Our Ten Favorite Austinite Stories from Mid-Week Intermission (So Far)
When we first started featuring Austinite stories from across the city in April of 2020, we had no idea that this bi-weekly email newsletter would become our favorite thing. Almost instantly, Mid-Week Intermission became our city historian, our daily narrator, our go-to book-on-tape (sorta). Starting out this new year with the knowledge that our curiosity is limitless, we’re celebrating all the Austinite stories we’ve shared together and highlighting some that we’ve particularly enjoyed.
In this list you’ll find creatives, partners, personalities, characters, innovators, inventors, helpers, and everything in between. So, indulge a little — take a moment to appreciate our community in a slightly different light.
If you haven’t already, you can always sign up for our newsletter to get these stories delivered straight to your inbox. Or, check our social channels every other Wednesday for the latest. This leads us to our last question… who do you want to hear from this year? Drop us a line @longcenter and let us know.
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We always love a chance to chat with Austin’s own Graham Reynolds. It had been two years since he’s Ruined the Holidays in our Rollins Studio Theatre, and having him with a ten-piece band back in the black box for some raucous holiday tunes this winter was like magic. Just look at the smiles in the header picture of this blog.
If you’re new to town, keep an eye on what Graham is up to. You’ve probably heard some of his film scores and don’t even know it, or you might bump into him next time there’s live music on the Terrace.
Pamela Benson Owens of Six Square
We got together with the team of Six Square, Austin’s Black Cultural District, last year to see how we could be better partners. What came out of that meeting were fresh ideas, a Beyond the Square partnership, and a lot of exchanged playlists.
Pamela Benson Owens is the one making sure this organization is doing their best, most effective, mission-driven work. She’s a hoot and a half, and you should get involved with Six Square as soon as you can.
Grace Rowland of The Deer
Grace from The Deer gave us a real slice of life, describing what we can only imagine was the new pandemic reality for many of Austin’s local bands last year.
The Deer also headlined one of our first Good Vibes Only episodes. For this series, we turned the Rollins into a sound studio so that local bands and entertainment sector professionals could continue to create art and reach audiences during deep lockdown. You can watch all of our Good Vibes episodes for free right now. Plus, look out for more coming soon.
Justin Kirchhoff of Co-Production House
For the past two years, our Heller Awards for Young Artists have rallied, taking a year-long program jam-packed with live performances to a virtual stream — not once, but twice.
Justin Kirchhoff & the team at Co-Production House were instrumental in creating this new form of digital theatre. Find out how this virtual production studio with Austin’s first LED volume technology made it happen, and look forward to the HAYAs’ return to the big stage later this year.
Our Marvelous Long Center Volunteers
No one else gets a front-row look at the arts in Austin quite like our volunteer ushers do. These welcoming, dedicated, and knowledgeable individuals help you find your seat and keep the show running.
Last fall, we asked them a few questions about why they do what they do at the Long Center and why you should look into it, too. If you’re interested, check out the recs and submit an application today!
Ray Loyd of Austin Asian American Film Festival
Just when you thought Austin had enough film festivals, think again, because if you haven’t discovered AAAFF now’s the time.
This group champions Asian and Asian American stories through the arts and hosts year-round screenings (indoor and outdoor), as well as their flagship festival event (now open for 2022 submissions!). We got to host a movie premiere on our H-E-B Terrace last year that we won’t soon forget, and our chat with Ray Loyd can lead you down an excellent path of film discovery.
Nakia is an Austin triple threat — performer, advocate, and creator. When he’s not setting a mood at the beginning of our Good Vibes Only episodes, he’s probably making moves advocating for local artists with Austin Texas Musicians, or headlining an iconic music venue.
Nakia is certainly an Austinite to keep your eye on. Perhaps you also caught his performance at The Drop-In last summer, saw his Local Legend feature with Matthew McConaughey, or recognize him from NBC’s The Voice.
Q&A with Las Cafeteras
While not actual Austinites, they sure made us party like Austinites, so that makes the members of this Chicano band from East LA close enough in our book.
The energy that Las Cafeteras brought to the stage was insane, and it sure blew our troubles away for one night. Look out for more good times like this at the LC soon, and work their Oaxaca Love Song No2 into your playlist asap.
Donavin Velez of Underground Roller Disco
A surprisingly great thing to come out of the last two years? Underground Roller Disco nights on the H-E-B Terrace. With Donavin Velez DJing at the helm, we’ve loved seeing this fun-loving pop-up blossom.
If you’re in need of some straight up good times, consider joining in on the next meet-up.
Bobby Garza, LC’s VP of Programs and Community Outreach
Bobby’s always quick with an artist rec, so we said, “give us a playlist we can really sink our teeth into!”
This choose-your-own-adventure mixtape he created really set a tone and had us exploring new musical horizons for days. So, we leave you with this and hope you get a kick out of it, too.
That’s it for now — who do you want to meet next? Drop us a line @longcenter and let us know!
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.