Austin, the capital city of the Lone Star State, has plenty going for it. Kiplinger magazine ranked it number one on its “Best Cities 2010” list, and the city is third on CNNMoney.com’s roster of “America’s Most Recession-Proof Cities.”
Clearly, Austin is doing something right. It has long been defined by its music scene, which is how it became home to the popular and growing South by Southwest festival. But Austin has emerged as more than just a base for music. In fact, it has become a mecca for theatrical and visual arts as well. So what makes the city such a bastion of creative energy?
“Historically, you can blame the University of Texas,” says Robert Faires, senior arts editor of The Austin Chronicle. “Since the 1880s, it’s been drawing creative types from all over the state—most of whom felt like lonely outsiders in their small hometowns—to this spot in the heart of Texas. They all discover one another here and begin to interact, and then the creativity just begins breeding. Because it’s so fulfilling for them creatively here, they decide not to leave.”