution events can be found online.   

The APH Mobile Vaccination Program brings vaccine clinics to businesses, churches and more. APH is asking all organizations to fill out an online form to request a pop-up clinic. 


About Austin Public Health  

Austin Public Health is the health department for the City of Austin and Travis County. Austin Public Health works to prevent disease, promote health and protect the well-being of all by monitoring and preventing infectious diseases and environmental threats and educating about the benefits of preventative behaviors to avoid chronic diseases and improve health outcomes. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

City of Austin Fair Chance Hiring job fair

The City of Austin’s fourth in-person Fair Chance Hiring Job and Resource Fair will be held on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greater Mount Zion Church located at 4301 Tannehill Lane, Austin, TX. 78721.  This job and resource fair will provide individuals with multiple opportunities to meet face-to-face with representatives from public agencies, private employers, temporary staffing agencies and community resource organizations committed to hiring and assisting individuals from all backgrounds (including justice-involved individuals, veterans, seniors (50+), and people with disabilities).  

For more information, visit or call 512-974-3210.

H-E-B Austin Symphony Fourth of July Concert and Fireworks Celebration

Join the City of Austin and the Austin Symphony Orchestra this July 4 for an event complete with a fireworks display over the city skyline backed by symphonic patriotic classics. The Austin Symphony Orchestra presents the H-E-B Austin Symphony Annual July 4th Concert and Fireworks - planned, produced, and performed entirely by the Austin Symphony, with the help of its generous sponsors.
The performance will begin at 8 p.m., followed by “mile-high” fireworks. The event is free and open to the public. Logistical information about the event can be found on the City of Austin webpage and the ASO event page

Date/Time:      Monday, July 4, 2022 at 8 p.m.
Location:          Auditorium Shores and the Long Center |
Be Prepared and Leave No Trace
Please follow Leave No Trace principles. Plan ahead and prepare. Dispose of waste properly. Be considerate of other visitors.

  • You will be outdoors, so wear sensible shoes, clothes, and hats for sun protection
  • Pack water for hydration, bug spray, and blankets
  • Pack a flashlight if you are traveling the Hike & Bike Trail
  • Personal umbrellas may be used
  • Folding chairs with attached canopies are allowed
  • Food and beverage vendors will be on site
  • Clean up after yourself
  • Have a plan and tell people who know you where you will be
  • Have your phone fully charged
  • Be aware of your surroundings

Park Rules and City Ordinances:

  • No glass or Styrofoam
  • No alcohol allowed on site
  • Swimming in Lady Bird Lake is prohibited
  • Smoking and vaping is prohibited in City of Austin parks - Class C Misdemeanor
  • Vending at the park site without a permit - $200 minimum fine, Class C Misdemeanor

Prohibited Items:

  • Drones are prohibited at the event per FAA regulations
  • No personal fireworks on site, including sparklers
  • E-Z Up style or pop-up canopies/tents are not permitted
  • Barbeque grills and cooking is prohibited at the event site
  • Please leave pets at home, as the fireworks during the performance are highly upsetting to our 4-legged friends. If you lose your pet, check with the Austin Animal Center

Getting There
For the best experience, park north of Lady Bird Lake in the downtown area to avoid the congestion in and around South Lamar Boulevard, Barton Springs Road and Riverside Drive (all areas south of the park).
The Bouldin Creek Neighborhood will have neighborhood parking restrictions in place for safety. Parking in prohibited areas on green spaces and parkland, along Rights of Way and medians, blocking private drives and lots; or in “Not Permitted” areas may subject you to fines, ticketing and/or towing at your own expense.


  • Hike & Bike Trail to get to the park (bring a light and remember, motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail)
  • Bike to the event - The park is open and you can ride your bike directly to the concert site
  • CapMetro - Use the  CapMetro trip planner to plan your trip
  • Shared Mobility / Dockless Devices – The southwest corner of Riverside Drive and South First  Street will be available for drop off 

Parking Options

ADA Parking will be by permit at the Palmer Event Center Garage and One Texas Center on a first come, first served basis. Entrance is from the south via Barton Springs Road.
Road Closures
Road closures and/or lane reductions associated with this event start at 10 a.m. and may precede actual event start times. There is no on-street parking allowed in the neighborhoods south of Auditorium Shores. All streets will be reopened by midnight. Click here for additional street closure information.

