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


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.


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.

What’s that bubbly, glittery, electro-feeling in the Austin air? That’s right, it’s local duo Flora & Fawna. Hear from them in this Mid-Week Intermission before their Drop-In debut later this summer, and keep your ear to the ground for more sparks from Austin’s burgeoning pop scene.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE DROP-IN 👉 With free music every Thursday, you might want a reminder or two. We can help with that.

1️⃣ Make sure you’re following us @longcenter wherever you get your news to see who’s playing next.

2️⃣ Sign up for weekly notifications so you know when RSVPs open.

3️⃣ Grab your lawn chairs and your buddies and prepare to Drop-In.


Long Center: First off, just for fun — what song do you want folks to listen to while they read the rest of this interview?

Lili & Mason: Our newest single, “Costume Party!”

Long Center: We heard that you met at Spider House (RIP 😭). How did you first start making music together and how important are venues like these for Austin creatives?

Lili & Mason: So we’ve known about each other for years before actually meeting face to face. We operated in similar spheres and in similar scenes, and finally came together to collaborate on songs for commercials. We found that we wrote songs really well together by bringing together our production and writing skills, and decided to form Flora & Fawna. The rest is history.

We dropped our first single, “Slow Burn,” in May of 2019. It was heard by a producer at KUTX while they were on a “trip” and they fell in love with the song. Because of this we were chosen to be KUTX Artist of the Month in September 2019. We were slated to be SXSW artists in 2020, but then the pandemic happened and we had to put our music on pause. The isolation led us to do a lot of introspection and our new EP is the product of many years of perseverance.

Local venues are the body and soul of the scene. We’re so glad that so many of our favorite venues to perform in stayed afloat!

Long Center: Being native Austinites — and Lili, the child of Sara Hickman, a big austin name — do you feel any hometown pressure to make music here?

How has that affected your sound, your outlook, and your musical trajectory?

Lili & Mason: Since we’re not making music typical of the Austin scene, we don’t really feel the hometown pressure. Instead, it feels like we are a part of a brand new phase of Austin music as more and more bands embrace a pop-centric and electronic-focused sound. 

As a second-generation musician, there is definitely a high bar that sometimes feels impossible to reach since Austin has changed so much, but we try to just look past it and focus on creating the kind of music we want to hear.

We’ve really just tried to create a very energetic and engaging live show that will keep people coming back!

Long Center:  What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the Austin music scene? What does that future look like to you?

Lili & Mason: Definitely more pop-centric, more electronic, and more experimental. We feel like the new crowd of bands and musicians are making less of your typical Austin psych/bluegrass/rock/indie (although there will always be a crowd for those genres here).

The DJ and club scene has grown significantly, which is bringing more and more people into the music scene and out to our favorite venues. While some with closed-minded views might scoff at these changes, a diverse music scene is one that will last. Especially with how fast Austin is changing every day.

Long Center: Your EP “Monarchs of the Ice Age” is releasing soon — what’s the story behind it? Any favorite tracks?

Lili & Mason: “Monarchs” is an EP that is setting a new standard for our sound, and blends bubbling pop with sultry undertones. Its topics all verge on power, and the power you allow yourself to wield with yourself and in your relationships. It will take you from the sweet sounds of “Long Shot” to the heavily layered vocals and crashing drums of our next single, “Major Menace.”

Our main goal is to create authentically while also proving Austin’s pop scene can compete.

Long Center: We’re super pumped to have you at The Drop-In later this summer. What can folks expect from your set? Any teasers you can leave with us?

Lili & Mason: We know that it will be a hot one, but we love to get everyone on their feet! Expect high energy, high tempo, and fun bubbly songs we hope will get stuck in your head. We also love to throw in a few covers that we think everyone will love! 🙂 


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.

“I saw miiiiles and miiiiiles of Texas…” sing it with us! Okay, if you’re from out of town you may not know the song, but we’re pretty sure you’re familiar with the idea that one can drive for a full day in any direction in the Lone Star State and still not reach the Texas border.

Another not-so-secret Texan sentiment is that we love our state — like, LOVE it. We’re talking the plains, the hill country, the rivers, the landscape, and the wildlife. All the things that make this area as wild and unique as the folks who live here. So naturally, the Long Center jumped when given the opportunity to combine a few of our favorite things together — H-E-B, Texas State Parks, and National Geographic!

A Perfect Match

If you haven’t heard, we’re the new home for National Geographic’s Speaker Series, a part of their national circuit of lectures from Nat Geo explorers, filmmakers, and adventurers. You’ve already missed an incredible talk from one-handed climber Maureen Beck, but don’t worry, there are two more speakers this summer to look forward to (more on that later).

Since the Long Center is located on city park land and built from 95% reycled materials, we love any opportunity to admire the landscape around us and its wildlife, down to the Great Blue Herons that fly over Lady Bird Lake, and our fantastic view of the city and surrounding hill country from the top of our building.

Photo by Brynn Osborn

Who better to share all this with than H-E-B? H-E-B is helping to conserve and protect Texas through their commitment Our Texas, Our Future. A long-term partner of the Long Center, we’re super pumped to have H-E-B through their commitment Our Texas, Our Future join us as underwriter for the National Geographic Speaker Series. It’s a perfect match — here’s what we have in common:

We Love Our State

H-E-B is about as Texas as a store can get — we dare you to find one more intrinsic to Texans’ everyday lives! Through Our Texas, Our Future, the grocery staple is also committed to making sure the state’s environment and natural resources are preserved for generations to come. 

This includes everything from how they source their products (with local farms and growers), to how they manage food waste and recycling efforts, and even investing in renewable energy.

Our Texas land, water, and air are what we all share, and they want to make it easy for everyone to protect and enjoy that splendor, too. 

We Love Our Parks

Texas State Parks is celebrating 100 years! And as a big part of H-E-B’s sustainability journey, they’ve partnered together to make the centennial celebration a fixture in everyone’s minds for the next 100 years.

They’re encouraging everyone to get out, explore, and find your new favorite State Park from the nearly 90 that cover 10 unique ecoregions. TSP & H-E-B have created this handy list of parks to get you started.

