By Lily Sanchez, Chattanooga, Tenn., — This past week part of the Echo staff had the opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas for a student media conference.

Austin is a hub for music, art and strong, young voices.

Known for being the live music capital of America, you are hard-pressed to find a corner of downtown Austin without hearing an acoustic cover of some sort.

What’s more – the artistic hub has made large advances by including its ever-growing Hispanic population.

I don’t know if it was because our visit to Austin coincided with the city’s celebrations in honor of Day of the Dead, but the Latino vibrancy is definitely felt along the streets.

Also, in this year’s conference, there were sessions solely dedicated to media revolving around Spanish speakers and the Hispanic community.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Austin was the chosen location for this year’s convention. The Texas area and its influence on new generation media and activism are spreading farther than Austin itself.

For a city that boasts its fostering of musical talent, I think that what’s most important about Austin is that it has created a platform for both art and activism, especially among the minority communities that have developed over the years.

In a time when the decisions people make on where they live are determined more by how active the cultural scene is in a city, Austin has been one of the front runners and has not looked back since.

From events like Austin City Limits and SXSW (South By Southwest) that create spaces for people to soak in the richness of all types of art, to the time- honored icons like Willie Nelson and Daniel Johnston, good things come out of Austin on a regular basis. And they come to stay.

The Hispanic community is not far behind either. Places like Mexic-Arte Museum that curate art specifically for the Latino community are starting to become the norm and organically evolve into something that is well-known in Austin.

This generation has found ways to take artistic value and activism and transform them into long-lasting careers and paths that mold cities into great places to learn and create.