Photo: UCSB Arts & Lectures
By Rebecca Horrigan
UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures announced the lineup for their 2019-2020 season at the Rockwood, Santa Barbara Women’s Club on Tuesday.
Under the shade of sprawling oak trees, with the sweet sounds of local bluegrass band Salty Strings setting the carefree summer vibes, sponsors, university representatives, media, and supporters merrily buzzed about in anticipation of next year’s mix of notable thinkers, speakers, and performers.
SoulCal Smokehouse kept palates perked with their tasty soul food and barbecue delights, while cool libations from Draughtsman Aleworks and local wineries flowed steadily.
Sated and ready for the main course, guests took a seat in the ballroom to watch as the Arts & Lectures staff played a video showcasing the vibrant acts for this year and handed out fresh catalogs to eager hands. The passionate employees also took the time to present on each of the categories in the catalog, noting new additions and personal favorites. Each series proves that there truly is something for everyone.
The Dance category features everything from the Lyon Opera Ballet to the Dance Theatre of Harlem; Word of Mouth features everyone from David Brooks to America Ferrara, and the new History Matters series includes two Harvard Historians, Jill Lepore and Henry Louis Gates Jr. All historians involved in the series will be meeting with students in UCSB’s History Department as well.
This dynamic season of more than 60 events, includes 11 Santa Barbara debuts, two world premieres, a U.S. premiere and a west coast premiere of renowned works, as well as several events that will only be seen at Arts & Lectures.
Returning well-loved acts include Pink Martini’s joy-infused holiday show, multiple Grammy award-winner, mandolin virtuoso, charismatic host of acclaimed radio program, Live From Here, Chris Thile, and the beautifully refined Danish String Quartet.
New highlights include Broadway star Kristen Chenowith, the original Glinda in Wicked, womens rights advocate, attorney, and professor, Anita Hill, who is presenting at Campbell Hall in conjunction with UCSB’s Feminist Future’s Initiative. James Beard Award Winning cookbook authors and chefs, Samin Nosrat and Yotam Ottolenghi will also bring their foodie expertise to the stage this year.
I was lucky enough to catch the effervescent jazz ensemble Sammy Miller & the Congregation last year at SoHO and am thrilled to see their brand of “joyful jazz” brought to a larger audience this February.
A variety of prime venues, from UCSB to downtown Santa Barbara, will host these incredible acts, and culture lovers should stay tuned for additional events announced throughout the season.
“What you see on stage is only the beginning,” Arts & Lectures’s Miller McCune Executive Director Celesta M. Billeci said. “Arts & Lectures is all ages, all over town, all the time – under the banner of Access for All. We hope you’ll check out our Thematic Learning Initiative, ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! and the many educational activities taking place throughout the year.”
The season kicks off on Tuesday, October 1, with a talk from best-selling author of the memoir Educated, Tara Westover at the Granada Theater.
For discounts of up to 25 percent, great seats, early notice about newly added events and free ticket exchanges, patrons can subscribe to any of Arts & Lectures’ 12 fixed series packages: Dance, Marquee, Roots, Word of Mouth, Jazz, Chamber Arts, History Matters, Global Sounds, Hear & Now, Up Close & Musical, Speaking with Pico and Family Fun. Another option is the popular Create Your Own series: Purchase tickets to six or more events and save 10 percent off single ticket prices.
Series subscriptions are on sale now and can be purchased by phone at (805) 893-3535, online or in person at the Arts & Lectures Ticket Office in Building 402 (parking lot 12 off Mesa Road) on the UCSB campus. For a season brochure, an order form or more information, call or visit the A&L Ticket Office or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu. Single tickets go on sale Saturday, August 10.