We Want to Share a Long Green Future

No better (or cooler) place to celebrate the sustainability of our state’s resources & wildlife this summer than at the Long Center! We’ve got two more guests in our National Geographic Speaker Series, and you can catch Our Texas, Our Future and Texas State Parks at both. Bring your thin film plastic to recycle at their booth, enter to win an annual TSP park pass, and ask all your park-related questions before the show.

July 8 @ 7:30pm
Nat Geo’s ‘Untamed’ filmmaker invites us to experience the wild through his camera lens as he talks about finding your passion in life, living with intent, and how animals and their stories saved his life.

BRIAN SKERRY, underwater photographer
August 4 @ 7:30pm
Photographer behind the television series “Secrets of the Whales,” Brian will share behind-the-scenes stories from the field and give an inside look into the groundbreaking science of whale culture.

Start making your top ten list of Texas State Parks (remember, almost 90 to choose from) so you can be prepared when you win that annual pass 😉

And keep your eyes peeled for ways to be green at your local H-E-B — look out for the Our Texas, Our Future plastic recylcing bins, and always keep a resusable H-E-B or Long Center tote in your car.


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 this town, we all know that you can kick your boots in any direction and come across the best mural you’ve ever seen — every single day! We caught up with muralist Adrian Landon Brooks to see how he draws inspo from our community and those quintessential Texas vibes. He also happens to be the artist behind our Long Center tote bag. Read on to discover your new favorite Austin muralist.

Yeah, there are totes! Swing by a free Drop-In show and you can grab yours with a $20 donation to the Long Center. Your donation helps us keep doing cool stuff — you know, like supporting local artists like Adrian 🙂

👆 This is Adrian
My name is Adrian Landon Brooks and I’m a Muralist, painter, and creator based out of Austin, TX.

I’ve spent the majority of my adult years pursuing a career in the visual arts, and the last 5 with a focus on commercial mural work. I’ve created permanent murals/installations for companies such as Facebook, Google, and Indeed. In addition to my mural work, I maintain a studio at Canopy in Austin and create studio work for exhibitions in the states and abroad.

Adrian in his element

I grew up in Houston, TX, and later relocated to San Fransisco to attend SFAI. After college, my family and I ultimately settled in the hill country oustide of Austin. That combination of places influenced much of what I’m creating now. I was drawn to the bay area by artists like Barry McGee and the beautiful losers era. I found deep inspiration from my time in California, but Texas had a way of pulling me back when the time was right. Austin is where I met my wife and found my creative community.

I’m influenced by the materials I work with and a focus on sharp/clean lines. Most of my work comes from a place of inspiration that is more design based than anything else. I’m influenced by traditional folk art and the utilitarian approach to choosing materials. Most of my studio work is made on Texas native wood chunks and antique objects collected along my journey. The pieces themselves generally dictate my creative process and inspire much of my work.

studio cluster
mural at Indeed

The murals I create take my interest in design to a different level. They give me the chance to explore shape, color, and composition on a scale much larger than my studio work. It’s an interesting process to take a part of a painting that is a couple feet and blow that section up to 10 feet. Sometimes that process reveals imagery that is universal in scale and at other times is problematic. It’s been a challening and rewarding process to push my work’s boundaries in that way.

Austin has ultimately made my creative career aspirations a reality. I attribute that to the community around me and the companies/galleries/collectors who choose to support the local creatives as opposed to bringing in artists from out of state. I admire the pride we have here for our creative community and the people who champion our artists.

our LC custom tote! photo by Brynn Osborn

Much of what I just mentioned applies to my latest project with the Long Center. I find it really admirable for such a large Austin institution to be supporting the locacl arts in creative ways. I was really excited to create something to celebrate that spirit. My specific design was a visual ode to the building’s architecture and surroundings. I wanted to have the recognizable arch present but intermingled with some of my core imagery — suns, moons, and pattern run through most of my work. I hope this image helps celebrate such an important landmark in Austin.

I just wrapped up my busiest month-to-date creating murals for Indeed, Chick Nic, and Hotel McCoy in College Station. I have one more mural in Austin to complete this summer and will be in the studio creating work for a show in Milan this November. I never lose gratitude for the opportunities that come my way to share the things I create. I’m looking forward to continuing my creative pursuit in Austin and beyond. I welcome anyone looking to elevate their space to contact me via email or social media to chat. I’m always looking to start on the next project.

— Adrian


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.

For those not in-the-know, Austin is a hotspot for hip-hop music makers. We’ve got several on The Drop-In docket this year, but we thought it would be extra great to check in with David Shabani ahead of his show (hint, it’s in June!). Performing with his band The Nu Leopards, read on to find out about his international influences — he comes to Austin by way of Paris, Canada, and his Congolese parents — upcoming projects, and more. Highly recommend turning on some Shabani tunes while you read.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE DROP-IN 👉 With free music every Thursday, you might want a reminder or two. We can help with that.

1️⃣ Make sure you’re following us @longcenter wherever you get your news to see who’s playing next.

2️⃣ Sign up for weekly notifications so you know when RSVPs open.

3️⃣ Grab your lawn chairs and your buddies and prepare to Drop-In.

David Shabani, photo by Jay Ybarra

Long Center: A quick read through your bio is more like a world tour. With your international background, why create hip-hop in Austin? What brought you here and what keeps you creating here?

David: Although I’m from many geographic walks of life, Texas has been my home for the majority and most prominent moments of my life and will likely be my home for all of it. I feel most at home when I’m in Texas.

When it came to choosing a city in the state, I always had the confidence that Austin would be the most appropriate launching point for my music career. It’s why I came here and it’s why I stay here. And I feel like that feeling I had back then is starting to fall into place.

Long Center: It’s a big year for hip-hop, celebrating its 50th anniversary — where do you think the genre is headed in the next 50 years? What next steps do you see for hip-hop in Austin?

David: Hip-hop is already the biggest, most profitable genre in the world. I envision that in the next 50 years, it will not only dominate the music industry but media and culture at large. You’ll hear it in commercials, movie scores, clubs, etc., the way you would hear pop back in the ’80s.

For Austin, the same way Gary Clark, Jr., is the face of blues and rock that came out of Austin, I think Austin has the opportunity to give hip-hop artists a platform to put their art on display so that the genre can grow from within and so that a few of the faces that will influence hip-hop on a national and global scale can emerge and make their impact.

