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Prop 18: Library, Museum and Cultural Arts Facilities

KUT News is profiling the seven bond propositions that will appear on Austin voters’ ballots this November. The last one the list, Prop 18, allocates $13.4 million to library, museum and cultural arts facilities.

Part of the bond would fund interior and exterior renovations at several branches of the Austin Public Library. Facilities earmarked for funds include the Austin History Center and the University Hills, Cepeda and Will Hampton branches.

Another $5.4 million would go toward Austin Studios, operated by the Austin Film Society. The money would be used to remodel the National Guard Armory next to Austin Studios for use as an annex. If approved, the renovated facility would provide offices for small film-related businesses and artists.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to expand what we’re already doing in Austin Studios and create a hub of artists and small businesses and additional film making,” says Rebecca Campbell, executive director of the Austin Film Society. “But the building is over 50 years old and its in terrible condition.”

In a tight economy, arts and culture initiatives are often first on the chopping block. But Campbell says that voting yes to Prop 18 would help the local economy.

“Specifically with Austin Studios, because of the fact that films are coming and just pouring money into the economy, I think it’s pretty well known that it’s a good move for creating jobs,” she said.

The concern, supporters say, is getting voters attention on a crowded ballot.

“That’s why we’re really trying to encourage people to vote on the bond as a package,” says Ian Davis, field director of the pro-bonds Love Austin campaign.

Looking to learn more about Prop 18? You can read more on city's website.

Reshma Kirpalani works as a freelancer at KUT News.
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