October 11, 2017 ~ Austin Arts & Media Economic Development Department

Austin Arts & Media Economic Development


On Wednesday, October 11th we are pleased to present a panel of speakers from the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department (EDD), led by Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, Assistant Director. Sylnovia has been the Financial Manager for Austin’s Economic Growth and Redevelopment Service Office. She and some of her staff will provide an overview of the department, particularly as it pertains to funding, incentives, and others services for film, television, gaming, and other arts & media. Other EDD staff filling out the panel:

Jim Butler has worked on economic development projects since the early 1990’s, including with the Texas Governor’s Office and the City of Austin. His focus has been on improving the economies of Texas and Austin by developing technology, entertainment, and arts sectors.

Erica Shamaly is the Music & Entertainment Division Manager for the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department. Erica has spent nearly 20 years in Austin working to develop its creative industries from visual arts, to film, to music. Her history includes stints at the Austin Museum of Art (now Contemporary Austin), Austin Psych Fest (now Levitation) and Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater. Erica also co-founded and led the Austin School of Film at Motion Media Arts Center for nearly 10 years ending in 2012.

Alyssa Zinsser is the Music Business Development Program Coordinator for the City of Austin’s Music & Entertainment Division. Alyssa works to build Austin’s industry through a Sector Summit Series, thus creating an opportunity for industry sub-sectors to meet and discuss pertinent issues. Data gathered at these events fuel new programs to better serve and connect the industry at large. She also addresses international needs by working to create new partnerships with organizations within Austin’s sister city network. Alyssa will also be heading up efforts for a revenue development program for both musicians and industry professionals.

Anna Bradley is an Art in Public Places coordinator with the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department. Anna holds a BFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and currently manages multiple public art Capital Improvement Projects and the TEMPO program, a temporary public art exhibition on city sites.

Austin is blessed with a vibrant arts community, as well as numerous directors, writers, producers, agents, actors, and others involved in the Film/TV/Media/Gaming industries. We also benefit from engaged city leaders and proactive programs to support the arts.

Learn more about getting support for the arts from the City of Austin’s EDD:

Filming in Austin

Austin Film Incentives

Cultural Funding Program

Creative Content Incentive Program

And take a look at the City of Austin’s EDD long list of programs!


Last Month

We were thrilled to have Arnie Reyes & Ken Lewin as our guest speakers on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. The backbone of Rocket Media, they showed some clips from 3 short episodes of their half-hour, scripted TV series pilot, discussed financing, shooting, and promoting the series, and offered an excellent presentation. Thanks for your time and insights, Arnie & Ken. We are all rooting for you to get complete financing for your project!

If you are involved in the film/media/game/TV industries, then put this month’s mixer on your calendar and make use of this opportunity to get firsthand information about Austin’s support systems, applying for grants, accessing these programs and much more! So make plans to join us at Sherlock’s Pub & Grill on Wednesday, October 11th, and bring some friends. Arrive early for a cold libation, networking and meeting new folks with like minds!

Pass along our website and check it for details about each month’s speaker(s)!
Find this month’s mixer on Facebook.
Get on our mailing list and keep up with us on social media:
Like our page & join our group on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Mixing & Networking @ 6:00PM, Announcements @ 6:30, Speakers @ 6:45
Followed by More Mixing & Mingling and Networking

December 14, 2016 ~ Heather Page, Director TFC


Texas Film Commission Director Heather Page



The future of the Texas TV, Film, Digital, and Gaming industries are at stake with the impending legislative session starting up just after the new year, and the woman at the forefront who’s been a valiant advocate and rich resource will be featured at our next mixer at the central location of Baby A’s on Wednesday, December 14th: Heather Page, Texas Film Commission Director. So it would behoove every actor, writer, producer, director, crew person, equipment rental store owner, and so on not to be at this next mixer.

Heather Page, Director, TFCHeather Page received a bachelor’s degree in cinema from Denison University, a master’s degree in cinema studies from New York University, and a certificate in graduate cinematography studies from the American Film Institute. Heather is an accomplished cinematographer, having worked on major feature films and television shows such as Revenge, Friday Night Lights, Armageddon and The Green Mile. She is a former Workforce Training Administrator for the Texas Film Commission, where she helped implement the Workforce Training Program created in 2007 by the Texas Legislature. She is a board member of the Society of Camera Operators, chair of the International Cinematographers Guild Scholarship Fund, and co-founder and director of Beyond the Lights Celebrity Golf Classic.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry asked Heather to take over as the 12th Director of the Texas Film Commission in 2012, which she accepted. Heather describes her job as “supporting the industry”, and the commission as “one big customer service landing site for everything film.”*

“A big part of that task is administering the state’s film, television, gaming, and digital incentives, the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (TMIIIP). She praised former Commissioners Bob Hudgins and Evan Fitzmaurice for streamlining and reforming the process. ‘Their work,’ she says, ‘allowed me to do some polishing when I arrived, in terms of the audits, to make them consistent and fair and to make it move quicker, so that businesses aren’t waiting two years for their incentives.’”*

With the Texas legislature meeting again in 2017, the TMIIIP is once again up for review, so it is incumbent upon all of us in the industry to support the Texas Film Commission in its efforts by informing ourselves and contacting Texas Representatives and Senators to let them know our numbers and the dramatic beneficial impact that incentives have on jobs for Texas jobs and the overall economy of Texas.

Further Reading:
Texas Film Incentives on Network Austin Mixer
*Austin Chronicle article from April 2016

Get Involved:
Texas Entertainment Industry
Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA)

Last Month

We extend our deepest thanks to all the creative folks who shared their varied talents with us at our Third Annual Talent Showcase on Wednesday, November 9th. What an amazing array and abundance of talent we have right here in the Austin area! As expected, performances ranging from singing, dancing, comedy, and monologues drew a large audience and kept us laughing and enjoying this fun-filled, inspiring and hilarious evening of entertainment. Thanks to all the participants and attendees. It was a blast!


Now please attend this next important mixer… and bring friends! That’s Wednesday, December 14th @ Baby A’s. See you there.…

Pass along our website and check it for details about each month’s speaker(s)!
Get on our mailing list and keep up with us on social media:
Like our page & join our group on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Mixing & Networking @ 6:00PM, Announcements @ 6:30, Speaker @ 6:45
Followed by More Mixing & Mingling and Networking