This week’s Mid-Week Intermission features a dear friend of the Long Center who is constantly helping our community flourish — the one and only, Pamela Benson Owens! If you know Pam, then you’ll know she’s a self-described “long-time entrepreneur” who helps organizations become stronger, more effective, and mission-driven. Learn more about Pam as she spearheads the role of CEO with our friends over at Six Square — we speak from experience when we say that Pam is the very best of the best!




My name is Pamela Benson Owens, and yes, I use all three names.

Most people in the community call me Pam and the elders in my community have an entirely different set of names they call me by. The point is, over the last few months there is a new group of friends and colleagues that call and ask for me by name. The amazing team at the Long Center!

I’m a long-time entrepreneur, and I think that is confusing to many in Austin. It isn’t uncommon for me to hear people say, “Didn’t I just see you working at (fill in the blank)?” My answer is always, “Yes.” For the last several years I’ve had the humbling opportunity to help organizations be stronger, more effective and assist in removing obstacles and barriers that distract from the mission.

Currently, I am the CEO of Six Square, and it has been both amazing and absolutely gut wrenching at the same time. Like many other nonprofit organizations, the pandemic left us with a call to action to think differently about how we would curate meaningful work with a backdrop of social unrest and racial trauma on a variety of levels.

I am proud to say that we are still standing, having learned the importance of work/life integration, how to become even more astute listeners, and how to continue working hard to build beloved community in a time when most on the team felt exhausted and in many cases, scared for our lives.

Six Square, Austin’s Black cultural district, presents Beyond the Square Festival 2021, featuring the Queen of Bounce Big Freedia, along with Austin-based hip-hop duo Magna Carda and DJ Kay Cali at the Long Center on June 5, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Credit: Suzanne Cordeiro

Guests at Beyond the Square festival and Magna Carda, Credit: Suzanne Cordeiro

One of the most pivotal partnerships for us this year was working alongside the Long Center team to produce our annual Beyond the Square festival. When I reflect on the process, it really could be used as a blueprint for other organizations.

We were all intentional about getting to know each other better, which was more difficult in a virtual setting, but still beneficial. As we got to know each other better, we cultivated a real team spirit and everyone was leveraging their unique skills and immense talents to make the event successful. I can proudly say that the Long Center has become co-conspirators of culture in such a powerful way.

To be able to work together as a cross-cultural team was inspiring and fun! Although I’ve seen too many performances to name at the Long Center, working with the team is by far the best performance and most memorable gift to date. And, when anyone from the fabulous team at the Long Center calls me by name, I just smile and feel a deep sense of gratitude.

Queen of Bounce Big Freedia at the Long Center on June 5, 2021 for Six Square’s Beyond the Square Festival.
Credit: Suzanne Cordeiro

Be sure and keep up with all that our friends at Six Square, Austin’s Black Cultural District, have going on and how you can get involved.


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.

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

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!