Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 7:12 pm | