As Austin arts leaders have known for decades, when possible, it’s better to own than to rent.


Women & Their Work has joined that company by purchasing an East Austin property in what is becoming an informal arts district.


Founded in 1978, the group has earned a national profile for sparking and nurturing the careers of women artists.


It has long been associated with its gallery, shop and offices at 1710 Lavaca St. in what was once a promising midtown arts district.


Yet when that building — the former Paul’s Interiors for really longtime Austinites — was purchased in 2017, the group started looking in earnest for a forever home.


They found it at 1311 E. César Chavez St. where César Chavez intersects with Navasota Street. It served most recently as one of the offices for the Big Red Sun landscaping company.


The lovely main brick building on the corner was built in 1937 when the neighborhood mixed Germans, Swedes, Lebanese, Chinese, Anglos and Latinos. It became primarily Hispanic after World War II.


The art group hopes to raise at least $250,000 by Sept. 30 in order to pay for the renovation and the move.