AUSTIN, TX.- Art Alliance Austin
announced the appointment of Asa Hursh as its new Executive Director. Hursh most recently served as Deputy Director of the organization and has served in various roles in the organization for the past three years. Additionally, the organization has announced Holly McDaniel as its new Director of Development and Wendy Prindle as Director of Operations, as well as several new board members (see below).
Established in 1956, Art Alliance Austin is refocusing its mission to engage people with great art by supporting Austin's most promising visual artists and arts organizations to build a vibrant, informed community. The Austin focused non-profit promotes and funds visual art by commissioning art works and producing a diverse series of cultural experiences that bring artists, art buyers, collectors, and the public together while generating economic benefit for the entire city. Art Alliance Austin produces the city's second oldest outdoor festival, Art City Austin, the largest art marketplace in central Texas, as well as produces or underwrites several events during the year such as the Art Night series, PechaKucha Nights and theDowntown Holiday Stroll in partnership with the Downtown Austin Alliance.
"Austin's evolving art community and economic climate require a more focused strategic direction at Art Alliance Austin, and I am honored to lead that effort," said Asa Hursh, Executive Director. "Our organization has been around for over 50 years and has had an incredible history. With the evolving landscape of Austin's art scene, and contemporary art in general, Art Alliance Austin is creating an organizational model that better supports the evolving needs of Austin. By developing new methods of discovering and experiencing art, we will foster opportunities that broaden and strengthen the region's art community."
"We are thrilled that Asa is taking the helm of the Alliance," said David Bodenman, Art Alliance Austin Board Chairman. "His vision for the Alliance's future, commitment to its rich history, and dedication to and passion for the organization make the ideal qualities of a leader for one of Austin's oldest and most important art non-profits."
"The purpose of the organization is to broaden the community of arts patrons at all levels from the attendee, to the art buyer, to the collector," said Hursh. "Austin currently has a phenomenal selection of talent, both artists and curators, on par with other major cities in Texas and around the country. This city has all the makings of a truly vibrant arts scene. The Alliance will create accessible opportunities for the public to experience and engage that part of their city's culture," he said. "Second, we're actively working with various business owners, cultural organizations, and civic organizations looking for artist performances, murals, public art, and temporary exhibitions. The Alliance will facilitate and manage thoseopportunities for our region's most promising artists and curators, while providing meaningful engagement for its supporters."
"The Art Alliance has been a steward of the Austin art community for decades and, in recent years, a great partner with Big Medium and the East Austin Studio Tour," said Shea Little, Executive Director of Big Medium. "Art Alliance has helped us reach new audiences and expand our programming, and we cherish this partnership and the many more the Art Alliance has made with other artists and art organizations. Austin is in an exciting moment with so much growth and renewed energy for the visual arts. Asa is an ideal leader for the organization, and I look forward to seeing what he will do for Austin and the Art Alliance."
At its core, Art Alliance Austin provides platforms for artists and art organizations to showcase their work - from festivals, to gallery tours, to speaker series, to public art and exhibitions. This will serve to broaden and deepen the connection between the Austin arts community and its audience. Because the Alliance does not have a dedicated space to program, it is flexible to support various types of works and match those works with different locations and audiences, from the novice to the erudite.
Art Alliance Austin also announced its current board, which consists of both long-standing and brand new members. The board includes David Bodenman, Highland Resources (Chair), Jada Garrison, The University of Texas at Austin (Vice Chair), Berkeley Claxton, St. David's HealthCare (Treasurer), Ryan Bennett, Frost Bank (Secretary/Parliamentarian), Kim Eckert, IBM, Sharon Kronberg, philanthropist, Grover Bynum, Austin Technology Council, Steve Maddox, Austin High School, and Joel Sumner, National Instruments.
"Art Alliance Austin is developing a new and unique model and one that we believe reflects the current needs of Austin's art scene," said Hursh. "Our organization functions as a promoter, an advocate, and producer of the arts. The model focuses on the back of the house - administration, event planning, development, and marketing. Curation comes from outside of the organization, from a team of local talent that isn't on the staff but is brought on board for various projects and events. We believe this model allows us flexibility as well as the broadest reach and support for the community."
The Art Alliance is currently working on many events over the coming months including PechaKucha on Thursday, Oct. 23, Art Night EAST on Friday, Nov. 14, the Downtown Holiday Stroll in partnership with the Downtown Austin Alliance on Saturday, Dec. 6, and next year, Art City Austin taking place on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26 in downtown Austin on Cesar Chavez, near the Seaholm redevelopment project.