POSTED ON JULY 28, 2020 BY LONG

For this edition of Mid-Week Intermission, we went straight to Sarah Spivey, our on-the-ground expert on everything event-related and our daily dose of fresh air. Quick with a joke, Sarah’s your pal for what’s underground in the visual arts scene so we asked her to share what’s been keeping her creative.

Hello fellow humans!

I’m Sarah Spivey. You’ve probably seen me walking through a lobby or on the H-E-B Terrace during an event at the Long Center. I am fortunate to work alongside an incredible team of Event Coordinators, House Managers, and Volunteers who love the Long Center and work hard to ensure that our guests and clients have a memorable experience.

A major part of my work prior to the pandemic included performance and event support that usually fell outside of regular office hours. Having a predictable schedule was an adjustment, but I am getting used to the new routine while finding and refining ways to root and flourish. Slowing down has been incredibly insightful to my process of moving through each day.

SARAH’S NEW-ISH ROUTINE

PLANTING

The 30+ house plants that I care for require a bit more attention during the summer months. It’s been a treat working from home and having time to dust leaves, check water levels, propagate, and watch new growth!

My favorite local shop is East Austin Succulents. Their plants and staff are top notch, and they’re currently helping customers keep distance by offering curbside pickup! If cut flowers are more your thing, I highly recommend The Flower Social for a virtual flower arranging workshop.

LISTENING

When I’m not listening to KUTXWWOZ, or KMFA, my ears tune into whatever new or new-to-me music I can find. A few albums I’m enjoying this moment are Mordechai by Khruangbin, The Shadows and the Light by Quin Kirchner, We Have Amnesia Sometimes by Yo La Tengo, and Film of Life by Tony Allen.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another way my ears engage — podcasts. I really enjoy the stories from the guys at Last Podcast on the Left, the ways musicians break down their work on Song Exploder, and hearing female artist views on Recording Artists.

READING

Now that we’ve covered what my ears have been up to, my eyes have been eagerly grazing the pages of Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit, as well as Maira Kalman’s The Principles of Uncertainty. I found these great titles at two of my favorite local bookstores, South Congress Books and BookPeople.

CREATING

I decided at the beginning of isolation to make the most of my free time by creating new things. On my kitchen table currently resides a sculpture to glaze, a cup of pens to draw, a neighboring stack of notebooks, rolls of film to develop, and Sculpey.

I enjoy moving between mediums but have found calm in doodling through my thoughts. I’m joining Anthony Maddaloni at Eastside Silver Print for a six-week workshop focused on alternate photo printmaking processes. I’m excited to try my hand at cyanotype printmaking!

My go-to shops for creative supplies and services (in case you’re looking to pick up some new things, too) are Jerry’s ArtaramaArmadillo Clay & Supplies, and Holland Photo Imaging. If you want to see what I’m up to, you can also follow along my creative journey @floatingupsidedown on Instagram.

Though I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to slow down a bit, I’m very excited to get back into the swing of things (safely). Be well and hope to see you soon!

Thanks for exploring Sarah’s desk with us. See you next time!

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POSTED ON JULY 23, 2020 BY LONG

You probably know Graham Reynolds — chances are, he headlined the last artsy performance you attended before you went into hibernation. Or, perhaps you’re a big fan of Linklater (like Where’d You Go, Bernadette) or explored his original silent & classic film scores (The Lodger is up next). In Austin, you really can’t miss him.

Enter Long Story Short, our series of interviews with Austin’s creative voices from around the neighborhood. This time, we caught up with Graham Reynolds to pick his brain after last month’s super cool listening party for “GRIMM,” his latest album.

(Don’t worry — If you missed it, you can still catch GRIMM here.)

You may have caught the premiere of Grimm Tales in Dell Hall with Ballet Austin last year, but this time Graham went behind the music and composition process to talk about the art of Natalie Frank and the inspiration behind the score. Our Long Center Members got to ask him a few questions, too.

Watch on to hear all about it plus how Graham has been spending his non-performing time — listening to the scores of Hildur Guðnadóttir (Joker, Chernobyl), voraciously searching for new artists to support, and of course, composing.

WHAT TO CHECK OUT NEXT

AUSTIN SOUNDWAVES
Home to the Draylen Mason Fellows Program, Austin Soundwaves makes music learning accessible and equitable for students in Austin and beyond. Check out what they’ve been up to recently, especially this cover of Black Violin’s “Brandenburg.”

DIP YOUR TOES INTO THE THEATRE SCENE
Our own Ronan Melomo clued us in to these super cool theatre-centric yet un-stuffy opportunities to scratch that classical itch. Catch him reading some Greek tragedy, too.

GET IN ON THIS
Long Center Members are invited to be a part of the recording process and ask questions during the Long Story Short interview! If you want to a part of the fun, make sure to learn more about Membership and and the community impact that it supports.

POSTED ON JULY 21, 2020 BY LONG

Introducing Ronan, our Education & Outreach Coordinator and aspiring actor. If you have a student participating in any of the Long Center education programs, chances are you’ve met Ronan and know what a lovely, caring person he is.

Plus, he has an impeccable sense of style we all wish we could pull off, and is the very best Pokémon trainer (like no one ever was).

Hello! This is Ronan Melomo with the Education & Outreach department at the Long Center.

While summer programming is on hold for us, we’re working hard to make sure the Long Center’s education programs are stronger than ever to support the students and teachers moving into this school year! I’m excited for the innovative ways people are bringing arts education to students right now.

In efforts to stay sane I’ve turned to teaching myself how to make music, cramming as many free YouTube tutorials I can find on music theory, guitar, and piano, and music editing software. I’ve also been into the traditional summer activities like fishing, swimming, and barbecuing — all in the virtual reality of Animal Crossing New Horizons, of course.

HERE’S WHAT KEEPS ME MOVING AND GROOVING THESE DAYS

(aka a shameless plug)

Staying creative, I’ve been devising a radio play with a fantastic team of theatre artists this summer. We’ve just finalized the script and are heading into the rehearsal and recording process.

Here’s a taste:

The Heartland Theatre Collective presents Passage, a new radio play about a team of astronauts exploring love, loss, and faith at the precipice of a black hole. After their mission goes horribly wrong, they must confront the darkest parts of themselves as they enter a dangerous and unknown part of space. Passage is currently being devised and recorded by a team of award-winning, emerging artists with the critically-acclaimed new company, the Heartland Theatre Collective. It will be available to stream at the end of August.

“Amendment: the making of american myth or the slow sipping of a peacock tea” is written & performed by Taji Senior and directed by Si Mon’ Emmett. There will be a livestream August 21st, thanks to Ground Floor Theatre and DRIVE-IN PERFORMANCES (yes, live theatre, I know, I’m losing my mind I’m so excited) August 22-23 at the Rogge Ranch house (SVT’s new home).

Follow @salvagevanguard on Instagram to stay tuned!

Really, I am!

Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies and a UK theatre company, Out of Chaos Theatre, are working together to read through the complete canon of Greek Theatre in 2020. They take place every Wednesday online at 2pm CST and many times feature local Austin actors.

(Catch me reading Hermes in the “Prometheus Bound” episode. If you’re a nerd for theatre, ancient Greece, or listening to British people read big words out loud, this is definitely for you.)

Shakespeare at Winedale, a beloved UT English program with a 50-year tenure (and also where I met my partner of 4 years playing Romeo & Juliet in a barn), is hosting weekly happy hours each Friday at 4:30pm CST. Conversations mostly center around Civil Rights, Social Justice, Race, Academics, and more in the context of Shakespeare’s work and how we view it today.

This program is led by some really incredible academics and thinkers and is a great way to wrap up the work week & kick off the weekend!

Strong Texas women making Strong Texas music. What more is there to say? Stream “Gaslighter,” y’all!

That’s all from this episode of Ronan’s Masterpiece Theatre!

