Find some Austin culture with this round-up of Austin’s cultural institutions.

From performing arts organizations to art museums, there is plenty of Austin culture to go around! Check out our favorites and get out there and enjoy some art!


Ballet Austin

austin culture ballet austin

Photo courtesy of @balletaustin on Instagram.

Located in the heart of the Second Street District, Ballet Austin has been delighting audiences since 1956. They are one of the 15 largest professional ballet companies in the country. In addition to performances, they have an Academy where dancers of all ages can practice their craft. One of the highlights of their season is their annual Nutcracker performance where the role of Mother Ginger is played by a rotating cast of local Austin celebrities! 


Austin Opera

The Austin Opera was founded in 1986 as Austin Lyric Opera. They want audiences to fall in love with opera and welcome patrons to dress however they’d like. They also offer free pre-opera lectures an hour before every performance. A lecturer will give a free 30 minute talk on the opera you are about to see. The Austin Opera stages unique operas such as Silent Night, which depicts a rare moment of piece between enemies on the battlefield of World War I. Silent Night comes to the Long Center in January. 


The Austin Symphony

The Austin Symphony is the oldest Austin performing arts group. A part of Austin culture since 1911, the symphony’s goal is to provide entertainment to all ages. They have fun performances for the whole family like their Halloween Children’s Concert. This fun spooky Halloween-themed concert is full of delightfully chilling music for the young and the young-at-heart. During the summer you can enjoy Concerts in the Park each Sunday on the lawn of the Long Center.


The Long Center


The Long Center is the performance home of most of the biggest performers in Austin culture. You can also catch touring performances from some of the biggest names in comedy and music. Take a look at their events schedule to find something you’ll love! The terrace in front of the Long Center provides a spectacular view of downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake. It’s also home to free community events such as Bubblepalooza and Trailer Food Tuesday. You can grab grub from local food trucks while enjoying free musical performances! 


The Contemporary Austin

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“The insistence on the importance of others, and a persistent compulsion to look out or through or beyond both oneself and even the work itself, shows up again and again in [Stockholder’s] RELATIONAL AESTHETICS. From the basic premise of this show – that things only exist in relationship to other things, to her use of assists and props, the material choice of mesh (to see through the work), or to use platforms to view the work – always returns the viewer to the initial impulse: to look out there.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thanks to Tatiana Ryckman at @glasstire for the fantastic article on Jessica Stockholder’s show Relational Aesthetics, now on view at the Jones Center on Congress Avenue. Read the full article through the link in our bio. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ IMAGE: Jessica Stockholder, A Freezer, 2015. Installation view, The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center, Austin, Texas, 2018. Photograph by Colin Doyle.

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This home to the arts portion of Austin Culture is in the heart of downtown on Congress Avenue. Their goal is to bring modern, contemporary art to Austinites, including families. They even have Yoga classes, art classes, and lecture series for anyone who wants to deepen their appreciation for art! You can find their full list of events here. They also offer art classes and lecture series for those who want to deepen their art knowledge. Their second location, Laguna Gloria, is a 14 acre campus on the shores of Lake Austin that is currently undergoing a renovation that will add a café, visitor center, gift shop and more!


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