Creative Waco x AIR Institute Launch Partnership


WACO, TX – Waco becomes the first community in Texas to launch “AIR Institute” art, cultural and economic development program.

December 14, 2021 – Creative Waco and AIR Institute are selecting and training local facilitators to support Waco, midsize and rural communities across Texas interested in building their local creative economy.

Creative Waco is to receive a multi-year grant from the prestigious Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation to become the Texas launchpad for nationally recognized AIR Institute. For three years Creative Waco will be using the AIR methodology to help creative people expand their business skills, and business people become more creative. Waco’s program will also be the first in the nation to pilot the program bilingually.

“We are excited to work with such a diverse, creative, and entrepreneurial organization as Creative Waco,” says Beth Flowers Executive Director of the AIR Institute. “We also look forward to meeting and supporting the inspiring creative community in Waco. We are grateful to the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation for supporting our initial work.”

AIR’s approach believes diversity of people, opinions, and experiences, at decision making tables, make communities and economies stronger by fostering self-determination, reliance, cultural equity, and creativity. The program combines design thinking and creative processes. Its success has been remarkable in other communities, with participants benefitting from enhanced networks, productivity, and morale, and 87% of program participants reporting increased revenue.

Creative Waco is seeking participants and facilitators chosen from across the community.

“If you are yearning for a creative challenge, and stronger community connection, this could be your ideal opportunity”, says Fiona Bond, Executive Director of Creative Waco. “The AIR Institute will help us build an entrepreneurial ecosystem where artists and creatives collaborate with businesses, educators, and social service sector to grow a vibrant creative economy that showcases what makes our community unique, builds pride, increases resiliency, advances equity, and expands the network of people actively making our community a great place for all.

Applications are open through February 2022 for up to twelve facilitator positions. Full training will be available free of charge thanks to the grant. Virtual and in-person information sessions and workshops will be held in January and February 2022. Creative Waco will be hiring a full- time and bilingual staff member to lead this program. They will be accepting applications in January 2022.

There will be an in-person information session open to the public Jan. 18, 2022 from 11:30am to 1pm at the CenTex Hispanic Chamber’s annual luncheon, a zoom information session Jan. 2, 2022 from 8:30am-9:30am, and a full Art Builds Business Builds Art Workshop (ABBA) workshop Feb. 2, 2022 at Art Center of Waco from 4-6pm.

Those interested in becoming a facilitator are suggested to participate in an information session and the Feb. 2 nd ABBBA training.

The partnership will be announced at Creative Waco’s artists and creatives holiday happy hour and mixer Dec. 14 at Cultivate 712 from 7:30-9pm then to the public on Dec. 15.

For more information visit


About Creative Waco
Creative Waco is Waco’s local arts agency. The nonprofit organization exists to grow and support the artistic and cultural life of Waco and McLennan County.

About AIR Institute
The AIR Institute is a national creativity-focused economic development nonprofit that provides rural and under-resourced communities with programming that inspires new connections and ignites the creative economy.

Creative people expand business skills, businesspeople get more creative; they learn to collaborate, adapt, and thrive together.

Fiona Bond
[email protected]