Léni Fé Bland Trust Gives $1 Million Gift to the SBCPA Endowment“>
Léni Fé Bland Trust Gives $1 Million Gift to the
Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts’ Endowment

Santa Barbara, CA. June, 2016 ––The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts (SBCPA) is honored to announce that the Léni Fé Bland Trust has made a $1 million grant to the SBCPA endowment. This gift will help the SBCPA continue to provide below market rental rates to resident companies at the Granada Theatre, including CAMA, Music Academy of the West, Opera Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Symphony, State Street Ballet and UCSB Arts & Lectures.

“Léni was delighted with the restored Granada Theatre,” shares Art Gaudi, Trustee of the Léni Fé Bland Trust. “She was truly pleased that performing arts organizations throughout Santa Barbara finally had a first rate home.”

Léni Fé Bland’s philanthropic contributions to the Santa Barbara community were tremendous, and enriched the lives of many. Her civic and board affiliations included the Granada Restoration Project, CAMA, Santa Barbara Symphony, Music Academy of the West, Transition House, Ensemble Theatre, Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, and founding member of the State Street Ballet, to name a few.

In 1992, Fé Bland established The Léni Fé Bland Foundation, which has supported over 1,500 scholarships to help young and talented musicians in a field where financial support is often limited. Many of these musicians are now playing for major orchestras in the United States and beyond. In 1997, she was named the Santa Barbara/Ventura Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropist of the Year. She was also named the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Woman of the Year in 2005 and the Santa Barbara Distinguished Citizen of the Year in 2006.

“Léni’s generosity of support and spirit to so many Santa Barbara’s arts organizations was, and continues to be remarkable,” shared Dr. Craig Springer, President of the SBCPA and Chrisman Executive Director of The Granada Theatre. “She was an integral part of The Granada Theatre Restoration Project, and has been among our most generous supporters. We are honored and grateful that she would choose the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts as a beneficiary of her estate.”

Unlike many performing arts centers around the world, the SBCPA does not receive ongoing financial support from local or state government. Each year, the organization benefits from private funding and community support to maintain the level of excellence in programming and operations that the local audiences and the theater’s eight resident companies expect. A contribution at any level helps the SBCPA help support the very best in the performing arts from around the world for the entire Santa Barbara community and region.

For information about how to support the SBCPA and additional sponsorship opportunities for upcoming performances, please contact Hayley Firestone Jessup, Vice President of Advancement, at 805-899-3000 or For more information, please visit

About The Granada Theatre
The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts (SBCPA), a privately-funded 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1983, is dedicated to providing best-in-class production, sales and administrative support to arts organizations from throughout the Santa Barbara region, including its Historic Theatre District partners (Lobero Theatre and the New Vic Theatre) as well as its eight resident companies (CAMA, Music Academy of the West, Opera Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Choral Society, Santa Barbara Symphony, State Street Ballet, Theater League and UCSB Arts & Lectures).
The SBCPA’s most visible service is operation of The Granada Theatre. Purchased by the SBCPA in 2003, restored and reopened in 2008, The Granada Theatre has state-of-the-art electrical, sound, lighting and fly systems, large and up-to-date dressing rooms, as well as contemporary audience amenities. By providing a world-class venue with skilled house management staff, production staff, marketing and ticketing services staff, the SBCPA is making it possible for many of Santa Barbara’s finest performing arts organizations to present their programs with the highest level of contemporary production support and audience comfort. For more information please visit

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