UCSB Arts & Lectures Announces its 65th Anniversary Season Featuring More Than 47 Events

UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L), the Central Coast’s premier arts presenting organization, announces its 65th Anniversary 2024-2025 season of live events.

Series subscriptions go on sale Saturday, June 8 at 10 a.m. Single tickets go on sale Friday, August 2 at 10 a.m. UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) offers a wide range of phenomenal cultural and artistic experiences in 2024-2025 – from fascinating talks by today’s thought leaders to command performances by some of the world’s premier dance companies, actors and musicians – at venues from UCSB to downtown Santa Barbara and beyond.

The 2024-2025 season includes an exciting mix of old friends, rising stars and new discoveries. Miller McCune Executive Director Celesta M. Billeci says:

“65 years of Arts & Lectures is more than a milestone. It’s a time to reflect on the organization’s storied past and celebrate with our friends and supporters. It’s also a time to look ahead and imagine what the next 65 years can bring. We have learned so much, not only from the fabulous, star-studded array of performers, creators, Nobel Prize winners and civic leaders who have graced our stages but also from the community that has come together around our programming and the heroes who have stepped up and contributed to support our efforts.”

       “We see evidence of the program’s impact everywhere we look. From the thousands of delighted students who attend our Arts Adventures to the thoughtful, intelligent questions asked by the community members who participate in the talkbacks we stage with artists, the image of our impact shines bright. Now more than ever, the programming that Arts & Lectures presents – adventurous and imaginative events that push boundaries and reveal sources of hope both new and old  – is not only welcome but necessary.”

Additional events, including the Justice for All programming initiative, Thematic Learning Initiative and more, will be announced throughout the season.


       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’ 11 fixed series packages: Dance; Great Performances A; Great Performances B; Great Performances Suite; Word of Mouth; Global Sounds; Jazz; Roots; Hear & Now; Speaking with Pico and Vanguard. Another option is the popular Create Your Own series: Purchase tickets to four or more events and save 10 percent off single ticket prices.

       Series subscriptions go on sale Sat., June 8 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased by phone at (805) 893-3535, online or in person at the Arts & Lectures Ticket Office at Campbell Hall (parking lot 12 off Mesa Road; walk-up hours are Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) 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 Fri., Aug. 2 at 10 a.m.


DANCE series – SAVE 20%

       For its 65th anniversary season, Arts & Lectures has booked one of its richest and most ambitious Dance series ever, with six fabulous productions spread out over five months. It all begins with the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan (Sat., Nov. 2 / 7:30 p.m. / Granada Theatre). Mixing folk, classical and electronic music, Cloud Gate’s 13 Tongues is a colorful and evocative journey into the night markets and fantastic imagination of Taiwan. Dorrance Dance returns with The Nutcracker Suite (Thu., Dec. 5 / 7:30 p.m. / Arlington Theatre), a tap adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic with music by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. American icon and dance pioneer Twyla Tharp celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of her company, Twyla Tharp Dance (Tue., Feb. 11 / 7:30 p.m. / Granada Theatre) with works set to Beethoven and Philip Glass, with the latter an Arts & Lectures co-commission. Batsheva Dance Company’s MOMO reveals the depth and intensity of choreographer Ohad Naharin’s vision (Tue., Feb. 25 / 7:30 p.m. / Granada Theatre). Choreographer and performer Akram Khan dances alongside six other renowned practitioners of classical South Asian dance forms and seven live musicians in GIGENIS, the generation of the Earth (Thu., Apr. 10 / 7:30 p.m. / Granada Theatre). UCSB Arts & Lectures is one of only four organizations in the world presenting this major work by a legendary artist. The Dance series concludes with two different programs by perennial favorites Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on two consecutive nights including one night (Apr 16) featuring founder Alvin Ailey’s beloved masterpiece Revelations (Tue., Apr. 15 and Wed., Apr. 16 / 7:30 p.m. / Granada Theatre).


