Frequently Asked Questions

Who is welcome at Yawp?

We welcome all families with an interest in building community and respecting children as whole beings. We recognize that this will be expressed differently for every family. Before you come, we do want you to read and acknowledge our Community Agreement.

Whether you’re curious or committed, we’d love for you to stop by and check out what’s growing here, imagine how you might fit in, and let us know how we can do better!

Why don’t you just meet at the park or the library?

The inspiration to create Yawp! arose from the observation that our community lacks a “third place” that is accessible and comfortable for mixed-age gatherings. This idea is based on one’s first place being the home, the second place the workplace, and a third place somewhere that the broader community can interact in a friendly, informal context. Ray Oldenburg‘s concept of “third place” focused mainly on the experience of men, but we found the idea especially compelling in the context of whole families needing a place for connection.

In particular, as a group of families practicing self-directed education, we found ourselves wishing for:

  • A sense of group belonging rooted in place.
  • A place to hang out for hours at a time that actively encourages children’s presence, while also being comfortable and attractive to teens and adults.
  • A multipurpose indoor space that is reliably available during the day, so that we can meet up even when it’s hot or rainy.
  • An affordable, familiar place to host community events and classes.
  • A place to interface with the larger community that is centered in respecting autonomy inclusive of age and ability.
  • A welcoming entry point for families interested in learning more about self-directed education, and for those already practicing self-directed education who are new to Austin.

What should I expect when I visit?

Yawp! is located in the Mueller development, a few blocks from the Thinkery and the new Alamo Drafthouse, on a little pocket park called Paggi Square. Parking is readily available in the neighborhood, and there’s also a dedicated parking lot for the Paggi Square shops that’s accessible via the alley just behind Robert Browning St., across the square from Yawp!

The space is wheelchair accessible, and a 10-15 minute walk from multiple bus lines.

When you arrive at a Yawp! event, a volunteer host will greet you, show you around, and answer any questions or concerns that come up. The main room has lots of seating options, fast WiFi, and glorious air conditioning. There’s a closet where you can stash your stuff, a variety of board games and books to browse, and a covered, fenced back patio if you want to make bigger messes or lounge outdoors. Feel free to grab a coffee or snacks and chip in with a contribution to cover costs.

Do I have to contribute money in order to attend Yawp?

The short answer is yes. Yawp is entirely volunteer-run, community-funded, and participant-fueled, and we depend on the engagement and support of everyone who attends.

Of course, your first visit to check out the space is free! After that, we hope you’ll be inspired to contribute financially in a way that fits your family’s budget. We are committed to accessibility for all income levels, and we encourage families to contribute a self-selected amount on a regular basis.

You can sign up to make a convenient recurring monthly contribution, or you can choose to contribute each time you visit Yawp! by labeling an envelope and dropping in the red box or by swiping a card with the event host.

We suggest $5-10 per visit or $5-20 weekly. Translated into our subscription model, the standard suggested family contribution is a monthly payment of $50. If you can afford to give a bit more, you’ll be helping to support the participation of a family on a more limited budget! If the amounts below don’t work for your family at this time, any amount you can give is helpful, and we appreciate your involvement.

A benefit of choosing the monthly subscription option is that you receive a 50% discount on rentals of Yawp’s space!

I want to get more involved in the Yawp! community. How can I help?

There are lots of ways you can support this unique project:

  • create a new meetup, skillshare, or event for the community! What would you like to see happen at Yawp? Examples of current and past events include: a music class, movie nights, sewing club, craft days, and nonviolent communication workshops.
  • invite a friend to come check out the space
  • rent the space for a birthday party or book club
  • spread the word that Yawp is available to rent for groups, classes, and workshops
  • volunteer your time, energy, and skills as an organizer or host – contact
    info@austinyawp.com for current opportunities!

Is Yawp! a nonprofit?

We are currently in the beginning stages of the 501(c)3 application process! For this first year of experimental operation, Yawp! has been a project of Acme Boardroom, a Limited Liability Corporation formed for the purpose of facilitating this project. Our volunteer organizers are all financial contributors as well, and have always managed Yawp! as a not-for-profit (and have not yet had the opportunity to decide what we’d do with a profit!). Our accounting is as transparent as possible, though the amount of each member’s contribution will remain anonymous. Financial snapshots detailing expenses and contributions are published in our monthly newsletter.

How can I find out about events at Yawp?

There are many ways to connect! Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter with highlights and updates. The online events calendar is frequently updated. You can also follow us on Instagram @austinyawp if that’s more your style.

Once you have visited the space in person, we would love it if you’d request to join the Yawpers Community Group on Facebook. This group is where a lot of connections and discussion happen! After you’ve requested to join, check your messages to answer a couple of questions, including recognition of our Community Agreement.

Is the Yawp! space available to rent?

Yes, we love renters and our goal is to facilitate full-time use of the space! If you are a member of a group that needs a place to meet, or would like to offer a private class, workshop, or party in the space, the fee is normally $60 per 2.5 hour slot.

If you commit to making a monthly contribution, you will receive the benefit of a 50% discount on rentals of Yawp’s space.

Email rentals@austinyawp.com with any questions.