Long Center: Your sound is so versatile — one can easily hear it pounding in a club or lyrically spinning on a home turntable. Where does this fluidity come from? How do you describe it?

David: The way I’ve lived has given me a diverse outlook on music. I listened to dancehall, reggae, and gospel growing up, but I also tuned into artists like Michael Jackson and Tina Turner who were heavily influential for immigrants who were trying to learn about life in the West.

The hip-hop in Canada is different from the hip-hop in Texas, which is different from the hip-hop you gravitate toward in France. I try to stand out of the way to let those influences interact with whatever I’m feeling at the time. I think that’s what makes my music so naturally versatile.

The Nu Leopards, photo by Jay Ybarra

Long Center: You’ll be performing with your band at The Drop-In this summer — could you tell us about The Nu Leopards? Who makes up the band and what was the inspiration for coming together?

David: What’s interesting about The Nu Leopards is that there are different forms of The Nu Leopards. Jamal Knox (drums), Christian Callegeri (bass), and myself make up the core of the band, but I play with many different other musicians because The Nu Leopards sound is pretty dynamic. 

We often play with a 7-piece band, a 5-piece, a 4-piece — the essence of The Nu Leopards is there regardless of the format. That versatility is why we’ve been able to be booked locally, regionally, and globally. We can play in jazz clubs, put on hip-hop sets, join soul and R&B lineups, play at concert venues…

My inspiration for putting the band together was honestly watching Jay Z’s MTV unplugged with The Roots back in 2001. It took almost a decade to get the opportunity to find talented musicians and pair them with my music. So the inspiration was always there but the opportunity came in 2020 when everyone was at home. Once we were able to come back outside, we were prepared. I’m excited to be able to showcase The Nu Leopards at The Drop-In.

Long Center: For new listeners excited to see you at The Drop-In, what do you suggest they listen to to prepare?

David: I strongly suggest listeners start off with my short EP Shabani’s Smooth Sounds of the Summer. That album came out while The Nu Leopards and I first started touring. So those were some of the first songs we played live and they’re a core part of the set. After that, I’d say go bounce around the discography and find some of my earlier tracks like Globetrotter, which is a little more R&B and Three Years, which is more hip-hop so that you can get a sense of the genres we blend when we’re on stage.

Long Center: We’ve actually had Shabani’s Smooth Sounds of the Summer on in the office lately — what’s next for you? Any projects or collaborations you’re working on?

David: I’m releasing a new single on June 16, 2023. It’s called “Spirits.” It’s heavily influenced by me recently being able to tour with The Nu Leopards so the instrumentation is as prominent as the narrative and the lyrics. It’s a perfect merge between jazz and hip-hop, which is a bit outside of my most comfortable genres. I’m excited to roll it out very soon.

Long Center: We’re super pumped to have you out on the lawn soon! What can folks expect from your set? Any teasers you can leave with us?

David: Besides new music, if anyone made it out to the residency at Geraldine’s at Hotel Van Zandt, they’ll know that I like to incorporate surprise mashups to covers in between our songs. We go in and out and transtion with songs that might be familiar to a lot of people in the crowd. Some of those moments are my favorite because of people’s reactions. I hope everyone who comes out for The Drop-In will enjoy it very much.


Hip-hop’s 50th-anniversary year is only half way through! Keep your eyes peeled here and throughout Austin for other chances to celebrate, including Thee Phantom & The Illharmonic Orchestra coming to the Long Center on August 12th. When was the last time you witnessed strings, horns, woodwinds, and a pianist at a hip-hop concert??


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.

You know her, you’ve seen her, and you’ve definitely danced your heart out to her beats — yes, Gina Chavez is in the house on May 23rd! Kicking off Concert Club, the series where we turn our Rollins Studio Theatre into an old-school club for the night, this Latin Grammy nominee and ‘the band’ has some surprises in store. Read on to hear from Gina herself on what to expect, plus get a teasesr on the rest of our Concert Club artists. Get scootin’!

THE CONCERT CLUB SKINNY 🍸 Low lights, loungey vibes, and music so close you can feel it! Check out how to snag one of the cabaret tables (that come with some free drinks!) and peep the rest of our lineup.

Hey hey! Gina Chavez here.

I’m an Austin-born songwriter and musician and it’s good to be home! I’ve been on tour all year, criss-crossing the country and Central America where we toured as cultural ambassadors with the U.S. State Department in February.

Needless to say, it’s great to be back in Austin! And I can’t wait to serenade you at the Long Center on May 23rd — the day after my birthday 😉

The band and I have a whole new show for you, with songs from our NPR Tiny Desk and our most recent Latin Grammy-nominated album, La Que Manda! It’s been amazing to tour that record and see people connect with songs that are truly about living into your power. I love when audiences take over the theater dancing — so y’all better be ready!

I’m serious! We had some of the most amazing theater crowds in Walla Walla WA, and Amerherst, MA, so I know Austin can bring the heat.

I also hear it’s the Long Center’s 15th birthday, so there’s lots to celebrate. We can’t wait to move hearts and hips with you next week. Lez go!

— Gina
There’s more Concert Club where that came from

This is where we turn down the lights, pump up the mood, and transform the Rollins into our very own music lounge. Consider Concert Club your White Horse with parking, your Continental away from Congress, or your Broken Spoke in the city — whatever shines your boots. 


The Peterson Brothers // JUN 23

Kelly Willis // SEPT 8

Sue Foley // OCT 19


Fan Level Long Center Members and higher get the ultimate Concert Club experience. That means access to cabaret seating and 20% off tickets to 2+ shows plus 👇

Friend Members get early access to tickets and an invite to the pre-show party.


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.

Don’t quite know what to do with that crazy story your friends can’t bear to listen to one more time? Song Confessional wants to hear it 🗣️.  Whether or not you’ve listened to the podcast that takes your “confessions” and turns them into hit songs, now’s a good time to check out the confessional booth for yourself! Now located in a corner of the ground floor lobby of the Long Center, we checked in with hosts Walker Lukens & Zac Catanzaro to get the scoop on all things Song Confessional. 



