Mayor Adler unveils downtown puzzle plan

He gained national applause and thousands of retweets for his response to the boycott of an all-female ‘Wonder Woman’ screening.

Now, Mayor Steve Adler is back at it. This time it’s Austin’s music scene who’s giving him all the rave.

the funding

His recent release of what’s known as the “downtown puzzle” plans to allocate over $3 million for commercial music. The money would stem from the 2 percentage-point increase in the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax. Overflow funds from this aforementioned tax increase are what’s making this multi-million dollar contribution possible.

This amount is estimated for the first year implementation; it’s only expected to grow as Austin area hotel revenues increase.

The downtown puzzle framework is expected to be voted on in late September by the City Council. If approved, staff members have until the end of 2017 to come to a consensus on how the $3.1 million will be utilized.

The most prominent need is improving the earning power of Austin musicians. Programs that can put more money in artists’ pockets and make it easier for them to perform are being drafted by community groups and task forces.

the ideas

Catlin Whitington, a planning manager for South by Southwest, supports programs that would provide subsidized valet parking for musicians at hotels and restaurants near their gigs and programs that would assist in the marketing of new artists under the Austin brand.

A common theme is that this initiative requires the community’s input because the people are what sustain the live music. The funds will ultimately go towards what makes live music more accessible.

CTO of Mood Media and a chairman for the Austin Music Foundation, Danny Gillespie, voiced his support for educational programs that give artists, venue owners, and music industry professionals guidance on prosperous business practices.

To Austinites and live music connoisseurs alike, rejoice in this momentous step forward and as always, go local.