Rounding out our year is a Mid-Week Intermission from A.J. Bingham, Long Center Board Chair, with more about his work with the Long Center, what we see for the new year, and love & support for Austin’s creative community.

Hi, I’m A.J. Bingham, Chair of the Long Center Board of Trustees. I’m going on my sixth year on the board, having served in various committee capacities before I accepted the role of Chair this year.

Professionally I’m an entrepreneur and lobbyist, founding my firm, Bingham Group, nearly four years ago after seven years of municipal and state lobbying. I grew up in Austin by way of my father, an Air Force officer, who brought us back to the states (from Germany) when he got stationed at the then Bergstrom Air Force Base, now the airport.

A smiling Black man in maroon blazer, with Dell Hall stage in the background
A.J. Bingham in Dell Hall

2020 has been one of the most challenging years for the Long Center and Austin’s creative economy as a whole. But seeing firsthand the development of our staff and board over the last several years and understanding our organization’s dedication to the Austin creative community, there was zero hesitancy in assuming my new leadership role for the Long Center.

I’ve always been inspired by the Long Center’s earnest prioritization of community engagement in the arts. While we will always be the permanent performance home of Ballet Austin, Austin Opera, and Austin Symphony Orchestra, our staff and board understand the future is in making the Long Center a hub and home for Austin’s diverse creative community.

That’s why I am so excited that the Long Center is partnering with the City of Austin’s SAVES initiative to administer the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund, distributing $5M in city-funded relief grants to music venues facing imminent closure.

Austin can’t be the “Live Music Capital of the World” without our live music venues. They are the foundation of our growing economy, cultural hubs and incubators for the creative industry, not to mention the thousands of jobs they provide for Austinites.

Our partnership with the City’s SAVES initiative is allowing the Long Center to extend our mission and serve Austin’s arts community beyond our own walls.

But this is just the start of the future we are building for Austin’s artists and performers. This grant program is the first of our long-term strategy to support the sector and create a stable foundation for our artistic community.

This COVID crisis has revealed the true fragility of Austin’s creative economy and this next year will continue to present challenges for our industry.

As we enter 2021, we hope you’ll join us on this journey and support the work we are doing for Austin’s creative community with a donation to the Long Center.
Couple enjoying outdoor concert on colored blanket
AJ wearing ATX sweatshirt overlooking skyline
A.J.’s Top 5 Favorites ⁠— Catch up with these Austin Venues & Artists

Check in with these Austin taplesa dn be the first to know what they’re up to in 2021.


The Belmont
Elephant Room
Historic Scoot Inn
The Skylark Lounge


See you in the new year for more live music, Austin creativity, and togetherness!


Applications open Friday, December 11 at

AUSTIN, TX – The City of Austin Economic Development Department announces the launch of the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund. The Austin City Council established the $15 million Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) Fund through Ordinance No. 20201001-052. Austin City Council adopted the final guidelines for the $5 million Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund on December 3, 2020 via Resolution No. 20200103-013. As part of a partnership with the City of Austin, the Long Center for the Performing Arts will provide application assistance, process applications, and administer funds.

“Live music venues strengthen our cultural and economic ecosystem and contribute to Austin’s international appeal,” notes Veronica Briseño, Austin’s Chief Economic Recovery Officer. “Our team worked with the Long Center to quickly open the application portal one week after Council approved the guidelines. Our goal is to have the money flow to live music venues before the end of the month. This critical support will help sustain our music venues until it is safe for them to reopen.”

Eligible live music venues must be located in a City of Austin City Council District; must meet the City’s definition of a live music venue; and must have significantly reduced operations since March 2020. Applicants must also meet or exceed the City’s COVID-19 safety guidelines, which can be found online at

“The Long Center is excited to be able to support the City and our music community by providing this critical community service. This opportunity aligns with our strategic goals to serve as a conduit and resource to the creative sector and a partner supporting the City’s efforts,” said Cory Baker, President & CEO of the Long Center. “As the creative community continues to struggle through the pandemic, preserving performance spaces across the city is vital. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get assistance out quickly.”

The Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund will be distributed in two phases:

Phase 1: Emergency Funding


  • Eligible applicants experiencing immediate risk of closure will receive a $20,000 grant, which the Long Center will distribute in December 2020.
  • Services that will be available to venues receiving emergency funding include: legal and accounting services; real estate advice and guidance on lease negotiations; and other professional services and long-term planning from community experts.


Phase 2: Enhanced Funding


  • Eligible applicants can apply for additional grant funding up to $140,000 (this does not include funds received from the first phase).
  • Grant recipients must complete a technical assistance evaluation and an Equity Strategic Plan in order to apply for more funds during the second phase.
  • The funding will be distributed in monthly payments with a maximum of $40,000 per month.


