Mid-Week Intermission Friend Edition: A.J. Bingham

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOP 5 FAVORITE AUSTIN VENUES

Stubbs
The Belmont
Elephant Room
Historic Scoot Inn
The Skylark Lounge

TOP 5 FAVORITE AUSTIN BANDS & ARTISTS

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