Art Alliance Austin’s history reflects the evolution of art in Austin. In 1956, the group was founded as The Women’s Art Guild – formed to support the Laguna Gloria Art Museum (which is now part of the Austin Museum of Art). For years, the Austin Museum of Art Guild (as they came to be known) presented “Fiesta” an annual outdoor art event that was one of the regions largest art events. As the guild and annual event grew, aspirations became broader. In 1999, The Austin Museum of Art began renovations on the historical grounds of Laguna Gloria and Fiesta moved from the secluded West Austin neighborhood to downtown, becoming the Austin Fine Arts Festival. Changing the organization’s name to the Austin Fine Arts Alliance and mission in 2004 – reflected the intention to support the larger art community, starting with the addition of the Blanton as a beneficiary in 2006. 2007 brought the organization to a new vista, where the leadership made a significant commitment to the understanding that there is a greater opportunity to serve and reflect the vitality of art in Austin for local, regional, and national patrons and participants.
In the course of Austin’s evolution, the Alliance has continued to pioneer downtown placemaking with a program that supports and commissions temporary, site-specific public art. The highly successful program has served to reinforce and invigorate a sense of place – an initiative that has proven to be a powerful catalyst for igniting the civic imagination. With nearly 30 sites activated in downtown since 2008, our projects have proven to generate interest, facilitate community engagement, and provide opportunities to connect. Projects have consistently transformed underutilized built environments into vibrant community hubs.
In parallel, we have expanded our programs both independently and through the establishment and care of partnerships. In every phase of our organizational evolution, the Alliance has identified and forged relationships with promising and established artists and arts organizations, curators, institutions, city organizations and departments, funders, neighborhood leaders, and the community at large, adapting to the ever-changing landscape of our city. Building on years of artist and civic engagement, Art Alliance Austin continues to expand its commitment as a civic collaborator and cultural producer in ways that fixed institutions cannot. The Alliance’s track record of success in the public realm, depth of dynamic partnerships, and access to emerging and established creative talent continues to spark progress with an approach that is particularly suited to Austin’s status as a creative capital of the 21st century.
Art Alliance Austin (est. 1956) engages people with great art by supporting Austin’s most promising visual artists and arts organizations to build a vibrant, informed community. The non-profit, member-powered organization promotes and funds visual art by commissioning temporary public art and producing experiences that bring artists and collectors together while generating economic benefit for the entire city.
Art Alliance Austin advances the city through art, culture, and creativity in public life.
Art Alliance Austin strives to bring art to Austin and Austin to the world via art by harnessing the limitless creative talent of the art community and the imagination of the people. The organization and events we produce will become important meeting places for artists, members, collectors, leaders, educators, galleries, museums, and the casual participant to engage in collaboration at the intersection of life + art.
We value . . . Inclusiveness · Innovative collaboration · Inspiring all who participate · Improving quality of life.
$2.5 million in annual economic impact
$350K directly impacting downtown businesses
$322K gifted to downtown art institutions since move in 2000
$254K in earned media value (2010: Alliance)
$89.4K in commissioned projects since 2008
35K event attendees / 1K event volunteers / 50 volunteer leadership
Support Our Efforts
Your support through membership, donations, and volunteering enables Art Alliance Austin to engage people with great art and allows us to respond quickly and effectively to new ideas that you wish to see happen. Join or renew your membership with a simple online membership form. Like us on Facebook too!