This was the beginning of very regular confrontations with the poverty that is present in Austin. Even in the "privileged" areas of town, like near the University of Texas, one only needs to walk a few blocks to be face to face with homelessness and poverty. To me, this (as well as the guilt of how I treated the girl at the stop light) has been inspiring me to get started with sharing art in the community since it can be such a beautiful and necessary thing.
So since moving here, I have been working on meeting potential collaborators at UT, and friends who share my interest in arts service work. There is so much energy around this kind of work in Austin, and I would love to see all of these ideas turned into action. Today, my proposal to become the Austin Chapter of Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) was accepted and I am so excited to begin working with them and all of my new friends who have responded to my request for team mates. My goal for our chapter is that it will be a place where artists can bring their ideas, get support and help from colleagues, and spearhead their own sustainable and meaningful projects. I can't wait to see what happens from this. I am so inspired!
I look forward to continue to update the work of ASTEP in Austin and our chapter here under the label "2014-2015 Austin"!