Since the Club’s inception, one key pillar of Austin FC’s work in the community has been a commitment to the creative community. That commitment continued last week when the Club hosted an art workshop that brought together 12 local students, ages 4-17 and Joel Corral -- a member of the Austin FC ATXFC Artist Initiative.
In this spirit of inspiring and empowering the next generation of creatives, Austin FC invited students from local non-profit Creative Action, an arts-based youth development organization, to Q2 Stadium to participate in the workshop. Creative Action, which provides creative learning programs that help youth develop critical life skills in safe and supportive learning environments, was also selected as the Club’s non-profit beneficiary of the Verde Store round up for the month of July.
“We love to help our students dream big and really expand their sense of the possibilities in life, so touring the massive and beautiful Austin FC stadium and getting the very special experience to learn from a professional artist in a hands-on workshop was a huge opportunity for us all,” said Executive Director of Creative Action Karen LaShelle who was also in attendance at the July 16th event. “It was an inspiring day and one that our students and families will not soon forget. We are so grateful to Austin FC for their partnership and commitment to bringing the community together!”
The students were taken on a tour throughout Q2 Stadium including the Wall of Legends and an image of Treaty Oak that is a major part of the Club’s crest. Corral used that image for inspiration as the kids drew their own versions of the iconic tree.
The Club provided Corral and the students with the exclusive pencils, pens, erasers and markers that Corral uses on a day-to-day basis to create their own images of Treaty Oak. He explained the process by which he usually creates art while letting the students trust their intuition as they created.
“I thank the Austin FC for giving me this chance and including me in something like this,” said Corral. “I’m extremely passionate about the Club and the community and to be able to participate in this event with a nonprofit that I believe in has me so excited.”
Corral has been a member of Los Verdes since its inception and has become the group’s resident designer in recent months. He and his family moved to Austin from Las Vegas about five years ago as he was searching for a new city that had a community that was more committed to creativity.
Even though his background was in art, a career in the space never came to fruition -- even after moving to the city. But one day he created and posted a fan art image that caught the attention of some other Austin FC fans. With some encouragement he began drawing every night, helping to create the images that have become associated with Los Verdes.
“All my spare time I was drawing. I was just kind of jazzed about being part of something, being part of the community. All it took was me putting myself out there and then this great community took me in.”
It’s clear that Corral and his family have found a home in Austin, a place that has re-ignited his passion for the arts.
“I came from Las Vegas and left behind some family and friends but I feel like I’m a part of the community now. We have friends and there’s a lot of events we do and we’re able to contribute money to nonprofit organizations and raise money for good causes we believe in.”
Austin FC plans to continue to find new ways to engage and empower the local creative community, bringing together soccer fans, budding artists, and leaders in the creative community to help keep Austin vibrant for generations to come.