Kayoko Everhart (Carmen).

Gail Arnold

Kayoko Everhart (Carmen).

Arts & Lectures Donors Mingle with Compañía Nacional de Danza Dancers

Dancers Also Did Classes for School Groups and Community Members

Santa Barbara was fortunate to be one of only three cities on the U.S. tour of Spain’s national dance company, Compañía Nacional de Danza de España (CND), for its production of Johan Inger’s contemporary retelling of the classic Carmen. After the opening night ballet performance on March 6 at the Granada Theatre, major donors of UCSB’s Arts & Lectures gathered upstairs for a lovely soiree with the dancers.

Arts & Lectures Executive Director Celesta Billeci welcomed the donors and introduced the dancers. Kayoko Everhart, who enchanted the audience with her portrayal of Carmen, shared how she was born in Japan but moved to Tacoma, WA at age seven, which is when she began to dance. Her career lead her to San Francisco, Tulsa, and then Madrid, where she has been for nearly 14 years. After a short Q&A, the dancers dined while guests mingled and enjoyed food and wine as well.

In addition to doing two Carmen performances and the donor reception, CND dancers also taught a couple of dance classes at UCSB, another at Santa Barbara High School, and in conjunction with Gustafson Dance, presented yet another class to the general public.

Arts & Lectures frequently arranges for its visiting artists and speakers to participate in community education and outreach activities. For K-12 students, all types of artists and speakers visit schools for assemblies, workshops and clinics. Through its Arts Adventures Program. children attend performances at the Granada Theatre. Since launching in 2016, this program has featured astronaut Scott Kelly, Bessie Award-winning tap troupe Dorrance Dance, Grammy-winning La Santa Cecilia, and highly acclaimed Pilobolus Dance Theatre.

For UCSB students, Arts & Lectures offers a plethora of opportunities. About half of the visiting artists and speakers participate on campus in Q&A sessions, master classes, workshops, or other activities. Recent examples include a conversation with former Vice President Joe Biden, a reception with actor George Takei, and a playwriting workshop with novelist Zadie Smith. Also, students get reduced price or free tickets to many public events.

For the general public, there are conversations with the speakers and artists outside of their main events. Dance troupes do Q&A’s after the performances, masterclasses that are open to the public, and community dance classes.

For the Latino community, the ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! Program offers five performances annually in each of three locations: Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, and Guadalupe. This program is a partnership with Isla Vista School, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center and the Marjorie Luke Theatre.

For more information about Arts and Lectures generally, go to For more info about their outreach and education programs, click on the Community tab.

If viewing this from a mobile device, click on “Desktop site” in top right for more photos. Send invites to

Members of the Compañía Nacional de Danza de España.

By Gail Arnold

Susan Thompson and Sponsor Sanford Winery Winemaker and General Manager Steve Fennell.

Kevin Riley and Pamela Walsh.

Daniel and Mandy Hochman.

By Gail Arnold

From Sponsor Mission Wealth Jenna Rogers (L) and Amanda Thomas (R) with Jay Williams.

By Gail Arnold

Members of the Compañía Nacional de Danza de España.

By Gail Arnold

Guests mingle in Founders Room.

Members of the Compañía Nacional de Danza de España.

By Gail Arnold

Kayoko Everhart (Carmen).

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Family Sues Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office For Wrongful Death

Five deputies shot Bryan Carreño 20 times.

County Race for Auditor-Controller Turns Ugly

An unexpected bloodbath erupts between Jen Christensen and Betsy Schaffer.

Gun Restraining Order Used 20 Times in Santa Barbara County

Only Los Angeles County used the order more frequently.

Four Westside Candidates Vie for City Council Seat

The election for a District 3 representative will be held on June 5.

City Extends Permit Fast-Track Program

Storefront vacancies have dropped 2 percent since program launched in August.