US: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman, Joan Shigekawa, has recently announced that the City of Austin's Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department is one of 895 organisations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The $30,000 grant will support a 2-year sophisticated community-wide cultural mapping project exploring Austin's cultural assets and economic and community development strategies. The project will enable the creative sector to integrate goals with City initiatives in order to inform potential future artist housing, creative sector incubators, and other cultural facilities in development projects.
Starting in mid-2014, citizens will be invited to participate in sessions geared toward developing a series of GIS maps and visuals focused on the ten new Council districts. The maps will include physical cultural assets – such as pieces of public art or performance venues; non-cultural data that describe the social dynamics of Austin; current City planning and economic initiatives; and artist visuals that present community meaning. Accompanying the final maps will be individual reports that describe the discussions, findings, and recommendations for priority community and economic development strategies.