       Great Performances A series opens with a very special event, Itzhak Perlman and Friends (Thu., Nov. 7 / 7 p.m. / Granada Theatre) featuring the great violinist along with two distinguished pianists – Emanuel Ax and Jean-Yves Thibaudet – plus the Juilliard String Quartet. Soprano Julia Bullock appears as soloist with the period instrument specialists Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Tue., Jan. 21 / 7 p.m. / Lobero Theatre) in a concert devoted to the best of Baroque music. Arts & Lectures favorites the Danish String Quartet return (Fri., Jan. 31 / 7 p.m. / Campbell Hall) with an eclectic program mixing 20th century masterpieces by Shostakovich and Stravinsky with their original arrangements of Nordic folk tunes and medieval Irish melodies. Great Performances A series wraps with an unprecedented two-piano collaboration between two of the most celebrated artists in the classical world today, Yuja Wang and Víkingur Ólafsson performing a robust program from Schubert to Pärt to Rachmaninoff (Fri., Feb. 28 / 7 p.m. / Granada Theatre).


       Great Performances B series commences with soprano Julia Bullock in an exciting new production from the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) produced in collaboration with Ojai Music Festival. HARAWI, a song cycle by Olivier Messiaen, reaches new heights of expressive power through the addition of dancers Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber, who will perform a pas de deux choreographed to Messiaen’s score for voice and piano (Fri., Oct. 4 / 8 p.m. / Campbell Hall). The London Philharmonic Orchestra with Principal Conductor Edward Gardner brings beloved violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja for a program featuring Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky (Sat., Oct. 12 / 7 p.m. / Granada Theatre). Enduring cultural hero and longtime friend of Arts & Lectures Yo-Yo Ma presents Reflections in Words and Music, a solo evening sharing his favorite pieces and stories that’s sure to be unforgettable (Sat., Apr. 5 / 7 p.m. / Arlington Theatre). Great Performances B concludes with  sibling duo Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello, back by popular demand for an intimate recital of late Romantic and modern chamber music (Thu., May 29 / 7 p.m. / Campbell Hall).


       For increased savings, combine the Great Performances A and Great Performances B series into the Great Performances Suite (eight events) and the curated subscription discount increases from 20% to 25%! The Great Performances Suite includes tickets for all eight events in Great Performances A and B series for one low price.

WORD OF MOUTH series – SAVE 20%

       The Word of Mouth series brings today’s most inspiring thinkers to address the moment’s essential topics. Khan Academy founder Salman Khan will discuss the positive potential of Artificial Intelligence for education. His latest book is Brave New Words: How AI Will Revolutionize Education (and Why That’s a Good Thing) (Sat., Oct. 5 / 4 p.m. (note special time) / Arlington Theatre). Nobel Prize-winner and co-creator of CRISPR technology Dr. Jennifer Doudna returns with the latest innovations from her Genomics Institute to present CRISPR Gene Editing and the Future of Human Health, co-presented with the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara (Tue., Oct. 22 / 7:30 p.m. / Granada Theatre). Bestselling novelist and essayist Anne Lamott found lasting love later in life and she’s coming with a new book, Somehow: Thoughts on Love, to discuss the ways love can keep us going in a painful world (Wed., Nov. 13 / 7:30 p.m. / Arlington Theatre). Father Gregory Boyle, the charismatic founder of Homeboy Industries, shares his thoughts on the values of belonging and his new book Cherished Belonging: The Healing Power of Love in Divided Times (Tue., Dec. 3 / 7:30 p.m. / Campbell Hall).


       The Global Sounds series starts with a dynamic celebration of the music of Mexico, featuring the queen of mariachi and ranchera, Aida Cuevas, in Canta a Juan Gabriel 40 años después (Sun., Oct. 20 / 7 p.m. / Arlington Theatre). Malian rockstar Habib Koité and his group Bamada fuse African polyrhythms with the propulsive beats of rock, blues, pop and Latin jazz (Wed., Oct. 30 / 8 p.m. / Campbell Hall). Each member of the DoosTrio – Kayhan Kalhor, Wu Man and Sandeep Das – has thrilled Arts & Lectures audiences as part of other groups like Silkroad Ensemble and Brooklyn Rider. Together as DoosTrio they present a new collaboration that highlights the ancient traditions of Iran, China and India in a distinctly 21st century program (Wed., Feb. 19 / 8 p.m. / Campbell Hall).

