A farewell to Austin Design Week

Dear ADW community,

Last year, we announced that we were putting Austin Design Week on hold as we sought out an institution that could take on this budding nonprofit to make sure it could sustain and grow long into the future.

We spent the past year having in-depth conversations with universities, non-profit funders, the City of Austin, and other private and community organizations. Our priority was to find a home for ADW that would keep the festival’s values of embracing all design disciplines, inclusivity & accessibility, and being in service of the larger creative community. While there are a lot of amazing organizations out there doing important work to support creatives in Austin, we ultimately weren’t able to find the right fit.

We’re writing with the difficult news to let you know that we’re discontinuing Austin Design Week.

It’s with a heavy heart that we share this news, but also a sense of great pride in what you–the community–built over the six years with Austin Design Week.

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What You Built

The first festival came together in 2016 in just over four months, with the enthusiasm of our very first advisory board, volunteers, and community partners and organizing teams!

ADW grew from a gathering of 40 in-person events with 800 participants to a festival of over 100 in-person and virtual events serving 4000+ participants from Austin and around the world. We’ve heard stories of new partnerships, university curriculums, businesses, job offers, career transitions, and friendships all developing out of the ADW community. We’ve been inspired and challenged by the conversations brought about by the event.

Knowing the impact this organization has had on the community makes it hard to see it come to an end, but we also know that the energy, passion, and creativity of this community are bountiful. We look forward to seeing what individuals and organizations create in its place, and we’re here to support those efforts.

We encourage you to participate in one or several of the incredible community partner groups we’ve worked with over the years (see a list of them below). They are offering membership, events, and opportunities to connect and learn about design, arts, and creative communities all year round.

The Austin Design Week website will remain up through the end of the year (thanks to our partners at Marketing360). Explore the blog and a list of 2021 events for inspiration.

We also encourage you to check out our final festival recap video (filmed by the talented Marty Robbins) for highlights of the festival. You can also watch the recordings of many of our virtual events from 2021 and 2020 on our Youtube channel.

Stay Connected

Stay connected with one another–that’s the most valuable part of this community! We will keep the Austin Design Week Slack workspace open through the end of the year. Use this space to meet other creatives, share events, job opportunities, and more.

Finally, we invite anyone who is attending SXSW to join us for a Design Community Meetup on March 11th from 2:30-3:30pm. We began running this meetup in 2019 to bring together local designers and those in town for the festival and have always loved the energy and connections made in just that short hour.

We want to thank you again for making the Austin design community so special. We know you’ll continue to seek out ways to champion Austin’s creative community and the city and the greater design community are better because of it.

With much gratitude and love,

Candice & Danielle

ADW Co-Founders

Community Organizations

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Thank you for 6 incredible years of ADW

Thank you to our partners at The Label Collective who served as our brand team and created the visual identity and creative assets for Austin Design Week each year.