March 24, 2015
Funded by ArtPlace America, and organized in parallel with the City of Austin’s Cultural Asset Mapping Project, the Drawing Lines project was an artist-driven, community-based creative placemaking project, commissioned in response to Austin’s historic political transformation. The project explored how art itself, as a process, could be part of the conversation about Austin’s new geographic districts. Exploring these citizen-driven yet prescribed boundaries of place, Drawing Lines embedded artists in each of the ten newly drawn districts to co-create a place-specific public project with the residents of the new districts. Ultimately, the ten district projects came together in one citywide exhibition in a pop-up gallery space on Congress Avenue, that reflected on the new 10-1 political structure, and the dynamic cultural life of each of the districts, and thus the city itself.
The Drawing Lines project ultimate asked the basic question, “What role can the arts take the in the context of historical political change.” This question arose out of the fact that the City of Austin had recently chosen, by voter referendum, to change from at at-large system of local government, to a district-specific system of government. Thus Austin did not embark upon a process of re-districting, they in fact chose to create representative geographically based districts themselves. Growing out of a long history of a lack of minority voice, the districting process was the result of decades of work to bring a system of equal representation to our growing majority-minority city.
The project is a private-public partnership between GO collaborative and the City of Austin Economic Development Department with the generous support from ArtPlace America. Drawing Lines is a sponsored project of Austin Creative Alliance. GO collaborative served as the project lead and administrator to shape the project vision and its implementation within the 10 districts.
Services Provided: Community Engagement; Public Art Planning + Administration; Project Management; Evaluation.