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Arts in Austin: The Long Center

By Elisha Neubauer

Built by the community, for the community, the Long Center has been called Austin's home for the creative arts. Its stunning architectural design and 2,400 seat grand concert hall make it the perfect place to host notable local, regional, national, and international artists and performances. The Long Center attempts to foster creativity and collaboration between artists, as well as foster appreciation of the arts across the Greater Austin region. Since its opening in 2008, the Long Center has included local talent in over 80% of its productions and provided a home for several first class resident companies.

Although Austin is known for its music, the Long Center offers eclectic and diverse programming to ensure that people of all ages and interests will be able to enjoy their visit. Heath Riddles of the Long Center's marketing team says, "We try to make sure that each season has something for everyone. We have the whole spectrum: Broadway, comedy, speakers series, and of course, live music." Theater programming for children is also included in the yearly programs in order to cultivate arts appreciation in the area's youth.

The staff at the Long Center fully understands the importance of supporting local entertainment. "Austin has such a vibrant and eclectic arts and entertainment community. Live music is of course one of the things that helped put us on the map nationally and even globally. Not only does it make economic sense to support the arts and entertainment in Austin, but it just makes for a better, stronger, and more well-rounded community," says Riddles. The Long Center itself is no stranger to community support, as its inception was made possible by the citizens and voters of Austin. The project, which cost approximately $77 million, was funded by more than 4,600 donations from cultural arts supporters in the area.

Military discounts and ticket deals such as Under $20, Under $40, and eyeGO are all unique ways that the Long Center works to bring the arts to a broader audience. The eyeGO to the Arts program allows students to purchase live performance tickets for $5.00, which is considerably cheaper than the average movie ticket, in the hopes of encouraging today's youth to view the productions as a viable entertainment option. The Long Center is also partnering with local schools and offering arts education outreach programs in an effort to promote early interest in the creative and cultural arts. The Long Center continues to find innovative ways to make every visitor feel comfortable and welcome within their doors, whether it is their first experience with the arts or their hundred and first.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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