JAZZ series – SAVE 20%

       Join us for a spirited 65th anniversary year opening night party with the Jazz series and the jazz orchestra meets funk band meets jam-based collective Snarky Puppy (Tue., Oct. 1 / 7:30 p.m. / Arlington Theatre). Saxophonist and composer Lakecia Benjamin and her group Phoenix are riding high on a pair of Grammy nominations and a reputation for sizzling live sets (Fri., Feb. 7 / 8 p.m. / Campbell Hall). Next up, one-named keyboard wiz Hiromi brings her eclectic quartet Sonicwonder performing compositions that run the gamut from Mozart to metal and beyond (Fri., Apr. 25 / 8 p.m. / Campbell Hall). The grandmaster of all things jazz, Wynton Marsalis returns with a 13-piece orchestra to back the fascinating silent film, LOUIS, that depicts the early boyhood of Louis Armstrong amid the bordellos and speakeasies of New Orleans’ Storyville (Sat., May 17 / 7:30 p.m. / Arlington Theatre).

ROOTS series – SAVE 20 %

       Arts & Lectures’ Roots series kicks off with an exceptional double bill featuring the legendary soul/gospel/R&B pioneer, civil rights icon, National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient and Kennedy Center honoree Mavis Staples and rising stars The War and Treaty (Tue., Oct. 8 / 7:30 p.m. / Arlington Theatre). Fans of contemporary bluegrass won’t want to miss the Grammy Award-winners for Best Bluegrass Album in 2022 and 2023 Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway (Fri., Dec. 4 / 8 p.m. / Campbell Hall). For those who yearn to rock, we salute you with the guitar boss sisters and Grammy Award-winners for Best Contemporary Blues Album Larkin Poe (Sun., Apr. 27 / 7 p.m. / Arlington Theatre).

HEAR & NOW series – SAVE 20%

       Arts & Lectures presents the stars of tomorrow today in the all-Santa Barbara-debut series Hear & Now. Pianist Alexander Malofeev, who charmed the judges at the Tchaikovsky Competition and the crowds at Tanglewood, will perform Schubert, Liszt, Scriabin and more (Fri., Jan. 24 / 7 p.m. / Hahn Hall). Two distinguished contemporary quintets – Imani Winds and Boston Brass – come together for a night of wide-ranging music including some international favorites from J.S. Bach to Paquito D’Rivera and Lalo Shifrin (Sun., Feb. 2 / 4 p.m. / Hahn Hall). Owls are a string quartet with a twist – doubling the cellos rather than the violins. They’ll perform a wide-ranging program of works from Chick Corea to Terry Riley (Fri., Apr. 11 / 7 p.m. / Hahn Hall). Distinctive violin virtuoso Tessa Lark caps the series with an impressive program of classical compositions and bluegrass-influenced originals (Tue., May 20 / 7 p.m. / Hahn Hall).


       A&L is thrilled to continue to present the Speaking with Pico series with beloved host Pico Iyer. An interviewer of unparalleled nuance and depth, Pico consistently delivers searching conversations with the moment’s most electrifying figures. He’ll first appear in conversation with Yung Pueblo, aka Diego Perez, an author and poet whose guidance in matters of self-knowledge and radical self-acceptance has earned him millions of followers on social media and made him a No. 1 New York Times bestseller (Tue., Oct. 29 / 7:30 p.m. / Campbell Hall). Next, he talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental novelist Richard Powers, who brings a career’s worth of experience and a new novel set among floating future colonies in the Pacific Ocean (Sun., Feb. 23 / 7:30 p.m. / Campbell Hall). Finally, Pico will explore how pioneering performance artist Marina Abramović has pushed the boundaries of contemporary art to now rank among the most influential living artists (Tue., May 6 / 7:30 p.m. / Lobero Theatre).

VANGUARD series – SAVE 25%

      In the Vanguard series, we invite individuals and ensembles that explore the fringes and frontiers of contemporary performance. Fight Night by Belgian theater collective Ontroerend Goed employs digital voting devices to involve the audience in an intense and surprising experience that will change the way you think about democracy (Tue., Oct. 15 / 8 p.m. / Campbell Hall). Lil Buck is back, joined by his partner in jookin’, Emmy Award-winner Jon Boogz, to develop and perform an original dance piece especially for UCSB Arts & Lectures (Thu., Oct. 24 / 8 p.m. / Campbell Hall). Yaron Lifschitz and Circa present Humans 2.0, the latest episode in their ongoing exploration of the outer limits of acrobatic choreography (Tue., Apr. 8 / 7:30 p.m. / Lobero Theatre).


Create Your Own Series of Four or More Events and Save 10%

Subscribers get priority access to events like these!