10 A.M.

  • Riverside Drive from Lee Barton Drive to South First Street

8 P.M. (Be aware certain roads may close earlier for safety reasons due to heavy pedestrian traffic.)

  • South First Street from Cesar Chavez Street to Barton Springs Road
  • Congress Avenue Bridge southbound closed to thru traffic
  • Riverside Drive from South First Street to South Congress Avenue
  • Barton Springs Road from Lamar to South Congress Avenue

Lake Closures
For safety reasons, Lady Bird Lake between the railroad trestle bridge and the South First Street bridge will be closed from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Austin Police Department
The Austin Police Department focuses on saving lives in the Austin metropolitan area and making the roadways safe for everyone through education and enforcement. APD’s No-Refusal DWI Initiative is effective Thursday, June 30 through Monday, July 4, from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. daily. The Department is participating in a second initiative, sponsored by TxDOT, which will run from June 24 through July 10 and will add to current traffic enforcement efforts. Have a plan to get home safely. Don’t drink and drive.
Austin Fire Department
The Austin Fire Department reminds you there is always a burn ban within the city limits, and that it is illegal to possess, use, or sell fireworks within the City of Austin. Call 3-1-1, NOT 9-1-1, to report illegal fireworks.
Austin-Travis County EMS
Austin-Travis County EMS will provide on-site medical resources at the celebration.
Austin Public Health
Find Austin-Travis County's current Community Level and related COVID-19 guidance here.

Additional Considerations
Traffic may be impacted by other Austin celebrations including activities taking place at the Q2 Stadium with doors opening at 11 a.m., musical performances starting at noon, and a separate fireworks show. For more travel information, visit the City’s event page.
About the Austin Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1911, the Austin Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is Austin’s oldest performing arts group. The ASO offers a complete season of musical and educational programming. Masterworks concerts include a series of eight concert pairs running monthly September through May in the state-of-the-art Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts. Our season also features the Sarah & Ernest Butler Pops Series and programming for the entire family. Popular James C. Armstrong Youth Educations Programs also occur annually and include Tuneful Tales, Young People’s Concerts, High School Concert Tour and a variety of other school programs.
About Austin Center for Events
The Austin Center for Events is a collaborative assembly of City of Austin departments and agencies designed to streamline special event permitting on public and private property. ACE is anchored by teams from Austin Public Health, Transportation, Parks, Music, Police, Fire, EMS, Code, Austin Resource Recovery, Development Services, and partner agencies, and works closely with event organizers to guide them through the special event permitting process. More information at

Friday, June 24, 2022

Austin City Council Moves Forward with Abortion Decriminalization


Special Called Meeting Set for the Week of July 18

Moments after Roe v Wade was overturned, Austin City Council Members Jose “Chito” Vela and Vanessa Fuentes called for a special meeting to pass the GRACE (Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone) Act. Council Member Vela drafted and submitted the resolution, which is co-sponsored by Council Members Vanessa Fuentes, Paige Ellis, and Kathie Tovo, alongside Mayor Steve Adler.

The GRACE Act is a policy recommendation in 2 parts:

  1. City funds shouldn’t be used to surveil, catalog, report, or investigate abortion.

  2. Police should make investigating abortion their lowest priority.

CM Chito Vela stated, “Unlike the conservative Supreme Court or the Texas state government, the Austin City Council serves the interests of our people. Banning necessary medical care like abortion endangers women’s health. The City of Austin will not be complicit.”

CM Vanessa Fuentes said, “The importance of the GRACE Act cannot be overstated. By introducing this resolution during a special session, City Council is doubling down on fighting back for reproductive health. Items like the GRACE Act will promote essential healthcare while enabling individuals to exercise their bodily freedom.”

CM Paige Ellis stated, “This city will not be complicit in the state’s efforts to criminalize decisions made by families and their doctors. I proudly stand with my colleagues in opposing this unprecedented attack on bodily autonomy. As elected officials, it’s our duty to do everything in our power to minimize the damage this ruling will cause.”

"Austin was the first city in Texas to pass 'Rosie's Resolution,' in memory of Rosie JimĂ©nez,” said CM Kathie Tovo. “Rosie might still be with us today had she been able to use Medicaid to pay for a safe abortion. No matter what state and federal lawmakers do to prohibit safe and affordable abortions, Austin's City Council will continue to support reproductive rights.” 

Mayor Steve Adler stated, “It is tragic that women have lost the human right to make their own healthcare choices, including as to abortion. With this opinion, the Supreme Court puts women and so many others at risk and in danger. Austin will, to the best of its ability, do all we can to protect our values and our people.”

