Austin has been the capital of Texas since 1845 when the state was annexed into the United States. The city is known as a progressive community, with a vital creative class, and the slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” South by Southwest (SXSW), one of the largest music and film festivals in the world, annually attracts over 2,000 performers and 20,000 fans to the city. The 23rd Street Renaissance Market, located near the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, is celebrating its fourth decade of supporting the work of local artisans.
Austin, a city of just over 790,000 people, supports over twenty interfaith organizations. Many of these interfaith groups reflect the city’s identity as a center for arts, education, and social action. Two prominent interfaith organizations in Austin are Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT), focused on the essential need for dialogue, service, and celebration, and Austin Interfaith, a coalition of schools, unions, and congregations working together on justice issues. Austin is home to local branches of regional organizations, such as the Institute of Interfaith Dialogue, affiliated with the Gülen Movement, and national groups such as Interfaith Power and Light and Family Promise. In addition to more traditional interfaith groups, Austin’s Wiccan Interfaith Council International works across diverse groups in the Wiccan community to build greater awareness of “the Olde Religion.”