Austin Texas Music Commission Asks City to Add Multi-use Arts Theater for African American Cultural Heritage District

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The Austin Music Commission is looking to develop an art theater to provide equity in the African American Cultural Heritage District. 

The Austin Music Commission just approved the main bullet points of a drafted resolution regarding the construction of a multi-use cultural center. The heart of the proposal is the theoretical establishment of a music hub and multi-medium arts center within the district that has been carved out to provide equity to the African American community in East Austin. 

The leader of this proposal, Harold McMillan, founder and cultural history scholar for the East Austin Black History Project, presented the resolution to the Music Commission Wednesday, asking for an expedient vote in support of his, and the African American community's, requests. 

“We’re not just talking about a music issue here, we’re talking about a race/culture/city development issue,” stated McMillan. “The city needs to revisit the African American Cultural Heritage District and make a real investment. If you promised me breakfast five days ago, you oughta get me my breakfast first, with priority.”

McMillan is also a professional musician, in addition to being the founder of East Austin's DiverseArts Culture Works non-profit. This proposal is ultimately music-centric, but the focus is also on urban renewal projects designed to strengthen the district and entice Black creatives to live and work around where the building will be. 

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