The Texas state government has a history of aggressively overturning municipal protections of human rights, but Council Member Vela has high hopes for the GRACE Act’s longevity.

“We know this resolution is legally sound, and Austin is not alone in this fight,” said CM Vela. “We are working with several other cities who are equally horrified by the prospect of an abortion ban and want to do everything they can to protect their residents.”

Julie Oliver, Executive Director of Ground Game Texas, sees value in building a coalition as well. “In Texas, local leaders must make clear that we value every American's right to privacy and bodily autonomy. That's why we're urging city councils across the state to ratify solutions that would decriminalize abortion care and ensure no city resources, including law enforcement, are used to investigate and prosecute reproductive care."

To view the Austin City Council’s ongoing discussion of this issue, please visit Council Member Vela’s message board post. For future releases, please sign up for updates.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

City Sets Out Plan to Support African American Cultural Heritage District in East Austin

Reflections mural by Reginald Adams
Reflections by Reginald Adams
Austin Art in Public Places Mural at the African American Cultural and Heritage Facility

The City of Austin is moving ahead with plans to invest in the African American Cultural Heritage District in east Austin to enhance the quality of life for residents and connect visitors to the area’s history, heritage, and cultural sites.
Economic Development Director Sylnovia Holt-Rabb updated Council on progress being made to raise awareness of the District’s cultural significance, back local music industry projects, and explore the development of a block on East 11th Street. It follows a resolution to reaffirm the designated African American Cultural Heritage District and related initiatives approved by the Austin City Council last year.
“The City of Austin is dedicated to improving the quality of life for African American residents through the preservation of historic Black spaces, artistic cultivation, and by serving as a catalyst for social and economic development,” said Holt-Rabb. “Our efforts to support the African American Cultural Heritage District will ensure we continue to recognize, celebrate, and preserve the vital contributions of our Black residents.”
An African American Cultural Arts District was created in 2007 to formally recognize areas that have a concentration of African American landmarks, historical and cultural assets, and the legacy of the diverse and thriving African American residential, commercial, and cultural core of Black life in Austin. It was renamed the African American Cultural Heritage District the following year.
The District, whose boundaries reach I-35 to the west, Airport Blvd to the east, Manor Rd to the north and East 11th/East 7th to the south, contains significant economic, historical, cultural and heritage tourism sites. They include Huston-Tillotson University – the oldest institution of higher learning in the city – Down’s Field, the original Austin Public Library Building and George Washington Carver Museum, the home of famed jazz musician Kenny Dorham, the Historic Victory Grill, the African American Cultural and Heritage Facility, and scores of designated historically significant homes and buildings.
Today’s memo to Council notes that the neighborhood will be the first in the city to use a new framework being developed to create, retain, and enhance economic districts. This will include the planning, design and installation of signage and branding – selected by the District itself – to amplify the area as a cultural center on the eastside.
A pilot program, the Live Music Fund Event Program, has been refocused with new guidelines to give additional priority to projects that celebrate or showcase Austin’s diverse cultural heritage and music history, as well as those projects that are presented or produced in the African American Cultural Heritage District. The program provides grant funds to help musicians involved with live and online performances, recording studio production, music video production, and music broadcasting.
Additionally, the City’s Economic Development Department entered into an agreement with the Austin Economic Development Corporation to assist with exploring the feasibility of the East 11th and 12th Streets Urban Renewal Plan. The Economic Development Department will also solicit a consultant to develop a strategic plan for the African American Cultural and Heritage Facility at 912 East 11th St.


About the City of Austin Economic Development Department 
The City of Austin Economic Development Department supports business growth, creative industries, and local communities. These programs build an equitable, sustainable economy to improve the lives of all Austin residents. To learn more about helpful resources, visit or follow us @AustinEconDev on Facebook and @AustinEconDev on Twitter.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison to Hold District 1 Town Hall to Discuss Housing and Affordability

Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison invites the public and media to her first District 1 Town Hall of the summer. The event will focus on the critical issues of housing and affordability in Austin and will feature a presentation from HousingWorks Austin, which recently published its annual District-by-District and Community at a Glance Analysis that showed District 1 leads the city when it comes to affordable housing production.
WHO: Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, HousingWorks Austin executive director Nora Linares-Moeller, and HousingWorks Austin research manager Woody Rogers
WHAT: District 1 town hall on housing and affordability
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2022
WHERE: Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, 1156 Hargrave St.