We bet you do! Swing by the Long Center Tuesday – Thursday, 11am to 2pm to give your confession and repent your synths. Or, join us for the Song Confessional Midnight Gala on July 20 from 9pm to midnight.

Hello! Please allow us to introduce ourselves as Song Confessional.

Here at Song Confessional, we seek to enable today’s top songwriters to create new songs inspired by everyday people’s experiences through collecting anonymous recordings of people telling stories, then giving these ‘confessions’ to songwriters, inspiring an original song.

Walker & Zac ☝️

Started by Austin musicians Walker Lukens and Zac Catanzaro, the project was initially conceived as a music festival activation. In pre-pandemic times, the duo traveled to various festivals around the country in their 1948 blue camper trailer / recording studio. Festival attendees could hop into the trailer and be recorded, recounting any experience they wanted.

These ‘confessions,’ as we like to call them, would then be shared with songwriters who would write and record an original song inspired by that anonymous confession. Once recorded, the song was pressed to a one-off 7″ record and sent to the confessor who inspired it.

More recently, the project evolved into a podcast in co-production with KUTX. Each episode features the anonymous story, the song it inspired, and an interview with the songwriter. Outside of the trailer, Song Confessional now operates two automated confessional booths, one outside Fort Collins, CO, and one right in our hometown of Austin, TX (more on this one later). People can walk into the booths and record themslves confessing their stories 7 days a week.

When you step into a Song Confessional recording booth, you’re immediately transported into another world full of mystery, possibility, and vulnerability. What if your story were to become a hit song you could hear on the radio? How personal would that connection be? When we think of our favorite songs, there’s always an inherent emotional connection. Maybe it’s a feeling, maybe it’s the time or place… whatever it is, we find music to be deeply personal. 

The Song Confessional recording booth allows people to share that raw emotion on its own in a safe and comfortable environment. No one will ever know it’s you that made this confession. That anonymity is where the magic happens, allowing you to explore the depth of your experience. The more detail and emotion shared, the more likely it is to inspire a great song. Not only is it cathartic in that moment, but the possibility of your confession surviving an eternity through song is down right exciting! We are always collecting confessions and courting songwriters to give them the tribute they deserve.

When we started this project, we weren’t aware of how vulnerable people were willing to be with a stranger. There is such beauty in having an unabashed, completely truthful conversation with someone you don’t know and are unlikely to ever see again. It almost makes talking about the hard stuff easier when you don’t have a personal relationship with each other. I guess that explains therapy!

Since launching our podcast in 2019 and almost not making it through the pandemic, Song Confessional has evolved in how the project is presented. Something we hadn’t fully planned was the automated concept. Originally launched at Hotel Magdalena on South Congress, we’re thrilled to be in our new spot at the historic Long Center in the heart of downtown Austin. Being surrounded by people that believe in art and have the ability to push things forward is an opportunity that’s unmatched, and we can’t wait to see what kinds of stories Long Center patrons share with us.

In addition to the original format of confession-song-artist interview, we’re now doing public call episodes. We choose a confession that we love and put it out there for the listeners of the show to write and record their own songs. We’ll choose our favorites and share them on the following episode. We also plan on launching a ‘Just The Confessions’ addendum podcast later this year. We get so many great confessions that it’s impossible to make them all into songs so we’re always looking for new ways to expand how we use our content.

If you haven’t yet checked out an episode of the show, we love recommending an episode from last season with the artist Boyfriend or the very first episode with Croy and The Boys. Both are great stories, great songs, great artists, and a perfect introduction to the show.

If you like what we do, follow along and check out our socials @songconfessional wherever you prefer!

— Walker & Zac

You can find the Song Confessional booth at the LC, tucked away in a corner of the Rollins Lobby on the Ground Floor. Time to repent your synths!

Open Tues – Thurs, 11am to 2pm.

📸 photos by Brynn Osborn.


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.

Don’t know if you’ve heard, but Austin’s got a brand new stage — a 3D-printed one, that is! In partnership with ICON, the city of course had to break in the new performance space with some live music. It’s the first in the world, after all. So in case you didn’t get to check it out during SXSW, we sat down with Brooke Bauguess, ICON’s VP of Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs, to learn more about ICON as an Austin-based company, how this stage came to exist, plus the future of 3D printing and the arts. Read on to get the full scoop!

Cara Caulkins (left) Director of PR & Events with Brooke Bauguess (right) VP of Communications and Marketing. Photo Credit: Chad Wadsworth
My name is Brooke Bauguess and I am the Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs for ICON.

I grew up in Austin and fondly remember attending special events at Long Center and now bring my children to enjoy performances there like the Nutcracker.

3D-printing the future

Tell us ICON’s story. What are you all about?

Austin-based ICON develops advanced construction technologies in service to humanity in order to solve great problems and pursue grand opportunities. We exist as a response to the global housing crisis. Construction-scale 3D printing not only delivers higher-quality homes faster and more affordably, but fleets of printers can change the way that entire communities are built for the better. The U.S. faces a deficit of 6.5 million new homes, and worldwide there are 1.6 billion humans that lack adequate shelter. There is a profound need to swiftly increase supply without compromising quality, beauty, or sustainability, and that is exactly the strength of ICON’s technology.

ICON has delivered 3D-printed homes for folks who were experiencing chronic homelessness right here in Austin, TX, with Mobile Loaves & Fishes at Community First! Village, the first 3D-printed homes sold in the U.S., 3D-printed a Martian habitat for NASA and barracks for those serving their country with the Texas Military Department and U.S. Army, plus partnered with world-renowned architecture firm, BIGBjarke Ingels Group. The largest neighborhood of 3D-printed homes is underway in Georgetown, Texas, in partnership with Lennar, one of the nation’s leading homebuilders. The homes are codesigned by BIG and will be available to purchase beginning this year.

We also announced during SXSW 2023 a new collaboration with Liz Lambert to reimagine and 3D print a new 60-acre community development and expansion of El Cosmico in Marfa, TX, that will feature housing, hospitality amenities, and a hotel.

Additional social housing, disaster relief housing, and market-rate housing projects are also underway in addition to developing construction systems to create infrastructure and habitats on the Moon and eventually Mars with NASA.

