Looking for reasons to be optimistic about the future? Look no further than the UCSB Arts & Lectures new season announcement. The list is packed with game-changers, mind-expanders, and life-enhancers from the likes of Wynton Marsalis, John Leguizamo, Joyce DiDonato, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
If all this seems too good, or at least too soon, to be true, rest assured that Arts & Lectures had your safety and that of all the artists in mind when planning the strategy that’s described in their brochure. Perhaps you’ve already been to the West Wind Drive-In for one of the films in Arts & Lectures’ ingenious answer to the challenge of relocating their iconic summer films series. The same level of creative thinking has gone into the design of a season that will fulfill high expectations without creating unrealistic goals for returning to the city’s live performance venues.
With the exception of the socially distanced summer film series, there’s nothing scheduled in person until February 1, 2021, when pianist Yuja Wang and cellist Gautier Capuçon will take the stage at The Granada Theatre for what is sure to be one of the most emotional homecomings in Santa Barbara history. Beginning with that highly anticipated opening night, Arts & Lectures plans to unleash a winter and spring roster of live events that rivals for richness any of the organization’s previous full seasons.
Have you been cooking more thanks to the constraints of the pandemic? Then you’ll want to be at the Granada on March 14 when pioneering chef José Andrés arrives to speak on “Changing the World through the Power of Food.” In the mood for the sheer ebullience of live music? Check out Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Granada on February 3. And for the supreme spiritual uplift that only dance can provide, consider the two-night stand of the Joffrey Ballet on March 9 and 10.
If all this seems a long way off right now, never fear. There will be Arts & Lectures virtual events throughout the fall to keep us thinking in new and hopeful ways as we await the return to live. See artsandlectures.ucsb.edu for more.