Dia de Muertos is around the corner and Hispanic Heritage Month has begun! If you attended a Drop-In show this summer or stopped by Community Day, chances are you had a conversation with Olivia Tamzarian from Austin’s Mexican American Cultural Center. In this Mid-Week Intermission, hear about what the MACC’s been up to, why this season is her favorite, and more from our friend Olivia.

Olivia in calavera makeup. Photo by Luis Armando
Calavera makeup by Olivia. Photo by Luis Armando.
Meet Olivia Tamzarian, Culture & Arts Marketing and Outreach rep at the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC)

If you’re wondering about my last name… yes, it’s unique. It’s Armenian! I come from a multiethnic family, and maybe that’s why I’ve always been passionate about Latino culture. I studied Mexican Art at Bard College and was so in love with Frida Kahlo that I moved to Mexico. A year later, I found myself in Austin, and like so many 23-year-olds who are starting out here, I found a studio apartment on East Riverside. With no car, I learned this city on my bicycle.

Olivia stands next to a larger than life portait of artist Frida Kahlo
Olivia with an artwork of Frida Kahlo, her favorite artist. Fall 2022

It was 2006, when Austin was going through a major boom. The Palmer Events Center had just been rebuilt, and I would ride my bike along Riverside to outdoor movie nights on the Long Center lawn. The small-town vibe still existed, and the Austin I got to know was exploding with creatives and young people. I formed a close community of friends at the old Ruta Maya on South Congress who introduced me to the music of Grupo Fantasma and brought me to my first ACL Fest. I was hooked!

That was the same year the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) was built. Who knew back then that I would be working in the cultural arts full-time with the MACC? I worked at the Mexic-Arte Museum first, where I taught screenprinting for youth in Dove Springs. Now, my position at the MACC is still in outreach to the community. There’s very few places in Austin that are dedicated only to preserving Latino culture. The MACC is located in the Rainey Street area, a historically Mexican-American neighborhood that, like my Riverside neighborhood, has become almost unrecognizable due to gentrification (you can read more about Olivia’s fight for preservation here). I’m proud to be an ally and help the MACC stand its ground in downtown Austin, to make sure we preserve the Mexican and Latino culture in the heart of our city.

Viva Mexico at the MACC in 2022, skirts and photo by Olivia
Viva Mexico at the MACC in 2022, skirts and photo by Olivia
Mexamericon 2018 at the MACC, Olivia dresses as a Lucha Libre wrestler, photo by Ulises Garcia Vela

In Austin I have found the deepest sense of community. I get to meet so many artists — muralists, actors, musicians — and I also enjoy salsa dancing and I have my own visual arts practice. I’m lucky I found a job where I can integrate my artistic practice into my promotional efforts for the MACC. In September 2022, I constructed two “quinceneara” skirts to promote the MACC’s Viva Mexico celebration. In November, I’ll be painting kids’ faces for Day of the Dead celebrations at the Long Center and the Pan Am Rec Center, where the MACC’s big events in 2023 are taking place while we expand our building.

Day of the Dead 2019 at the MACC, Olivia painting faces. Photo by Ulises Garcia Vela
Day of the Dead 2019 at the MACC, Olivia painting faces. Photo by Ulises Garcia Vela.

The MACC is a special place in Austin, and when we reopen after the construction, it’s going to be beautiful to see all the people gathering in joyous celebrations like Dia de Muertos. It warms my heart to see artwork by kids, to see them picking up cultural traditions from their grandparents, and engaging with their whole family at the MACC. My favorite thing we do all year is celebrate Day of the Dead, which is a way of celebrating the cycle of life and strengthening a cultural connection to Mexico.

We’re entering Latinx Heritage month now — my favorite time of year! I love this city and never want to leave. And despite all its changes, in the end, Austin is still a small town in my eyes.

Coco Live-In-Concert | the Long Center

UP NEXT AT THE LONG CENTER 

Join us and the MACC at the Long Center November 8th for Disney Pixar’s Coco Live-to-Film Concert featuring the Orquesta Folclórica Nacional de México! Watch the entire film with Michael Giacchino’s award-winning score performed live on stage.

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

In loving memory of Teresa Lozano Long, one half of our founding duo, we’re throwing a FREE community bash and open house! Part block party part arts fest, this day is all about what makes Austin the place we love to call home. Right here, we’ve got everything you need to prepare for Community Day on September 9th

LEARN MORE ABOUT TERESA >>
First off, get to know the humanitarian, arts advocate, and philanthropic pioneer we’re honoring! She passed away in 2021, but her legacy lives on in the Austin arts scene and beyond.

