Organizational History 

Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts (d/b/a Austin Soundwaves) 

Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts was founded in 2010 to encourage Hispanic participation in the arts and to provide music education programs for youth. The organization sought to improve equity and representation in the arts at all levels while supporting the artistic, social, and academic development of underserved youth throughout Central Texas. 

In October 2011, HAPA launched an El Sistema inspired music education program, Austin Soundwaves. After starting with 42 students at a single site in East Austin, Austin Soundwaves currently serves nearly 500 students in grades 1-12 across 11 schools. Programming has evolved and grown in scope since 2011 and now includes traditional band and orchestra programming as well as mariachi, improvisation, and interdisciplinary programming that encourages activism through music. 

Over the past 8 years we have served thousands of students and have helped our students achieve 100% high school graduation and college acceptance rates. Austin Soundwaves graduates currently attend colleges throughout Texas and the United States. In 2020, an Austin Soundwaves alumna will be our first student to complete a college degree from UT-Austin, and in 2022 our first program alumnus will receive a college degree in music. Both of these students will be first-generation college graduates and were part of Austin Soundwaves since day one. They represent a growing cohort of Austin Soundwaves graduates achieving success after high school. 

Since 2013 we have coordinated Austin’s citywide musical instrument drive, Fall Into Music. Now an annual event that includes community performances and instrument collection sites, Fall Into Music has brought in more than 3,000 instruments and distributed them to 20 different schools and nonprofits. We also lead several leadership initiatives and collective impact projects such as the Austin Music Education Coalition, the UT Creative Community Fellowship, and the Draylen Mason Fellows Program. 


In 2014, the Board of Directors elected to assume a d/b/a, The Hispanic Alliance, and augment our work to include programs and services for Spanish-speaking adults. At this time we also began operating an annual fundraiser for all of our programs, the Authentic Mexico Gourmet Gala. In June 2019, the Board of Directors voted to split the arts and non-arts programs into separate, independent organizations in order to ensure future success and sustainability. To support these efforts, the Board of Directors voted to begin operating as Austin Soundwaves with a renewed mission to make music learning accessible and equitable for all Central Texans.