The African American Cultural and Heritage Facility (AACHF) has been added to the portfolio of the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division, part of the Economic Development Department. The facility, located at 912 East 11th Street, provides meeting and performance space for educational and cultural activities, and catalyzes business opportunities and creative collaboration within Austin’s African American community. The move creates synergy with the Cultural Arts Division’s programs and aligns with the City’s priorities of ensuring equity across Austin.
“We are pleased to welcome the African American Cultural and Heritage Facility to the Cultural Arts Division,” said Meghan Wells, Manager of the Cultural Arts Division. “The facility’s commitment to cultural preservation and community engagement is foundational and combining their unique assets with our own will allow the Cultural Arts Division to expand our programming and outreach in meaningful new ways.”
To mark the occasion, the AACHF will host a celebration, during the East Austin Studio Tour, on Saturday, November 18, from noon-3 p.m. Tours of the facility will be provided, including a special viewing of the African American Portrait Project, “Reflections,” by artist Reginald Adams. Sited in the courtyard of the facility, the mural is comprised of tile portraits of African American leaders who have significantly contributed to Austin’s history. A new tile for the mural, dedicated to Dr. William Astor Kirk and selected by the City of Austin’s African American Resource Advisory Commission, will be unveiled at the event at 12:45 p.m.
Staff, led by facility manager TJ Owens, will be on hand to provide information about the resources of the facility, including a computer lab, meeting rooms, dance studio, and public plaza, available to the community.
The event will highlight a new mural added to the exterior of the facility, created by artist Ryan Runcie and supported by Capital View Arts and the Cultural Arts Division, featuring imagery of prominent African American leaders throughout Austin’s recent history. Artworks curated by Capital View Arts will also be on display inside the Facility.
The celebration is free, family-friendly, and open to all. Live music, food, and drinks will be provided, beginning at noon.
Named after the state-designated African American Cultural Heritage District where it is located, the African American Cultural and Heritage Facility adds to the area’s cultural significance by facilitating arts, business, cultural and entertainment programming.
The facility houses the Greater Austin Black Chamber on Side A and the Office of Arts & Cultural Resources on Side B. The L-shaped architectural design by McKinney York Architects has been lauded for its modern design elements.
The cultural institution benefits Austin, not only in terms of culture, diversity, resources, tourism, and activities, but also economically in stimulating business and economic development.
The African American Cultural and Heritage Facility is a three-part project that includes: restoration of the historic Dedrick-Hamilton House; construction of a 4,000-square-foot building with meeting spaces, offices, and a multipurpose room; and a mosaic mural in the outdoor courtyard commissioned by Art in Public Places.