This week’s Mid-Week Intermission features The Deer’s own Grace Rowland. Read along and find out how Grace has gotten back to art, back to writing, and back to amplified sound. Catch The Deer’s mix of folk, psych, and dream-pop on tonight’s Good Vibes Only, streaming at 7pm.
Grace here, from The Deer! We had the pleasure of filming our Good Vibes Only session at the Long Center back in November — it was the first amplified show we had played in many months and it felt like a dream. Playing music is our lifeblood, something we do 300 days out of most years. Having it taken away was a feeling not many can sympathize with, but the folks a the Long Center knew exactly what we were going through and made the experience feel so smooth and so safe.
So, what’s Grace been up to?
In lieu of musical performances, I’ve devoted much of my time to my second passion: art. Before the pandemic, my graphic design “day job” consisted mostly of show flyers and other promotional material, and band merch like stickers and tee shirts.
Since there’s not a lot of that going on either, I have been able to work more on my stained glass and cut paper gallery work. My partner and I have also begun building out a tour van, for the day when we can finally get on the road again. The bonus is that we have plenty of time to make it just right.
Pictured is my favorite spot to write and practice — on my great aunt Lucy’s upright piano, in my living room in South Austin. My quarantine puppy and co-writer Pippin is ready to help me create.
I just want to close with my deepest sympathies for all whose lives have been upended this year. You are not alone; don’t be afraid to reach out. We who thrive on the warmth of the stage lights and the roar of the crowd will have our day in the sun again. We need only bide our time until our culture blossoms once again, for after the great plague came the Renaissance.
Blessings to you and to your homes.
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.
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.
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.
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