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Arts Mentorship Program, SB Dance Arts ‘Raise the Barre’ for New Performance Center

The Arts Mentorship Program will present Raise the Barre will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. May 2 (First Thursday) at The Pan, 18 E. Cota St. in Santa Barbara.

Enjoy an evening of cocktails, Kayla wine, comfort food, a photo booth, cabaret and aerial dancers, a silent auction and the sounds of DJ Gavin Roy.

All proceeds will support the new 9,000-square-foot Performing Arts Center at 531 E. Cota St., shared with partner Santa Barbara Dance Arts.

Sponsors Kalyra, Pay Junction, the Santa Barbara Independent and The Pan are all coming together to make this event a huge success for this beloved arts organization.

A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible. General tickets, which include two drink tickets per person, comfort food and entertainment, are $75 or $140 per couple/$85 or $150 per couple at the door. VIP tickets, which include a VIP lounge, private table and unlimited drinks, are $250.

The Arts Mentorship Program and Santa Barbara Dance Arts are casualties of the recent gentrification of the Funk Zone and have been forced to find a new location after eight years in their space at 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez in the Vercal Building.

The Arts Mentorship Program needs to raise $450,000 to make this dream a reality and has already raised $330,000 in a few short months.

The Arts Mentorship Program provides vital support to local artists, scholarships for low-income students, and administrates the Student Dance Companies with partner Santa Barbara Dance Arts, a 16-year veteran of the local performing arts scene. They have resided in the Funk Zone’s Vercal Building at 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez since 2004 under the direction of Alana Tillim and Steven Lovelace.

In 2004, the Vercal Building owner and the now defunct Redevelopment Agency courted the burgeoning organization into the building and the RDA funded AMP and SBDA almost $200,000 to help makeover the ailing building. SBDA’s current space is 8,200 square feet, containing five studios, and has been the training ground for more than 500 young people each year.

It is also the residence for many of Santa Barbara’s beloved institutions, including Kindermusik, DeMarcos Fashion, Ballet Santa Barbara and Boxtales, and provides vital space for the National Charity League, Everybody Dance Now, the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and more.

Like many Funk Zone property owners, the landlord at 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez recently decided to repurpose the building and has asked Dance Arts to leave mid-lease. After a yearlong search, Dance Arts and AMP prevailed with a new 8,900-square-foot space at 531 E. Cota St., blocks from downtown and adjacent to Santa Barbara Junior High, Santa Barbara High School and Girls Inc.

The forced relocation has forged a revamped partnership and legally codified affiliation agreement between the Arts Mentorship Program and Santa Barbara Dance Arts to offer the community the maximum benefit in this new state-of-the-art performing arts center. AMP and Dance Arts center will include five spacious studios, office space, a homework lounge, cafe, The Dance Store, and a black box theater for performances.

Together, AMP and SBDA have mounted a capital campaign titled “Building Dreams from the Ground Up.” They need to raise almost $500,000 by the end of the calendar year and have already raised over $330,000 from private donations and the Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts.

Additionally, the community has rallied together with Katz-Moses and Calles Construction doing the entire job at cost, with owners Jonathan Katz Moses and Nick Calles donating all of their time and hours. Architect Karl Kras and Studio Engineers have also generously donated incalculable hours. This will give Santa Barbara a building that is double in value for half the price.

From supporting artists in Solstice, to Fiesta, to serving at risk-youth in Transition House, and to offering pre-professional training in contemporary dance, SBDA and AMP wish to continue their mission and work.

Raise the Barre is the perfect way for the community to support a good cause and have a good time in the process. What makes this event unique is the creative energy that the dancers and community will bring and we know it will be an energetic party! We are thrilled to have auction items from local favorites: Cava, Bouchon, Kalyra Winery, Tropical Affair, Aqua Nail Bar, and many more.

Click here to purchase tickets. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation. Professional tradesmen and volunteers who want to help with the project, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Alana Tillim is the owner and managing director of Santa Barbara Dance Arts.

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