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Jason Ballard, ICON CEO, gives opening remarks at the unveiling. Photo Credit: Erika Rich // Tameca Jones performs on the 3D-printed cosmic pavilion. Photo Credit: Erika Rich // The Bros Fresh perform on the 3D-printed cosmic pavilion. Photo Credit: Erika Rich // First-ever concert on the new performance pavilion. Photo courtesy of ICON.

Everything begins with an idea

We know that ICON has done projects in Austin before. What sets this project apart from the others, and why did you choose the Long Center as its location?

We are still pinching ourselves that this once crazy idea to 3D-print the world’s first performance pavilion and unveil it during SXSW has come to fruition, and at the most iconic location for the arts and creative community in Austin. We began discussing the possibilities in November 2022 and before we knew it, the team at ICON was 3D printing the pavilion on the Long Center Hartman Concert Lawn by February 2023. The innovative structure, printed by ICON’s Vulcan construction system using proprietary software and advanced material, took 14 days to complete, and became the backdrop for a series of events and musical performances attended by more than 1,300 guests during SXSW.

L-R Bjarke Ingels (BIG), Liz Lambert (El Cosmico), and Jason Ballard (ICON) Photo Credit: Chad Wadsworth

The cosmic-inspired amphitheater is a gift from ICON, Liz Lambert, and the BIG team to the City of Austin as a creative expression of the best of Texas optimism, creativity, and innovation. The performance pavilion brings a taste of the West Texas project ICON has underway with Liz Lambert, El Cosmico, that parallels and reflects the architectural design themes made possible only by 3D printing technology. The design combines and extends some of these themes into a single, sculptural piece that serves as a landmark and a gathering space for culture, community, and the city in the heart of downtown Austin. We are beyond grateful to the City of Austin, the Long Center, and its Board members for believing in the new innovative technology and seeing the long-term vision for what the pavilion could bring to the creative culture, community, and the arts in Austin.

We look forward to seeing programming from musical acts and dance performances to theater and panel discussions taking place on the 3D-printed venue, and offering a central community gathering space with unparalleled access to the arts. My personal hope is to see children within the Austin community on stage one day soon!

In the future, we will build differently than we build today

How did the motivation for this project impact the overall look and design? What was that process like?

We have the honor of working alongside one of the greatest architects of all time, Bjarke Ingels, and his talented team at BIG. They understand what ICON’s robotic construction can bring in terms of new design vernaculars and languages and that the world doesn’t want to see straight lines and boxes. The organic forms, curves, and shapes that we’re able to make with the 3D printer are magical and otherwise seen as complex and associated with handcraft, but now made possible by robotic technology. With this particular print, we were able to bring to life curves and lofted geometries never before seen with our homes and structures printed to date. The BIG and ICON teams worked on the design and engineering plus printed a test wall at our laboratory before bringing the mobile, gantry-style printer to the Long Center. We love how it turned out and hope the community will enjoy the arts in Austin for years to come at this cosmic pavilion under the Texas stars.

Aerial photo of ICON's Vulcan construction system 3D printing the performance pavilion. Courtesy of ICON.

How can technology continue to help the arts, and how does this project at the Long Center help Austin artists specifically?

Set with the beautiful Austin skyline as its backdrop, the performance pavilion reminds me of some of the most iconic outdoor music venues in the country. There aren’t many options for an intimate outdoor performance venue to enjoy your favorite artsits in Austin, and what I love about the Long Center is they offer free events for the public to come and enjoy like The Drop-In concerts, which begin May 25th. Supporting the local music scene is one of many ways we see this stage being utilized, and we are thrilled to have played a small part in making the arts even more accessible for Austinites and visitors to town.

Any tips for how everyday folks can support the arts and community through technology, too?

ICON announced during SXSW the launch of Initiative 99, a global architecture competition to reimagine affordable housing and aimed at designing accessible, beautiful, and dignified homes that can be built for under $99,000. Registration for the competition opens in the summer of 2023 and architects from all over the world including firms, individuals, and university students are encouraged to participate. The multi-phase, year-long competition offers a total prize purse of $1 million. ICON has committed to building a selection of the winning designs at multiple locations to be announced in the future.

If you know of an architect, designer, or dreamer who wants to make a difference, please encourage them to sign up to hear when registration opens for Initiative 99. Everyone deserves a dignified home. At ICON, we believe 3D printing is the way to deliver homes at scale and that the housing of the future must be different from the housing we have known. In the future, we will build differently than we build today.

Concept render of ICON's 3D-printed affordable housing. Courtesy of ICON.

What a way to start our 15th year! And we’ve got more where that came from. Look out for more announcements about The Drop-In and we’ll see you on the lawn to experience the new performance pavilion really soon!


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.

From the news desk to Meredith Stage and everywhere in between, Olga Campos Benz is one of the Long Center’s biggest fans! And let us say, the feeling is mutual 😍 We thought we’d check in with her to see which of the many events we’ve hosted these past 15 years are her favorites and learn a bit more about how she’ll be supporting the Icon Awards. But enough from us, read what Olga has to say 👇

Hola, Austin!

Hope this Mid-Week Intermisison finds everyone preparing for an awesome April and with calendars already marked to join me at the Icon Awards on April 6th as we honor the people, organizations, and corporations for their commitment to the arts.

Since the Long Center became Austin’s home for the performing arts, no one has exemplified wholehearted giving like Eva Womack. From the first capital campaign to establish the Long Center to various arts organizations, Eva and her late husband, Marvin, have been generous supporters and beloved members of our arts community. Likewise, corporate giant AT&T will be recognized for its leading role in building a strong and inclusive creative home at hte Long Center, making Austin a better place to thrive, explore, entertain, and creat! Mil gracias Sra Womack y AT&T!

I’m thrilled to be serving as the Emcee for the Icon Awards, which will take place on the Meredith Stage of Dell Hall. My mind flashes back to other times I’ve been honored to step on that very stage. As a former Trustee of the Long Center, after my first meeting I ventured near the footlights while thinking, “Wow! How it must thrill every performer who walks out here knowing each seat is filled by someone eager to capture a beautiful memory of a live performance to keep in their memories forever!”

