UCSB Arts & Lectures on Monday will launch the Campaign for Arts & Lectures, the first major fundraising campaign in the history of the program.
The comprehensive initiative seeks to raise $20 million over five years. Funds from the campaign will be split evenly between a permanent endowment and annual operating costs.
“We’re excited to invite the community to join us in Arts & Lectures’ first fundraising campaign,” said Celesta Billeci, the Miller McCune executive director of UCSB Arts & Lectures. “A&L presents more high-caliber events, with fewer staff, a smaller budget and more meaningful educational outreach, than nearly any other university presenting program in the country. We couldn’t do it without the support we receive from the Santa Barbara community.
“Annual support will enable us to sustain and expand our schedule of performances and lectures. The permanent endowment we’re establishing will ensure programmatic excellence now and into the future.”
The Campaign for Arts & Lectures, an initiative of the Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, has already received substantial commitments, according to Billeci.
“We invite you to join us, make a philanthropic investment in the cultural life of Santa Barbara and safeguard Arts & Lectures for generations to come,” she said.
“Arts and Lectures is a unique cultural resource shared by the Santa Barbara community and the University in all disciplines,” UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said. “It brings us together to celebrate innovation, imagination and knowledge and helps us reach beyond the familiar. This campaign will help ensure a vibrant future for Arts & Lectures.”
The public phase of the Campaign kicks off with UCSB Arts & Lectures Winter Festival, two phenomenal weeks of back-to-back events from Feb. 25 to March 10. Celebrating the diversity of the Arts & Lectures program, the festival includes something for everyone, ranging from free events to private receptions for A&L’s benefactors.
The festival opens with a talk by influential string theorist, bestselling author and NOVA host Brian Greene on Monday at UCSB Campbell Hall and culminates with a performance by Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with legendary Wynton Marsalis on Sunday, March 10 at the Granada Theatre.
A distinguished group of luminary artists and thinkers who’ve made past appearances with Arts & Lectures has agreed to be part of A&L’s Honorary Campaign Committee. They include performance artist Laurie Anderson, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, violinist Sarah Chang, composer Philip Glass, choreographer Bill Jones, New York City Ballet artistic director Peter Martins, historian David McCullough, journalist Bill Moyers, poet Mary Oliver, author Amy Tan and journalist Fareed Zakaria.
Arts & Lectures is essential to the lifeblood of the community, according to Dan Burnham, co-chair of the Council for Arts & Lectures, the program’s advisory board.
“I can’t imagine not having Arts and Lectures in our lives,” he said. “Santa Barbara would still be pretty, but think how dull it would be! None of this, though, happens without broad community support. I urge you to make a gift to sustain and perpetuate this important program for many years to come.”
Fellow Council for Arts & Lectures co-chair Sara Miller McCune agrees: Arts & Lectures “is truly a gift to the community and it keeps on giving,” she said. “The quality is unequaled anywhere in North America. ... We believe that [A&L] is a program which is needed in this community for more than the foreseeable future. It has to be for the long-term. It has to be for our children and their children.”
— Karna Hughes is a senior writer and publicist for UCSB Arts & Lectures.