What to Expect

Saturday, September 9 | Noon-5pm

We can’t wait to see you for our first annual Teresa Lozano Long Community Day! Come prepared for a full day of indoor & outdoor performances, visual art, tasty food, and warm fuzzy feelings. Don’t even bother wearing socks, ’cause we’ll end up knocking them right off.

Photo by Suzanne Cordeiro

WHO’S GONNA BE THERE

You mean, besides you? Plenty of other cool neighbors, plus performing arts groups, service organizations, food trucks, and more! Here’s the full lineup 👇

Ballet Austin will host their crowd-favorite program Rhythm on Stage on the Meredith Stage in Dell Hall. That’s right, you’ll be able to bust a move with a Ballet Austin instructor on the very stage where Ballet Austin performs! Dance experience is not required, but a positive attitude is 😉

Musicians of the Austin Symphony will also treat us to a classical quartet. Keep your ears open, because we think you might recognize what they’ll play!

And last, but definitely not least, a singer and a pianist from Austin Opera will perform several numbers from AO’s upcoming season and beyond.

What a treat to have all of our Founding Resident Companies with us on the same day!

Photo by Ballet Austin

WHAT WILL THERE BE TO DO

There’s no shortage of things to do on Community Day! On top of performances going all day, we’ve also got a full list of activities for ya:

📝 Explore all the Long Center’s nooks and crannies while completing a scavenger hunt

✂️ Make a craft or play a game in the KIDosky Family Zone with Creative Action

🎨 Take a stroll down memory lane in the 15 Years Long: Retrospective Gallery

🤝 Chat with some local orgs working to make a difference in our Partner Showcase

🎫 Enter our Golden Ticket Giveaway for a chance to win free tickets to all Long Center Presents shows for the rest of the season

🍔 Grab a bite at one of many food trucks

🥂 Sip a drink and enjoy the vibes

🍼 Feed your baby or get some downtime in the Parent’s Room

All of our inside and outside spaces will be open, so the choice is yours if you want some fresh air and sunshine or sweet, sweet air conditioning.

Photo by Sophia Lawson

WHAT DO MEMBERS GET?

We love our Long Center and Business Arts Council Members! Because of their support, we’re able to put on free events like Teresa Lozano Long Community Day. 

Members get access to the Member’s Lounge in the Dell Green Room. Enjoy a free cocktail and popcorn and imagine what it’s like to be a performer waiting in the Green Room before a show. 

To learn more about Membership, click the button below or swing by the Membership table during Community Day.

FAQs

This event is totally, 100%, absolutely free! No ticket or RSVP required.

Nope! RSVPs are not required for this event. Just come on by!

You bet it is! We’ve teamed up with our friends at Creative Action to curate a kids-only zone called KIDosky on the Mezzanine Level. It’ll be chock-full of games, crafts, and more. Just be sure to stick with your kiddo; KIDosky is not a drop off area. The AT&T Education Room on the ground level will also be home to the Parent’s Room, a dark, quiet space to feed your baby or just get some down time. Special thanks to Mother’s Milk Bank for helping us make that happen!

Leashed dogs are welcome outdoors on the H-E-B Terrace. Properly identified service animals are welcome inside and out.

Nope, but food and beverage will be available to purchase onsite from Taco Man, Sweet Frida, and the bars.

Parking is available at the Palmer Events Center Parking Garage, located at 900 Barton Springs Road.  There are two entrances to the garage, one at Riverside Drive and South First Street near the Long Center’s Circular Drive, and one on Barton Springs Road adjacent to the Palmer Events Center main entrance. 

Mobility Impaired/Accessible Parking is available in the Palmer Events Center Parking Garage on all levels near the elevators. Please see the Accessibility section of our website for more information, including drop-off location.

Complimentary Garage Parking is available to vehicles with any of the following specialty license plates: Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Army Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Medal of Honor, and Legion of Merit Medal, Purple Heart, Pearl Harbor Survivors, and Prisoners of War (House Bill 618 and City Code Section 12-3-8).

Check out our Directions and Parking page for more details.

You betcha! Stop by the LC Membership table in the Orchestra Lobby to make a donation or become a Member. You can also check out the Support Us section of our website to see all the ways to can help.

Thanks to our sponsors!

We can’t wait to see you on September 9! The Long Center is always yours, but especially on Teresa Lozano Long Community Day 💜

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