DAWA Launches No-Cost Content Studio for BIPOC Creatives: Austin Creatives and Organizations Can Apply Before August Opening – Music


The new DAWA Studios at the Love, Tito’s flagship store in downtown Austin (Courtesy of DAWA)

On Tuesday, local support group DAWA (Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action) launched a podcasting and livestreaming studio at Love, Tito’s flagship store in downtown Austin.

DAWA Studios will be available free to BIPOC artists, creatives and organizations at 800 West 5th Street, Suite 100A. Resources available in the space will include professional editing software, lighting, cameras and audio equipment to create online content like live streams, videos and podcasts. On Instagram, the organization explains that the studio “will be entirely subsidized by donors, grants and income generated by the studio ([by] companies and non-BIPOC customers).

DAWA-Studios (Courtesy of DAWA)

Scheduled to officially open in August, DAWA invites interested creatives to apply now at this online form.

DAWA Founder, Jonathan “Chaka” Mahone, former chairman of the Austin Music Commission, shares via press release, “We want to build a strong ecosystem that locates, grows and empowers the incredible artists and organizations that are under -represented here in the city. As an organization, we are building the structures that I wish I had seen here when my wife and I moved to Austin 12 years ago. Now is the time to build our own resources and tell our own stories.

Half of the husband-wife musical duo Riders Against the Storm, Mahone founded DAWA to provide emergency financial assistance to people of color working as artists, musicians, social workers, health care providers and service sector workers. Over the past two years, the organization has distributed $153,000 in direct financial assistance to more than 600 Austinites. The collaborations with Tito’s culminated in a South by Southwest launch showcase jam-packed with all black female artists at Stubb’s in March.

Mahone’s mastery of community building through live streaming and online content includes distributing $32,000 in fundraising in less than a week to Texans impacted during winter storms in February 2021. The New Studio is also made possible through partnerships with Six Square, Juiceland and Twelve Rivers Realty. He hopes DAWA Studios will act as an incubator for Austin talent and create hours of free online content.

Established Austin rapper Anastasia Hera adds via press release, “This studio provides the access and amplification we need as artists of color in this city. By sharing this powerful platform with like-minded creatives, DAWA Studios does the work to ensure that we are properly seen, heard and felt.

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