The History of the HBMG Foundation

It all began with a spark. Founded in Austin in 2004 by Manuel Zarate, HBMG Foundation has partnered with business, educational, and arts organizations to build relationships and encourage imaginative thinking. The HBMG Foundation was created as part of a larger entity that has a presence in both the corporate and non-profit worlds. Part of the HBMG entity's mission in the corporate world is to seed the work of its non-profit sister organization with personnel and financial resources. Part of the HBMG entity's mission in the non-profit world is to feed back creative ideas and new personnel into the work of the for-profit corporation.

This is how the symbiotic relationship between HBMG Inc., a technology services and public communications consulting firm, and the HBMG Foundation functions, creating a dynamic tension that holds both organizations in balance, but also allowing for great flexibility. Zarate's overarching goal for the Foundation was to focus on the support and development of creativity and collaboration in all artistic disciplines.

Working towards this end, the HBMG Foundation introduced its flagship program, the ArtSpark Festival, in the summer of 2005. The following year found the HBMG Foundation looking for more ways to get involved in the Austin community and branch out into new areas. This was achieved through the adoption of a popular local film festival, Flicker Austin, and the expansion of the ArtSpark Festival.  In recognition of the Foundation's vision and work, the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented the HBMG Foundation with their Arts Leadership Award.  In 2008, The Love Sonatas, a play in five acts, written by Zarate, was produced at the new Long Center for the Performing Arts employing over 50 actors and technical designers.  The next year brought about First Night Austin, The Art of Business (an exhibit showcasing the artwork of Senior and C-Level Executives), and Theatre Under the Bridge.  

After 2009, the Foundation took a break and re-emerged in the Austin arts community for Frontera Fest 2012 with a reworking of Foursquare by Zarate.  At Christmas that year, the Foundation premiered a staged reading of Shakespeare Scrooged, a play by Zarate, in collaboration with Keep Austin Generous' Week of Giving. In addition several local theater companies joined the Foundation at the HBMG Inc. office, sharing resources, support and creative insight with the Foundation.  

The goal of the HBMG Foundation is to continue to provide professional opportunities for emerging artists and technological innovators to improve their skills. They offer contact with experts in arts, technology, and business, which gives artists a broader understanding of their discipline. The HBMG Foundation strives to be a resource for people who understand that the concepts of openness and playfulness can create new perspectives and ideas. Championing imagination and encouraging mavericks, the Foundation pushes play.