GivingCity Austin WINTER 2012
The guide to doing good in Austin, featuring "Where Did All the Money Go?" for Bastrop wildfire donations (photos by Sarah Wilson) and "How to Help Returning Soldiers" (photos by Erin Trieb). Plus more information and how-to's for philanthropists.
Winter 2012 13 HOW ALAMO GIVES NOW Always generous, Alamo Drafthouse now has a system for community giving, and Amy Averett’s in charge. When rattlesnakes and live explosions are part of your business, it’s not hard to get noticed in the community. But as Alamo Drafthouse’s profile grew, so did re- quests for donations. Not that its execu- tives mind. Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse’s CEO, is a firm believer in community involve- ment. But until this past summer, Alamo had no system for responding to these requests. That’s where Amy Averett came in. True to Alamo’s cul- ture, Averett isn’t afraid to take some risks. In fact, she created the position she now holds with Alamo Draft- house, and pitched it to League. She’s been the community relations coordinator for the company since June 2011, and in that time has helped cre- ate a system that all the Alamo Drafthouse locations can use when requests come in. Part of that is an online donation form, found on the Alamo Drafthouse website, which helps or- ganize requests. Averett is also able to act as a point person and help each location coordinate events or donations. “We donate a lot of goods and services throughout the year and try to stay involved in a lot of charities,” says League. “Unfortunately, when our time gets stretched too thin, com- munity involvement can get pushed to the back burner. Having Amy on- board helps us to focus our charitable priorities as a company.” As the company expands to new loca- tions, it’s increasingly important to establish a coordinated model for community involvement. Averett finds that creating that system has also allowed Alamo Drafthouse to make the events and partnerships it’s involved with work in a big way. With the structure in place, the company can focus on using creative capital in its community work. Alamo Drafthouse recently worked with the Ending Commu- nity Homelessness Coalition for its annual Hunger & Homeless- ness Awareness Week, screening a documen- tary about the Art From the Streets art sale with a question and answer session. But the work didn’t stop there: Alamo Drafthouse also had Art From the Streets artwork there for sale, and promoted the art sale through social media. Alamo Drafthouse also created a series of activities over the course of the current school year for Travis High School’s Culinary Arts program. Students there toured the South Lamar kitchen, met with the company’s executive chef, made Alamo Drafthouse reci- pes with the tutelage of its chefs, and later this year will do mock job interviews and have a chance to do their own cooking evaluations of a meal prepared spe- cially for them. Averett says that while Alamo Drafthouse is known for its creativ- ity, there’s no reason other companies that want to be effective givers or community partners can’t pack as much of a punch when it comes to giving back. “I think if you approach it from place of ‘what do we do better than any- one else, and what do we offer that’s truly unique?’ that’s powerful,” Averett says. “You’re aligning your philanthropic work with the priorities of your business.” Amy Averett (opposite) convinced her friend Tim League that Alamo needed her. Now she’s having fun leading Alamo’s philanthropy. JANUARY 15 Nonprofit Film Frenzy Ten nonprofits and 10 film- makers team up to race against the clock and create films about their cause— in just 48 hours. The Reel Change Film Frenzy kicks off at noon on Friday, Jan. 13, with final films being screened on Sun- day at noon at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. Film teams are eligible for up to $500 cash and Alamo Drafthouse tickets. Watch CASA of Travis County, Sustainable Food Center, The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas, Texas Roller Girls, Multicultural Refugee Coalition, Theatre Action Project, Badgerdog Literary Publishing, Austin Pets Alive, Austin Bat Cave and Whole Planet Founda- tion compete on film! For tickets to Sunday’s show, go to AlamoDrafthouse.com. H A P P E N I N G N O W