Austin Green Art (AGA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about important environmental issues via hands-on, creative, community-based programming & events. AGA utilizes collaboration and the transformative power of the creative arts to engage participants and provides first-hand knowledge about issues relating to conservation, sustainability and the environment.
Since its inception in 2004, AGA has partnered with a host of local organizations to create more than 40 programs that have engaged thousands of community stakeholders and hundreds of area volunteers.
AGA was launched in November 2004 by Randy Jewart initially to produce a temporary, outdoor sculpture show during the June 2005 Public Art Network. Prior to AGA, Randy developed a program in Washington, D.C. called It’s Sculpture!, for which he raised over $100,000 in two years to fund public art. Randy also served as Membership Chair of the International Sculpture Center Board of Directors for two years, as well as on the board of the Washington Sculptors Group. Public interest and invitations following the Public Art Network Show in Austin led to the string of community-based projects in 2005 that became AGA’s hallmark and laid the groundwork for continued programming in 2006 & 2007.
AGA’s projects focus on education, advocacy and community building. We develop projects ourselves and also partner with organizations to help bring a green and green art component to their existing or new programs. Material re-use, local food and conservation have become central recurring themes in our work. For the past two years, AGA has produced Austin’s Earth Day celebration, has had a regular presence via various programs at Austin’s weekly Farmer’s Markets, and is engaged in the environmental messaging at The Domain, which will be one of the most densely LEEDS certified developments in the world. AGA has successfully completed more than 40 projects to date, several of which are on-going and provide long-term mutually beneficial partnerships with many area organizations.
We consider our approach very similar to traditional community barn-raisings, offering a collaborative design model to empower participants to create projects and to learn by doing. Temporary public art with thematic relevance to community issues acts as a catalyst for communication, celebration and action. AGA believes in each individual’s creativity and presents a structure for community members to express themselves throughout the artmaking process while learning about important issues relating to the environment and their role in its future health.
By taking important community issues and making them the focus of hands-on creative, educational community events, AGA breaks down many of the cultural constructs that have led to environmental problems in the first place. Time spent creating and learning is an offset in and of itself that takes away from economic and material consumption. Using the principle of deep ecology as a metaphor, AGA strives to find connections between seemingly disparate groups and build a diverse network. The social network that’s created as people from different circles work together to create is the underpinning of a community that can talk and move toward the trust and interdependence that will be required of sustainable community.
- Raised over $250,000 via grants, sponsorships and individual donations
- Conducted 44 programs in 3 years
- Engaged 1,300+ residents and artists as volunteers
- Engaged more than 3,300 individuals as project participants
- Programs have been viewed or attended by more than 200,000 people
- Partnered with more than 160 organizations
- Broad and consistent media coverage including a cover story in the Austin Chronicle