       The following individual events can be purchased through the Create Your Own Series option, added on to a fixed series package purchase (no discount), or purchased separately when single tickets go on sale on Fri., Aug 2.

  • Ask any food-obsessed friend, An Evening with Yotam Ottolenghi is not to be missed, especially when the evening includes a live cooking demonstration (Mon., Oct. 14 / 7:30 p.m. / Granada Theatre)

  • Disney’s ENCANTO brought the music of Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) to the younger set. This sing-along film concert with live musicians on stage offers a chance for fans of all ages to come dressed as their favorite characters and sing along with the movie (Thu., Nov. 14 / 6:30 p.m. / Arlington Theatre)

  • Pink Martini’s swanky holiday shows have become a tradition with Arts & Lectures audiences. This year they are back with standout singer China Forbes (Tue., Dec. 17 / 7:30 p.m. / Arlington Theatre)

  • When it comes to razor-sharp New York humor, Fran Lebowitz is in a class of her own (Sat., Jan. 25 / 7:30 p.m. / Campbell hall)

  • Fans of contemporary circus, get ready to rumble when Cirque Kalabanté brings Afrique en Cirque with live music to town (Thu., Feb. 6 / 7:30 p.m. / Lobero Theatre)

  • Arts & Lectures knows how much our audience enjoys engaging with the top thinkers of the day, and we have two of them coming in 2025. Niall Ferguson will explain why we should still study history (Sat., Feb. 8  / 4 p.m. / Granada Theatre)

  • Andrew Ross Sorkin, co-creator of Billions for Showtime, author of Too Big To Fail, and host of the New York Times’ DealBook Summit will fill us in on the latest developments in international politics and finance (Sat., Mar. 1 / 7:30 p.m. / Campbell Hall)

  • In our 65th year, it gives us great pleasure to welcome the joyful noise of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary (Tue., Apr. 1 / 8 p.m. / Campbell Hall)


       Want it all? You got it. Get The Works and save a whopping 30% off tickets to every event in the season brochure. That’s all of the best tickets at the best price.


       For maximum flexibility, the CREATE YOUR OWN series lets patrons hand-pick their favorite shows. Purchase any four or more events and save 10% on each ticket. 


       Donors and subscribers get early access to the best seats in the house, before single tickets go on sale. Save 10% on Create Your Own series and up to 25% on Curated series tickets. Get fee-free ticket exchanges up to two business days before the event. Can’t make it? No problem, we’ll help you find another amazing event to attend. Forgot to order something? Subscribers can add discounted series tickets to their order through August 3, even if the order’s already been processed.

       Subscriber orders are filled in the order received. Subscribe early for the best available seating. Thu., Aug. 1 is the last day subscribers get first dibs on this season’s events before single tickets go on sale Fri., Aug. 2 at 10 a.m.

       An Arts & Lectures subscription is an investment in personal enrichment that also enriches the community. It’s a commitment to make time for inspiring conversations, magical experiences and a sense of community.


       The 2024-2025 season marks UCSB Arts & Lectures’ 65th year of bringing unique, world-class performances, films and lectures to Central Coast and campus audiences. With a mission to “educate, entertain and inspire,” Arts & Lectures is the largest performing arts and public lectures presenter between San Francisco and Los Angeles, beloved by audiences for its award-winning, diverse and innovative programming that deeply enriches lives and extends the intellectual life of the community beyond the classroom. 

       Arts & Lectures’ award-winning educational outreach programs provide rare opportunities for students to meet and learn from visiting artists and speakers. In the 2024-25 season, most of the speakers and performers will participate in master classes, lecture-demonstrations, open rehearsals and classroom discussions at UCSB and in the community.

       Through ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara!, Arts & Lectures’ nationally-recognized program, A&L provides free public performances featuring international talents and arts education to underserved populations throughout Santa Barbara County. In 2011 the program received the prestigious APAP/MetLife Arts Access Award for “engaging underserved communities.”

       For more information about Arts & Lectures, call (805) 893-3535 or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu. 


Written by artsandlec

UCSB Arts & Lectures was founded in 1959 and is the largest and most influential arts and lectures organization between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Arts & Lectures annually presents more than a hundred public events, from critically acclaimed concerts and dance performances by world-renowned artists to talks by groundbreaking authors and film series at UCSB and Santa Barbara-area venues. Learn more at artsandlectures.ucsb.edu

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