In the spirit of social enterprise, we are creating the Violet Crown Amphitheater endowment, the beneficiaries of which have been selected from among local private sector non-profits with well-defined missions focused on natural resource preservation, the performing arts, and the mental, physical and spiritual health, welfare, safety and education of our artists and the community at large. Once selected based on relevancy, apportionment among the beneficiaries was predicated on the depth of other funding sources available to those organizations; not their current level of outreach. Those organizations with less opportunity to secure funding elsewhere were given a higher relative percentage participation in future proceeds.
Initial beneficiaries include but will not be limited to The Nature Conservancy (Texas), Hill Country Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, HAAM, SIMS, SAFE, CASA, 100 Club of Central Texas, National Fallen Firefighters Association, KLRU Public Television, KUT Public Radio, The Texas Tribune, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Opera, Ballet Austin, Zachary Scott Theater, TED, and the Planetary Society. VCA intends to implement the most modern ticketing technology such that at the moment a ticket is purchased, the endowment assessment will be fractionalized and delivered to the beneficiaries accounts directly, purchase-by-purchase, in real time, eliminating delays and overhead costs of administration to zero, thereby maximizing proceeds to the beneficiaries.
The Nature Conservancy and the Hill Country Conservancy have worked effectively throughout the years to secure specific tracts of land for preservation. The near-perfect natural conditions (still, quiet, dark, and beautiful) for the Violet Crown Amphitheater exist today because of the Balconies Canyonland Preserve to the east and the Nature Conservancy Preserve lands and a conservation easement to the west. The National Resources Defense Council for its part acts on a national basis as an environmental plaintiff helping form the basis for conservation policy at the federal level.
The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) provides assistance to musicians and other performing artists with respect to healthcare which is otherwise unavailable primarily due to a lack of revenue to pay for expensive private individual health insurance policies. Concurrently, SIMS fulfills a similar role for mental health in recognition of the challenges which artists and performers face disproportionately.
The SAFE Alliance (the merger of Safe Place and the Austin Children’s Shelter) provides a wide range of assistance to at-risk women and children in our community. Concurrently, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provides legal assistance to at-risk children who would not otherwise have representation in the system. The SAFE and CASA roles are analogous to the HCC/TNC efforts in respect to the NRDC efforts relative to the environment. In a complex world both are necessary components to achieve the best outcomes in their respective areas of concern.
The Violet Crown Amphitheater has been designed to a 21st century specification with respect to all life safety considerations. Nonetheless, the burden in an individual or collective emergency ultimately rests with our EMTs, law enforcement, and fire departments. In respect to our first responder community, VCA supports the 100 Club of Central Texas, and the National Fallen Firefighters Association. In addition to the Endowment, VCA is also providing ground handling facilities for Starflight, and permanent emergency response command centers in the stage building at the bottom of the bowl and in the concourse building at the top of the bowl.
KLRU and KUT have long played a vital role in our community by providing reporting which is well researched and free of the editorial content. Even more so, both outlets have deep roots in the Austin music scene, having participated materially in its founding and continued growth and promotion over many decades. For its part, the Texas Tribune is a rare professional media organization operated as a non-profit which has demonstrated its commitment to high quality and apolitical reporting on issues of specific importance to Texans.
VCA’s support of the big four fine arts organizations goes without the need for explanation. It is our hope that these organizations will grow to a point where they can expand their repertories to include summer programs under the stars as is the case at the Hollywood Bowl (LA Philharmonic), Red Rocks (Colorado Symphony), Ravinia (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Tanglewood (Boston Pops) and Wolf Trap (National Opera), to name only a few.
VCA intends to host its own TEDx or similar lecture series which will be focused on music, the performing arts generally, as well as a broad arts and sciences program of learning. The venue will be open to the public on non-show nights at no cost for star parties similar to those held at the McDonald Observatory in Ft. Davis and elsewhere.
Photo: top, Earl J. McGehee
Hear from the Experts
Watch our series of videos and hear from the experts on these topics and more:
“Why was this site chosen?”
“How will this venue nurture Austin’s economy?”
“How will the watershed and surrounding habitat be protected?”