Application Opens:

Friday, December 11, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

Application Closes:

Monday, January 11, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

How to Apply

Application and eligibility guidelines available online at

For eligibility questions and application assistance, contact the Long Center by email or by phone 512-457-5181.

Austin SAVES Fund distribuirá dólares de alivio de COVID-19 a locales de música en vivo

El periodo de solicitud abre el viernes 11 de diciembre en

AUSTIN, TX – El Departamento de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad de Austin anuncia el lanzamiento del Fondo de Preservación de Locales de Música en Vivo de Austin. El Consejo de la Ciudad de Austin estableció el Fondo de $15 millones, llamado “Salvando los Sectores Económicos Vitales de Austin” (SAVES, por sus siglas en inglés), a través de la Ordenanza No. 20201001-052. El Consejo adoptó las pautas finales para el Fondo de Preservación de Locales de Música en Vivo de Austin de $5 millones el 3 de diciembre de 2020 mediante la Resolución No. 20200103-013. Como parte de una asociación con la ciudad de Austin, el Long Center brindará asistencia con las solicitudes, procesará las solicitudes y administrará los fondos.

“Los locales de música en vivo fortalecen nuestro ecosistema cultural y económico y contribuyen al atractivo internacional de Austin”, señala Veronica Briseño, directora de recuperación económica de Austin. “Nuestro equipo trabajó con el Long Center para abrir rápidamente el portal de aplicaciones una semana después de que el Consejo aprobó las pautas. Nuestro objetivo es que el dinero fluya hacia los locales de música en vivo antes de fin de mes. Este apoyo fundamental ayudará a mantener en pie a nuestros locales de música hasta que sea seguro reabrirlos”.

Los locales de música en vivo elegibles deberán estar ubicados en un distrito del Consejo de la Ciudad de Austin; deberán cumplir con la definición de la ciudad de “locales de música en vivo”; y deberán haber reducido significativamente las operaciones desde marzo de 2020. Los solicitantes también deberán cumplir o superar las pautas de seguridad contra el COVID-19 de la ciudad, las cuales están disponibles en línea en

“En el Long Center estamos entusiasmados de poder apoyar a la Ciudad y a nuestra comunidad musical al brindar este servicio comunitario crítico. Esta oportunidad va de la mano con nuestros objetivos estratégicos de servir como conducto y recurso para el sector creativo y de ser socios que apoyan los esfuerzos de la ciudad”, aseguró Cory Baker, presidente y directora ejecutiva del Long Center. “A medida que la comunidad creativa continúa luchando contra la pandemia, es vital preservar los espacios escénicos alrededor de la ciudad. Estamos listos para ponernos a trabajar y dar ayuda rápidamente”.

El Fondo de Preservación de Locales de Música en Vivo de Austin se distribuirá en dos fases:

Fase 1: Financiamiento de Emergencia


  • Los solicitantes elegibles que experimenten un riesgo inmediato de cierre recibirán una subvención de $20,000 que el Long Center distribuirá en diciembre de 2020.
  • Los servicios que estarán disponibles para los locales que reciben fondos de emergencia incluyen servicios legales y de contabilidad; asesoramiento y orientación inmobiliaria en negociaciones de arrendamiento; y otros servicios profesionales de planificación a largo plazo por expertos de la comunidad.

Fase 2: Financiamiento Aumentado


  • Los solicitantes elegibles pueden solicitar una subvención adicional de hasta $140,000 (no incluye los fondos recibidos de la primera fase).
  • Los beneficiarios de la subvención deben completar una evaluación de asistencia técnica y un Plan Estratégico de Equidad para poder solicitar más fondos durante la segunda fase.
  • Los fondos se distribuirán en pagos mensuales con un máximo de $40,000 por mes.


Fecha de Apertura de Solicitud:

Viernes 11 de diciembre de 2020 a las 10:00 a.m.

Fecha de Cierre de Solicitud:

Lunes 11 de enero de 2021 a las 5:00 p.m.

Cómo Aplicar

Las pautas de solicitud y elegibilidad están disponibles en línea en

Para preguntas sobre elegibilidad y asistencia con la solicitud, comuníquese con Long Center por correo electrónico a o por teléfono al 512-457-5181.


About the City of Austin Economic Development Department

The City of Austin Economic Development Department supports business growth, creative industries, and local communities. These programs build an equitable, sustainable economy to improve the lives of all Austin residents. To learn more about helpful resources, visit or like us on Facebook @AustinEconDev and follow @AustinEconDev on Twitter.

Información sobre el Departamento de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad de Austin

El Departamento de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad de Austin apoya el crecimiento de los negocios, las industrias creativas y las comunidades locales. Estos programas construyen una economía equitativa y sostenible para mejorar las vidas de todos los residentes de Austin. Para aprender más sobre recursos útiles, visite o síganos en @AustinEconDev en Facebook y @AustinEconDev en Twitter.

