Arts & Lectures Hosts Season Reveal Party

Donors and Sponsors Hear About Upcoming Season

Mindy Kraines, Dorothy Largay, and Judy Wainwright Mitchell.
Photo Credit: Gail Arnold

On June 12, UCSB Arts & Lectures held its exciting Season Reveal Party at the recently reopened Coral Casino, where it revealed much of the lineup for the coming season, an impressive mix of more than 65 dance, music, theater and speaker events.

About 250 Producers Circle members, sponsors and their guests mingled on the Ballroom Terrace, where a mix of warm fog and bright sunshine enveloped the scenic venue at the ocean’s edge. In light of this being A&L’s 60th season, two classic cars, Dana Newquist’s 63 Studebaker Avanti and Orwin and Alma Middleton’s 55 Ford Thunderbird, were on display to illustrate the era when A&L was founded.

In the Ballroom, guests were welcomed for the program by Miller McCune Executive Director Celesta Billeci, who shared her excitement for the upcoming season and thanked the many supporters, whom she called the mighty engine of Arts & Lectures.

A&L Council Co-chair Kath Lavidge remarked on how A&L produces programs that feed our cultural and intellectual souls and rival what major cities on both coasts offer. She shared how in addition to their performances, many of the artists and speakers participate in community thematic learning programs, master classes with high school and university students, and performances and workshops with children. On average, one out of two artists and speakers meet with students. This past season, more than 10,000 K-12 students participated in workshops, clinics, and assemblies throughout the county. Moreover, nearly 100,000 people attended public outreach events.

Distribution of the new catalog followed and Billeci shared some of the highlights of the more than 65 events, including Madeleine Albright, Yo-Yo Ma (for a speaking engagement), Annie Leibovitz, Wynton Marsalis, Joan Baez, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Alan Cumming, and The Joffrey Ballet.

Donors and sponsors are critical to UCSB’s operations since ticket sales and institutional support cover less than half of its costs. A nice perk of being a major donor is getting invited not just to the Season Reveal Party, but to intimate receptions and dinners with visiting artists and speakers throughout the season. Some even get to host these events in their homes.

For a preview of the upcoming season, see Charles Donelan’s story here.

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