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On Its 10th Anniversary, Austin's Long Center Aspires To Increase Access To The Arts

Gabriel C. Pérez
The Long Center, which opened in 2008 in Austin, contains some architectural elements from the old Lester E. Palmer Auditorium, including the iconic "ring "beam."

The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Centeropened in 2008 as the performing arts home for the Austin SymphonyBallet Austin and Austin Opera. Ten years later, it is asking its audiences – and people who don't attend shows there – what they think of the center and how it can do better.

Credit Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT
President and CEO Cory Baker says one of the Long Center's goals for the next 10 years is to make the campus more vibrant and more welcoming for more people.

Cory Baker, the Long Center's president and CEO, says the venue worked with Austin-based ad agency Archer Malmo to dig more deeply into what people think and to use that information to guide the center's next 10 years and beyond.

Baker says the feedback was partly positive, partly negative, but all helpful.

"There wasn't a lot of clarity about what is the Long Center," Baker says. "Who are we, what are we for, and who are we for." She also acknowledges there can be a "house on the hill" feel to the Long Center campus that can be off-putting to some potential visitors.

Baker says part of the Long Center's vision emerging from the process is that "all Austinites deserve access to world-class arts and culture."

Listen to the interview to hear more about what respondents told the Long Center and how those insights will shape its future programming and outreach.

Jennifer Stayton is the local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on X @jenstayton.
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