Free Eclipse viewing party at the Long Center, plus other downtown events featuring iconic guests
AUSTIN, TX – [January 10, 2024] – In celebration of the first total solar eclipse in Austin, TX since 1397, the Simons Foundation, as part of its In the Path of Totality initiative and in partnership with Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, the Long Center for the Performing Arts and Fusebox, are thrilled to announce three days of eclipse-related programming from April 7- 9. Thousands of Austinites will gather at Waterloo Greenway and the Long Center to commemorate the April 8 celestial event.
The festivities kick-off at Waterloo Greenway on Sunday, April 7 at 6pm, as writer Maria Popova (The Marginalian) brings The Universe in Verse to the Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park. The show – a charitable celebration of science and the wonder of reality through poetry and storytelling – will feature a cast of beloved musicians, writers, artists, and other public figures, reading poems that speak to the science of eclipses. “We’re thrilled to bring Maria and her special guests to the Moody Amphitheater stage,” says Donald Miller, Waterloo Greenway’s director of programming. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event.” The event also marks the launch of the 20th Anniversary of the Fusebox Festival which runs through April 14th. Tickets are available now.
Programming continues on April 8, the day of the eclipse, with a viewing party at the Long Center. Doors open at 11 am in anticipation of totality, occurring in Austin at 1:36 pm local time. The Simons Foundation and the team at the Long Center have programmed 4 hours of entertainment, centered around the total eclipse and hosted by Radiolab’s Molly Webster. The Radiolab team will be recording a special episode from the Long Center, and the day will feature music by composer and Austin legend Graham Reynolds. Acclaimed writers Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman will lead guests through a visual storytelling experience.
Custom, eclipse-themed beer from local Austin breweries, as well as food and other refreshments, will be served until the event concludes at 3 pm. Guests will be provided with eclipse viewing glasses and opportunities to engage with astronomers and celebrate in community. More information and tickets, free to the public, are available now at LongCenter.org. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the Simons Foundation to provide a central point for our Austin neighbors and families to come together for a free event and witness this exciting moment,” says Bobby Garza, Chief Program Officer at the Long Center.
The next morning, April 9, Radiolab’s Molly Webster will lead children and families through a reading of her book, Little Black Hole – a space-themed story about belonging and the power of friendship. The event is part of Waterloo Greenway’s Morning Glories series, a free weekly early childhood education program that aims to foster a lifelong love of learning, community, and the outdoors through music and dance, cultural learning, and nature play.
The three-day-long programming is part of the Simons Foundation’s In the Path of Totality initiative. The initiative exists to provide funding and resources to organizations all along the eclipse’s path. From Texas to Maine, the foundation is helping ensure that everyone on the path has an unforgettable experience. In the Path of Totality includes support for museums, art, and cultural centers, downtown alliances, festivals and more.
“This initiative is about celebrating that the eclipse is happening where you are, in this moment, and how special and rare that is,” says Ivvet Modinou, vice president of Science, Society & Culture at the Simons Foundation. “The idea is that the powerful experience of seeing an eclipse can provide onramps to lifelong relationships with science for people who may not identify as science enthusiasts.”
“Given Austin’s rich history of convening people – whether around music, culture, art or science – it is the perfect place for us to headquarter our day-of eclipse efforts,” Modinou continued.
The Long Center day-of-eclipse event will feature scientists from the Simons Foundation and the University of Texas at Austin, including Spanish-speaking scientists. The event will also feature LightSound devices that convert the variation of light intensity during a solar eclipse into sound and offer an accessible experience for individuals who are blind or low-vision.
ABOUT SIMONS FOUNDATION
The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Since its founding in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons, the foundation has been a champion of basic science through grant funding, support for research and public engagement. The Simons Foundation’s Science, Society & Culture division exists to provide opportunities for people to forge a connection to science, whether for the first time or a lifetime. More about the In the Path of Totality initiative at inthepathoftotality.org.
ABOUT WATERLOO GREENWAY
Waterloo Greenway Conservancy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create and maintain an extraordinary urban park system and a restored Waller Creek, in partnership with the City of Austin, for the benefit of all. The Conservancy renews the natural environment, promotes play, health and wellness, economic vitality and mobility, and engages the community through outreach, education, cultural events, and the arts.
ABOUT THE LONG CENTER
Uniquely facing the city skyline, the Long Center is an iconic cultural hub and community gathering place – a reflection of Austin’s eclectic and creative soul. Built in 2008 and with a local history that spans many more generations, the Long Center is dedicated to fueling community through creativity, elevating Austin’s creative sector, and connecting communities near and far through creative discovery. For more information about the Long Center, please visit thelongcenter.org or follow on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn.
Fusebox was founded by a group of artists in 2005 who wanted to create a robust exchange of ideas across different art forms and geography, with a particular interest in the live experience. Today Fusebox partners with organizations all over the world ranging from small grassroots organizations to major art centers, and produces two festivals (The Fusebox Festival & Live in America) along with year-round programming and events.