The Arts in Austin Texas
The Texan capital city of Austin is home to the state legislature, the University of Texas and numerous businesses and organizations. The city is also a popular tourist destination, with a number of festivals and events throughout the year.
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The city's history dates back to the 1830s when John Lamar envisioned a new town along the Colorado River. His plan called for a grid of fourteen blocks, bisected by Congress Avenue, and extending northward from the river to "Capitol Square." It was to be built on 7,735 acres (the site of today's Zilker Park) with a central water supply for irrigation and manufacturing.
As the town developed in the mid-1870s, its economy flourished, drawing new business and industry. In 1872 the city won a statewide election to become the seat of the state government, and in 1881 it was selected as the site of the new University of Texas.
In the late 1800s the town was a center of business and trade, with a population of 50,000. As a result, the city had many fine hotels and restaurants, public buildings and public utilities.
After World War II, the city began to attract high technology companies. Several research laboratories and think tanks were established, and the area became known for its innovative thinkers and high-tech enterprises.
A key aspect of Austin's growth is the influx of young people from around the country. This has created a demand for housing and strained the city's infrastructure.
Despite these problems, however, the city is still growing rapidly. The population of Austin is expected to reach a record high of 1.35 million by the year 2020. This rapid growth has brought new challenges to the city, including urban sprawl and balancing the need for new infrastructure with environmental protection.
The city has a diverse and vibrant arts community, and it is home to a number of professional theaters, art galleries and music venues. The City of Austin's Cultural Arts Division oversees the Cultural Arts Funding Program and Art in Public Places Program, as well as initiatives designed to support the arts.
Its historic downtown, particularly the area surrounding Sixth Street, has a strong arts presence and is a favorite among locals and visitors. This district is full of museums, art galleries, and cultural institutions, and offers a range of restaurants, bars and shops.
Other neighborhoods with an active arts scene include the Red River District and South Congress. Both offer a wide variety of cultural activities, including live music and comedy performances.
This district is also home to several major attractions, including the Texas State Capitol and the Dedrick-Hamilton House, which was once owned by one of the first freed slaves in Travis County.
The Black American Cultural and Heritage Facility in East Austin is a cultural hub that provides services and programs to the African American community. This facility has a museum, library, theatre, and conference hall that hosts educational, cultural and entertainment events.