About the Long Center for the Performing Arts

For Austinites of every background, the Long Center is the community gathering place that offers the most diverse programming and stunning views of the city, so that together, everyone can experience remarkable live arts and entertainment. The Long Center is dedicated to elevating Austin’s creative sector, serving artists across Austin, including creative organizations, musicians and performing artists, with both performance spaces and professional assistance.

Acerca del Long Center para las Artes Escénicas

Para los residentes de Austin de todos los orígenes, el Long Center es el lugar de reunión de la comunidad que ofrece la programación más diversa y las mejores vistas de la ciudad, para que juntos, todos puedan experimentar extraordinarias artes y entretenimiento en vivo. El Long Center está dedicado a elevar el sector creativo de Austin, sirviendo a artistas en todo Austin, incluidas organizaciones creativas, músicos y artistas, con espacios escénicos y asistencia profesional.



This week features Nicolas Sanchez Castro of Superfónicos. Read on to find out what’s kept him going these last eight months, and be sure to tune into Superfónicos performance featured on our new series Good Vibes Only powered by AT&T, featuring local artists safely recorded in our Rollins Studio Theatre. Streaming free, tonight at 7pm on Luck.Stream!

My name is Nicolas Sanchez Castro and I am the bass player and bandleader for Austin-based Colombian funk ambassadors, Superfónicos. I’m also involved with Wache, a collective that performs traditional music from the Carribean coast of Colombia as well as multiple reggae groups including Lakandon, Micah Shalom, and Don Chani.

For as long as I can remember, the Long Center has been a cultural hub for the Austin community, and more specifically, a magical place for my family and me. Whether it’s a birthday date with my wife to see The Avett Brothers, hanging out on the pavilion with my son for H-E-B’s birthday celebration, sunning on the lawn during Sound and Cinema, or even performing with one of my groups, the Long Center has always provided an incredible backdrop for great Austin memories. Catching the New Year’s Eve fireworks from the balcony or playing the piano in the green room before a performance, the Long Center has been cemented in my mind as one of those crucial institutions that many generations will hopefully be lucky enough to enjoy.

How Nicolas has been Keeping Sane During the Pandemic


As a working musician, I thrive when my calendar has so much writing in each box that I need a magnifying glass to read my tasks for the day. Going from full calendar to wide open for months left me shell-shocked, but luckily I have a wonderful support system at home and I’ve been enjoying the time with my wifelocal jeweler Lindsay Sanchezson Maximo, and our senior pets, Chino and Hula. Also patiently awaiting the arrival of baby girl Lucia in January of 2021.


Performing for me is part musical satisfaction, part transcendental meditation, and part workout session. Anyone that has been to a Superfónicos show knows what I’m talking about. Once performances were taken away by Covid, I filled at least two of those voids with long jogs through the Hill Country. The time alone jogging has helped with staying grounded and focused, while keeping away the pandemic weight gain.


Usually my work keeps me from gardening but, with a blank calendar, I took advantage and spent a bunch of time in the garden this summer. The pandemic has extended much past summer, so I’ve now moved on to Fall/Winter gardening. Growing your own food is rewarding yet frustrating, but also incredibly liberating. Teaching my son about the food cycle and seeing the wonder in his eyes when a seed starts sprouting and eventually provides us with food has been nourishing in its own way.


The time at home has really motivated me to have my own space to write and record from my house. The late summer was spent designing and planning, and the building will begin in early December. This probably would have never happened if the pandemic had not hit, so silver linings are everywhere these days.


With so much focus on staying healthy and not getting sick, I’ve doubled down on healthy eating. The late nights at clubs and bars can lead to too many late-night drinks and greasy street food. Eating better and not getting sick are so closely linked it is truly baffling that, especially in Covid times, people continue to eat poorly. To each their own, but I’ve been focusing on eating more of a balanced, plant-based diet.


Catch Nicolas and the rest of the band for some Afro-Colombian funk and a little Caribe Soul TONIGHT at 7pm for a lush set all their own. Until then, continue to share those Good Vibes!

Year-End Gift 2023 | Long Center
Your Support Today, Transforms Tomorrow

We’ve made it our mission to support creativity in all its forms, and we hope this season you’ll join us and do the same. Your donation doesn’t just support our work, it’s a declaration that creativity belongs to everyone


Become a LC member today and and get first dibs on RSVP before the public, early entrance into the venue for you and your guests, members-only bars, and other surprises!

Amplify Austin is here – and we need your help to provide free arts experiences for K-12 students through our Long Reach for the Arts program.  Because the kids need art!