Waco arts nonprofit Creative Waco hopes to stimulate interaction between thought-provoking creatives and business-savvy entrepreneurs over the next three years as the first Texan organization to implement a training program of the AIR Institute.
Waco’s will also be the AIR Institute’s first bilingual program, and its reach is intended to extend beyond Waco, to small towns and villages across the state.
The Rocky Mountain Arts Incubator launched in 2011 in Fort Collins, Colorado, became affiliated with Berea College in Kentucky for a few years as it moved away from the regional reach its original name suggests, and since early 2020 was the independent AIR Institute, based in Frederick, Maryland, with a presence in 14 states.
Institute facilitators, like those Creative Waco will select, operate largely through workshops aimed at “helping creatives to develop their business skills and business people to become more creative.”
A grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation will fund a three-year implementation of the AIR Institute methodology and principles by Creative Waco, starting next month with the interview and hiring of a director and 12 local animators.
The AIR Institute’s program will build on the Greenhouse program of Creative Waco, an arts business incubator led by Luann Jennings and responsible for more than a dozen local arts-inspired start-ups. Jennings, in fact, connected the director of the AIR Institute, Beth Flowers, to the work of Creative Waco.