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By Erin Russell | April 10, 2017 | People
Although Austin is known to have a beloved spirit and style, its constant presence on various lists of fast-growing cities means change will come. We asked six Austin influencers what they love about Austin and how they imagine shaping its future.
"Austin is a place where creativity can thrive. A lot has come out of Austin and continues to start here—it's an inspiring place to call home. I hope to see local businesses and business owners being supported by the city of Austin, encouraging mom/pop joints to open. I understand that being a chef and restaurant owner, we can support from within by continuing to source our products from central Texas farms and ranchers. However, we all also need the support of our local lawmakers. I see myself as a part of this by actively supporting our Austin food systems as a means to strengthening our community, our economy, its health, and its sustainability. I hope to see this grow as a movement and not survive as a trend. I also know it is important to create jobs that allow creativity and learning in the workplace. I hope to see the people who love to live and work in Austin be able to afford to live here. Workers are the backbone of every city—as Austin grows, we can’t forget this."
"As Zilker Park celebrates its 100th anniversary, we can imagine an Austin with a dedicated Cultural Arts District, where world-class visual and performing arts blossom in the heart of our urban capital city's parklands. What I love most about Austin is the connection of our families, our ideas, and collaborative efforts, along with city leadership, to ensure a culturally hip Austin, uniquely our own."
"I want to help put an end to some of Austin's problems by continuing to help great charity events that support our community, with a focus on kids. I also want to continue to support our local farmers and markets—we all have a lot of work to do!"
"This city is literally the fountain of youth AND creativity! Anything can happen here! The Austin public art scene has been growing rapidly and the HOPE Outdoor Gallery has played a big part in supporting that growth since our launch in 2010. I plan to continue to be a part of our expanding Austin arts culture through our new art park where we will relocate the HOPE Outdoor Gallery. Details to come Fall 2017!"
"I love how Austin defies expectation and easy categorization. We are the ultimate 'both/and' city. We are a metropolis that feels like a small town. It’s OK to wear shorts to a business meeting. You hear music coming out of doorways in the middle of a weekday. You can lose yourself in nature on a trail in the middle of downtown. I hope that in 10 years, we have accepted and embraced our contradictions and that we continue to favor the unique over the homogeneous."
"I love the balance of life, creativity, and extraordinary people in Austin. I hope to see the new Contemporary Art Museum being built and of course I hope to curate art for it."
photography by Stefano Fabrizo Darold Photos (nina seely_; kenny braun photography (jack gilmore); matt lankes for oliveandm.com (andi scull cheatham); liz lignon (peter mullan); dustin meyer photography (lana carlson); Courtesy of Eden East (sonya cote)