Because that’s exactly what happens with each thrilling performance afterwards and for always. For me, it’s the memories of attending a UT Tailgate event organized by my daughter Allegra; or the annual holiday tradition of The Nutcracker with loved ones; and I’ll never forget the excitement of attending both Jimmy Kimmel Live tapings during SXSW?!?!

Olga & Kevin

Then there was the time my husband, Kevin Benz, and I served as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Long Center’s Birthday Bash where we stepped on stage to welcome the audience to see “The Beatles: Let It Be” tribute show. You wouldn’t have recognized us since we were dressed like characters from the Sgt. Peper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. What a fun evening!

But perhaps my fondest memory of stepping on stage is from 2008 when, as a TV news reporter, I toured the venue before it opened to the public. I remember being in awe of the possibilities of the best live performances, family-friendly experiences, and memorable occasions for the entire community — all about to take place both inside and outside.

What excites me most about the Long Center, then and now, is that the venues goes far beyond being the home of the Founding Resident Companies. It welcomes all genres of music! There’s an eagerness to host out-of-the-ordinary performances. In fact, the Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel with The Avett Brothers Birthday Bash, and Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, are among my very favorite shows inside the Long Center.

Outside, there are too many to count! Kevin and I are excited about the return of The Drop-In music series, and we love the fact that everyone is welcome to take photos, host a picnic, gaze at the skyline, and just soak in the beautiful vibe of ATX while on the lawn and H-E-B Terrace. During my time as a Long Center Trustee and now in my current role as media consultant and community advocate, I continue to be most proud of the commitment by the Long Center staff and sponsors to roll up their sleeves and roll out the red carpet for everyone!

So let me end this letter of greeting to all by echoing some of my favorite phrases:

¡¡Bienvenidos a todos!! ¡Nos vemos pronto en el Centro Long!
Welcome to all!! See you soon at the Long Center!

Yours always,

Olga Campos Benz
Former TV News Anchor/Reporter


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.

We’re celebrating Black History Month with a list of events, arts, and city life to explore, this month and beyond! What’s top of our list? Booking a free tour of the ‘Field Order 15: And Other Broken Promises’ gallery exhibition brought to you by Carver Museum ATX, right here at the Long Center. Check out what our community partners are up to and add some items to your calendar in this Mid-Week Intermission.

So much to explore, so much to celebrate.
This is just a handful of events, arts, and media to get your Black History Month started, plus a few ways to celebrate Black creatives all year long. For a daily dose of Black creativity, be sure to follow Six Square on social media as they share music, playlists, and more from Black creatives right here in Austin. And if you’re looking for where to do a deep dive on the history of Austin’s Black community or some tips for exploring with the family, look no further than Do512 Family’s excellent rundown on cultural centers worth an afternoon (or several weeks) of exploration. ✨ Get started. ✨
Courtesy of Carver Museum ATX
FIELD ORDER 15: And Other Broken Promises

When: Now – March 31, 2023
Curated by Carver Museum ATX
Gallery 701 @ Long Center

On display through the end of March, this exhibit engages artists of African descent around the concept of repair through film-based vignettes and sculptural works that explore repair, identity, and contradiction.

Book a tour for free with our Producer, Andrea, available Monday-Friday.

Black History Bike Ride

Six Square District tours by Six Square
When: Now

Beginning at the George Washington Carver Complex, home of Austin’s only African-American museum, the Carver Geneology Center and the Carver Library, discover present-day landmarks and past sites of the Six Square District. This is a great way to experience the Chitlin’ Circuit, Victory Grill, Downs Field, and more.

Black History Bike Ride
When: Now

With rides happening all the time, guide Talib Abdullahi hosts themed tours through all parts of Austin. Check out @blackhistorybikeride on Instagram for the latest.

KUT KUTX Studios // Black Austin Matters Podcast

Black Joy & Resistance Music Series
When: Feb. 11 // Feb. 18 // Feb. 26

Catch a fave group or hear someone new at Austin Public Library’s Black History Month music series highlighting amazing Austin talent. At multiple branches around town, check out Rochelle & the Sidewinders on February 11th, Money Chicha on February 18th, and Honey Made on February 26th.

American Music: Black Composers Concert
When: Feb. 18

Curated by musician Dr. Nicole L. Taylor and composer Nikki Birdsong, explore the works of Florence Price, Maragaret Bonds, and more through the power of song.

Black Austin Matters Podcast
When: Any time

Hosted by Richard J. Reddick and Lisa B. Thompson, this podcast from KUT / KUTX Studios highlights the Black community and Black culture in Central Texas. Catch a new episode the first Wednesday of every month, and subscribe so you don’t miss a single perspective.

aGLIFF // Been Here: Queer, Black & Proud

Carver Museum ATX Presents: That’s My Face – “Waiting to Exhale” 
When: Feb. 13

Yes, this is a Black Love Day screening AND singalong of “Waiting to Exhale,” a 1995 classic! “That’s My Face” is a community film series that features works that explore the diversity of Black experiences through everything from full-length narrative films to animated works.

Been Here: Queer, Black & Proud
When: Feb. 16

aGLIFF Queer Black Voices is celebrating with an evening of queer Black voices in film, community engagement, short films, and more. Includes a special screening of “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” a post-screening discussion with director Nathan Hale Williams, and a performance by Austin Drag performer Amber Nicole Davenport.

Carver Museum ATX

Black History Month Celebration at Central
When: Feb. 18

Riders Against the Storm, a Black Panther movie watch party, and author and artist talks headline this free day of celebration at Austin Public Library Central.

Black Future Market
When: Feb 19

Republic Square is the place to be on Saturday, February 19th, where you can catch a massive Black vendor market featuring Black-owned businesses ranging from food to art and everything in between.

Black History Month Kids’ Day at Carver Museum ATX
When: Feb. 25

For children and their families, this cultural event celebrates the contributions of African American trailblazers with crafts, music, and educational activities centered around the Museum’s 2023 theme of “Black Resistance.”

Black History Bowl
When: Feb. 25

This family-friendly event hosted by Austin Justice Coalition is a day of game shows, prizes, music, and food. Feeling lucky? Check out their study guides and see if you could cut it in the trivia department — Black youth grades 3-12 can still register to showcase their Black history knowledge.