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POSTED ON JULY 13, 2020 BY LONG

This week’s Intermission comes to us from our friends at Baylor Scott & White Health. Dr. Dave Kaylor is not only a frontline medical worker here in Austin, but also knows the area’s trails and green spots like the back of his hand. Learn all about his work at Baylor Scott & White, how he decompresses when he’s not at work, and what you can do to help our community.

Hello!

I’m Dr. Dave Kaylor, medical director for the emergency department at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Austin. My role directly impacts those who come through our doors seeking emergency care. When I am not providing care to patients in our emergency department, I spend time behind the scenes making improvements to our department’s processes and how we can better deliver care to our patients and their families. We are working to make the experience even better, just like the events you may have experienced here at the Long Center.

Baylor Scott & White Health is proud to be part of the communities it serves and that includes involvement with one of the things Austin is best known for — its entertainment culture. The Long Center, Austin’s Front Row, is one of those places that brings entertainment and joy to so many, including my family. Having served eight years in the Army, we saw numerous cultural locations around the country. Places like the Long Center are a big reason for us to settle in Austin, a place culturally alive and dynamic.

Like many communities in Texas and across the country, our beloved home has been affected by the pandemic, leaving a lasting effect on our physical and mental health. As a physician during this historic time, this has been an eye-opening experience. We’re continuously adapting to the changing environment each day, teaching ourselves about this new disease while overcoming diagnostic and treatment uncertainties, all in real time.

While the virus has had a tremendous impact on millions of people across the country, it’s also changing how we live our daily lives. Whether it’s how we interact with one another, how we shop for necessities like groceries or even seeing a favorite performance, we have to adapt.

I care for patients each day and, as a doctor, it’s what I do best. However, even I need to take a step back and recharge so I can be present for my patients mentally and physically. In our family, venturing outdoors is a part of our identity.

We enjoy exploring the numerous trails that our city offers, like Williamson Creek West Greenbelt. There’s no distance that is too much for us. We’ll trek for hours, which is why we’re grateful for so many nearby locations like McKinney FallsInks Lake or even Pedernales State Park. Getting a little rest isn’t reserved for the great outdoors. Sometimes you’ll find me wearing my headphones, listening to endless wandering melodies of jam bands and live concert recordings. The creativity allows me a simple but short escape from my mental wanderings during these times. I find the ability to quiet my thoughts, allowing me to renew my energy and recommit my focus.

These are unprecedented times. As Texans and as a community, we are stronger, and we are all in this together. We can fight back against the virus and it begins with you:

  • Social distance — by keeping the number of your new contacts low while keeping a larger physical distance between yourself and others — to lower the chance of transmission.
  • You should also wear a mask when you’re outside your home or in public spaces. A mask protects you and everyone around you.
  • Finally, wash your hands several times a day. All it takes is 20 seconds of handwashing to reduce the chance of infecting yourself or someone you love.

We are stronger and smarter when we are working toward a common goal. These small personal lifestyle choices will have a much larger impact on the health of our community and bring us one day closer to enjoying the Long Center once again.

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POSTED ON JULY 2, 2020 BY LONG

You may be familiar with Conspirare’s Big Sing, but this year the Grammy-winning choral group is taking it to the screens.

The inaugural Big Sing at Home takes place Tuesday night, July 7th at 5:30pm, and you can join straight from your couch for an evening of inspirational, feel-good tunes including spirituals, patriotic anthems (make that July 4th weekend stretch a little further), pop songs, and standards from the Great American Songbook.

While you can sing along in your house using the lyrics on the screen, you can also just sit back and enjoy the music of the spheres in this program hosted by the Conspirare Symphonic Choir. Singers from Conspirare’s national roster and special guest instrumentalists Mitch Watkins (guitar) and Thomas Burritt (percussion) will also be joining in the fun.

Craig Hella Johnson will lead from his piano and you can chat in real-time with the artists involved. Beginners especially welcome!

This stream won’t be repeated, so make sure you join in early so you don’t miss it!

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE BIG SING AT HOME
July 7th at 5:30pm // Stream will start 10 minutes early

ABOUT CONSPIRARE
Inspired by the power of music to change lives, Conspirare engages audiences in extraordinary musical experiences through world-class choral performances and recordings.

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