The Long Center
Beutel is back in town
The new hire at the Long Center is an old friend: Paul Beutel, whose 35-year involvement in our city's cultural scene earned him a place in the Austin Arts Hall of Fame's inaugural class, has signed on as managing director for the performing arts center.
The job brings Beutel back to the capital city after three years in Houston, where he was Miller Outdoor Theatre's first artistic director and, since January, also its managing director. He might have stayed longer in his hometown if not for "an offer I couldn't refuse," Beutel told the Houston Chronicle, adding that the Long Center job "was too exciting to turn down." Beutel will be in charge of marketing, operations, and finance and will take over programming duties from Tammie Ward, who left her position as programming director in August to pursue a position with a Broadway tour production company. Ward had been with the center 19 months.
This won't be the first time Beutel will be working for a local performing arts center in its early years; he was manager of publicity and promotion at the UT Performing Arts Center when it opened in the early Eighties. And it wasn't but a decade or so after the Paramount Theatre's initial renovation that Beutel began his 18-year stint working for the historic venue, many years of which he spent as executive director. Beutel will join the Long Center staff Sept. 15 but will split his time between Austin and Houston until early November, when Miller completes its season.
The news of Beutel's hiring came hot on the heels of other good news for the Long Center: a $1 million pledge from Freescale Semiconductor to support cultural performances and children's programming over the next four years. For kids, that includes sponsorship of the Long Center Children's Series, with the new Freescale Fund underwriting 2,500 to 3,500 tickets each year for children and families who can't afford to see shows. On the cultural side, Freescale will sponsor the Austin Area Heritage Council-Long Center performance of The Last Year in the Life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as Devised by Waterwell: A Rock Operetta on Jan. 17 & 19 and the Long Center-Austin Asian Cultural Center's Asian American Festival in May. For more information, visit www.thelongcenter.org.