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The LONG CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
The Joe R. and Teresa Lonzano Long Center for the Performing Arts opened in Austin, Texas in March 2008. The center contains a 2,442-seat proscenium theater and a 299-seat black box theater. While the first year of the center was busy with presenting activity and rentals, key stakeholders felt that there was not a clear path to meet the high expectations for the center and its overall sustainability. In 2010 WolfBrown and Webb Management Services came together to facilitate the creation of a strategic plan for the Long Center for the Performing Arts. The goal of this process was to assist with future development and operations of the organization as well as allowing it to remain artistically, financially, and organizationally successful.


The strategic planning process took place over a six-month period. The overall goal was to develop an organization and stakeholder-wide consensus on the mission, values, goals and objections of the organization. To help with the consensus process there were several rounds of data collection, analysis, planning sessions, presentations, and stakeholder interviews. With these in place a road map was created to put these desires into action. After the collection of this data the consultants created two possible directions that the organization could take. One option was to become more community focused by providing more diverse programming. The other option would be to work solely as a rental house, this would be more promising financially but retract on the founding goal of enhancing the community. After a three month process the Long Center staff, FRC Staff, and board members decided on a less ambitious version of the first option.

After reaching an agreement on the new direction for the organization a new mission was created:

The Long Center is Austin's Creative Home, providing performing artists and organizations in the Greater Austin region with facilities and services that foster excellence, encourage originality, and promote collaboration. To broaden the appreciation and enhance enjoyment of the cultural arts, the Long Center connects diverse audiences to significant local, regional, national and international artists and performances in a world‐class venue.

With the new mission and direction in place, the consultants were able to analyze the data they gathered to form a strategic plan. By becoming more involved with the Austin community the Long Center hoped to build upon their public value as well as expand their funding community. To reach these new goals the strategic plan made suggestions on how the organization should proceed in the realms of: programming, education, marketing and communications, operations, fundraising, staffing governance, finance, working with partners, and physical plant.

Consultants: Joe Kluger, Duncann Webb, Alan Brown