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.

From El Paso to LA to Austin, Long Center’s Programming Coordinator, Matt Muñoz, has worked on quite a few records you’ll recognize! Since he’s marking 15 years of living back in Austin — and we’re celebrating our 15th birthday this year (look out for more on that later) — we thought we’d check in with him to hear a little bit more about how he got here. Cue The Smiths and take some notes!

Matt poses in Dodgers gear in front of the field, with a big smile
This is Matt 👆
Hola Amigos!
My name is Matt Muñoz and I am part of the Programming team at the Long Center.

I live in South Austin with my wonderful wife, Samantha, our daugher, Austin, and two dogs, Rebel & Kim.

I am a HUGE Los Angeles Dodgers fan and I love The Smiths and all things Brit Pop & ’80s.

I was born and raised in El Paso, TX (El Chuco), learning early how to navigate the beauty of the sounds spilling across the frontera and fusing them with my father’s music collection (Hank Williams, Herb Albert, Fats Domino, and Jose Alfredo Jimenez), and my own ’80s metal upbringing — Van Halen, AC/DC, and a dalliance into hair metal. I fell in love with drumming at age 11 and began to play shows with local party bands at 14, performing at quinceaneras, weddings, and even at the Sun Bowl for cardinals from the Vatican!

I attended college in the panhandle as a music business major with a percussion emphasis at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. I soon met other likeminded music majors and we turned our love of The Smiths, The Cure, REM, and Texas regional bands like Ten Hands & Twang Twang Shock-a-Boom (aside from Long Center, here — check out our interview with David Garza if you’re also a Twang fan) into our own musical unit called The Cleavers. We toured regionally and put out some cassettes before moving to Austin in 1993. Once here, we established some residencies at the Black Cat, Steamboat, and performed at other wonderful places like the Electric Lounge & the Austin Outhouse opening for bands like Magneto USA (Fastball), Spoon, The Asylum Street Spankers, and the Texas Instruments.

Matt poses for a photo with singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams
Matt & Lucinda Williams

As life started to happen and the band faded, I transitioned to Arista Latin/Austin, which was an off-shoot of Arista Nashville, working with artists like Flaco Jimenez, Nydia Rojas, Abra Moore, and Robert Earl Keen. When the label shuttered in 1998, I was off to Los Angeles where I worked at New Line Cinema — then, El Norte Productions — for Gregory Nava (Director of Selena & El Norte), then landed back in music at Warner Brothers Records in the Marketing department. 

That was a beautiful education on how to release a record, working on records from artists Joni Mitchell, k.d. lang, Green Day, Perry Farrell & Mike Patton of Mr. Bungle & Faith No More fame. From Warner Bros, I continued my journey to Universal Music Distribution, working on every big-name star and album of the early 2000s including Eminem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jimmy Eat World, Lil Wayne, and many others.

As the music business started to change, I moved back to Austin in 2008 to work for a little indie label that went away almost as soon as I moved back! It was then that I was able to start a new gig as the caretaker of the iconic Cactus Cafe on the UT campus, and I spent 10 years helping KUT & KUTX manage the little venue that could, and helped give a platform to the exploding local music scene, booking some of the first shows for artists that went on to bigger venues. When Covid hit, I fell victim to a layoff and later resurfaced here at the Long Center.

We’re celebrating 15 years of the Long Center, and that milestone holds a special meaning to me as it is also my 15th year of living back in Austin.

This venue and the excitement of the possibilities that lie ahead for the future of arts, music, culture, and communy in the city are what we strive to bring you here! 

I hope to see you soon!

— Matt


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.

It’s safe to say (now that we can’t jinx anything), the end of 2022 has all of us here at the Long Center breathing a sigh of relief. Though this year still had some ups and downs, and we can’t quite shake off some lingering pandemic perils, we’re pretty proud of what 2022 has turned out to be and what our nonprofit team — along with a whole host of partners, supporters, and every Austinite out there — has accomplished.

Our 2022 goal was to make curiosity live and in-person, and we did just that! So whether you joined us for a performance, a Drop-In, a night on the town, or a spin on the ice (psst… Geoji’s ice rink ends January 1st), we just wanted to say “thanks” and share a few reasons why this year was our most curious year yet.


The Drop-In, Brynn Osborn

A Destination for the Curious

As 2022 dawned, we were ready to rock and roll, not knowing what the year might have in store. Coming out of topsy-turvey 2021, though, we were ready to reach for the stars. Can we do… everything? we asked. The answer? “Yeah, kinda!” With no holds barred, the Long Center became a destination for the curious, and boy did Austinites show us how curious they really were. 

In fact, so curious that they ate up 16 free community events and attended 50+ shows at the LC this year. And that’s not even counting the almost 70 performances put on by our friends at the Ballet, Symphony, and Opera, who are not only back in full swing but also experiencing some of their best seasons in years.

Jess Williamson, Brynn Osborn
José González, Brynn Osborn

The feverish need to feed our collective curiosity didn’t stop there. The Long Center was home to hundreds of artists this year, of all makes, shapes, and sizes. There were 225+ artists on our stages in 2022, but countless more helped to produce, manage, and work hard to make sure those artists looked and sounded great. We kept going, welcoming more creative and visual arts into the building in new ways than ever before. Look out for more vendor markets and exhibitions in Gallery 701, the newest space in which we’re sharing the stories, perspectives, and creations of Austin’s visual artists.

One thing is for sure — this year has made our Long Center team into a group of curiosity fiends, and we can’t wait to see what wild and wonderful combinations of sound, sight, and experience we land on next.

The Octopus Project @ The Drop-In, Brynn Osborn

Curious Listeners

Speaking of curiosity fiends, will Austin’s curiosity ever run out?? It could never, because 2022 yet again demonstrated that the breadth and depth of the city’s musical interest is infinite. Presenting countless musical genres, performance types, and opportunities to discover something new made the Long Center THE place for curious listeners in 2022, and you never stopped showing up to devour more of the sounds that make Austin so unique.

Together with our fantastic partners, we celebrated traditional music and dance of our Hispanic neighbors for Univision 62’s El Grito event. We turned a new spotlight on jazz with a 5-band celebration of International Jazz Day and the first-ever Dell Hall appearance of jazz icon Christian McBride with locals Brannen Temple Express. We also had the time of our lives at the Third Annual Pride in Local Music Fest with the Austin LGBT Chamber.

Tribe Mafia @ Summer Jam, courtesy of KUTX & KAZI

Sounds of all kinds flowed this summer. Thousands of music-lovers from all over town enjoyed 12 free Drop-In shows, supporting 50+ of Austin’s new and upcoming homegrown artists. It doesn’t get better than an Austin summer of free music, and your continued support means we can show up for local artists every day and keep The Drop-In going year after year.

We turned things up a notch with KUTX’s & KAZI’s Summer Jam, hosted by Confucius & Fresh of The Breaks. With a lineup boasting Geto Gala, Anastasia Hera & The Heroes, Moody Bank$, and Tribe Mafia, this was the most hip-hop the LC had seen in a long time. We hear that 2023 is hip-hop’s 50th anniversary… could we see more?

Daivd Garza @ The Drop-In, Brynn Osborn
The Album Leaf @ lookOUT Fest, Sophia Lawson

Our ultimate curiosity this year was lookOUT Fest, the culmination of a long, fruitful exercise in ingenuity, creativity, and “newness” that this town had been missing these last few years. With a curated combo of musical, visual, and creative arts, we welcomed new genres, new sounds, and new arts-lovers to the Long Center in a celebration for the ages. Getting to see The Album Leaf on the same ticket as Mary Lattimore, Julianna Barwick, and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with locals The Kraken Quartet and Felt Out, was just the icing on the cake. Plus, when was the last time you got to catch a DJ set from KUTX’s Soundfounder?

With lineups like these, we’re working hard to continue our commitment to Austin’s culture and its incredible spectrum of diversity, and especially how that’s reflected on our stages. Look out for more incredible lineups in 2023.

Crowd @ Black Violin, Brynn Osborn

Curious Communities

Perhaps nothing has been more rewarding this year than seeing all of this curious and creative energy channeled into support for local artists, problem-solving to expand accessibility, and events to bring communities closer together.

In 2022, we opened our doors to 50+ orgs and community partners by giving rental discounts to make our spaces as accessible as possible. Performances on our stages put $60,000+ dollars in the pockets of local artists. We again partnered with the City of Austin and distributed $2.6 million in critical funding to 1,248 members of Austin’s creative ecosystem through the Austin Music Disaster Relief Grant. How cool is that?

The Drop-In, Brynn Osborn

Even better, we saw different communities come together to support creativity and curiosity in 100+ ways, new and old, big and small. We celebrated Texas Reading Day with H-E-B and Camila Alves McConaughey, gathering thousands of students together to read. We then turned around and handed out free breakfast tacos and gathered donations for Central Texas Food Bank with the help of H-E-B and our friends at Luck Presents. We reveled in the return of ACL Radio’s live morning ACL Fest broadcasts, and were delighted that we could gather again to celebrate July 4th with big crowds, fireworks, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra. And don’t worry, our furry friends were included, too, with Tito’s Handmade Vodka’s “Impressions of Tito’s Distillery Dogs over 25 Years” gallery in our Rollins Lobby. 

A very special and ultra-curious community, the Heller Awards for Young Artists took center stage this year. Back to its first in-person celebration since the pandemic, this Tony Awards-style ceremony for high school musical theatre in the Greater Austin area celebrated the hard work of 32 schools, 13 districts, and 6,500+ students. Stay tuned for 2023’s Awards Ceremony next April — we’ll be celebrating 10 years of HAYA!

Opening Number, Heller Awards for Young Artists
Texas Reading Day, Getty Images

We’ve also loved continuing to explore more of Austin’s curious communities through our Mid-Week Intermission newsletter. Just this year, we learned about the message behind an international piece of art, shared hand-crafted mixtapes from our lookOUT Fest artists, got a behind-the-scenes look at Austin PBS’s new media center, and learned more about a few of the Long Center team along the way. If curious communities are up your alley, sign up for our newsletter — you’ll get it in your inbox every other week so you’re always up-to-date.

Luna Luna @ The Drop-In, Brynn Osborn

Curious for 2023

Returning to our pre-pandemic routine of events, shows, partnerships, and more shows was great, but there were just a few things that we hadn’t imagined might come our way.

We were pleased as Punch when Austin Young Chamber voted us FAVE Arts & Culture Experience at their 13th Annual FAVE Awards. We were also beyond grateful to be named Best Non-Profit at the Austin LGBT Chamber’s 2022 Business of Pride gala. We hope this entices you to come join us for a show next year (or a second, or a third!) and experience the Long Center for yourself.

We’re not sure if you noticed, but not only were we taken over by Disney+ for SXSW, we also made it into a couple of things on Netflix. If you watched the streaming giant’s Look Both Ways rom-com starring Lili Reinhart and Luke Wilson… yep, that SXSW panel took place at the LC. And at the beginning of the year, a little, tiny, not-known-well-at-all show called QUEER EYE threw the Navarro High Vikings an ultra-dreamy Prom bash on our H-E-B Terrace. Definitely worth a re-watch when you get a chance.

LC Staff Celebrating Best Non-profit Win
Navarro High Prom, Queer Eye

All this to say, the Long Center has certainly come a long way in 2022, and we have you to thank for making us the destination for curiosity this year. We’ve deepened partnerships, forged some new ones, experimented and explored nonstop, and still found time to launch our TikTok (follow us, pretty please? we’re new here).

As for 2023, you’re going to want to make sure you’re following us on the social media platform of your choice (@longcenter) and checking on our calendar regularly. Not only are we super excited to host William Shatner in January and Ta-Nehisi Coates on MLK Jr. Day (together with a group of community partners ranging from Six Square to Austin Justice Coalition), but rumor has it our nonprofit is also turning 15 years old. 🤫

On that note, cue the Queer Eye re-watch and we’ll see you real soon.

Wishing you a safe & healthy New Year from all of us at the Long Center — here’s to a curious 2023!

Get this… your support matters! We hope you had as good a 2022 with us as we did with you. Anything you give goes right back to making it all happen at the Long Center. You did that!


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 or sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter, and we’ll see you real soon.