ACG turns thirty-one this year and there is so many amazing things coming. Here is a letter from our Executive Director, Matt Hinsley, expressing the gratitude we share for our community and exciting things happening in the next coming months. We could not be where we are today without the incredible support we receive from you, our community! Learn more about supporting ACG here. 

It was twenty-five years ago this week that I arrived in Austin. 

I could not have imagined at the time that in the next quarter-century this community, and this ACG team, would make an education system that would help create guitar programs in public schools across America, that we’d develop a braille lifelong learning resource that would be used internationally, that our team would pioneer supportive, caring, daily music education in the juvenile justice system, that we’d partner with dozens of care-providers to use music as a way to bring restorative healing to people facing isolation or trauma, or that over time we would grow to be one of the most prolific presenters of international artistry on the classical guitar of all time.

Last week I spent an hour on the phone with a gentleman in a rural retirement home who is learning to play guitar for the first time using our braille learning system. He’s eighty-one, he lost his sight four years ago, and he decided to learn guitar. He was calling because he had used the audio guides to learn our first level – about five pieces of music – and wanted to know what to do next. When I told him there were seven more levels, and about forty-five more pieces to learn he got so excited, I wish everyone in the world could have experienced the joy and anticipation in his voice.

This week school started. We’re helping programs near and far connect with qualified teachers in our network, we’re buying and loaning dozens of guitars for new and growing programs, and beginning instruction and training in four Texas juvenile justice centers. 

Next week we are releasing our fall season. With in person and online options we’re so excited to share music and spectacular artistry with our local and international community. So much beauty is on the horizon.

I also have some really, really big news. 

Austin Classical Guitar is building our first home. In partnership with Alamo Drafthouse, we’re creating a guitar-inspired listening room in Hyde Park with multi-media recording and broadcast capabilities. Our new home will be a welcoming center for creativity, learning, and togetherness.

So adding to the list of things I could not have possibly imagined in August 1996, is that this fall, on the twentieth anniversary of the start of our Education program, we’ll be opening a central Austin concert venue and center for creative collaboration and learning inspired by classical guitar. In the weeks to come, we’ll share news of our new venue, and of our streaming and in-person concerts for the upcoming season. 

I am profoundly grateful to friends like you in our community, who have joined us on this journey of hope and inspiration, and I look forward to celebrating kindness and beauty with you in the months ahead.


Matt Hinsley, Executive Director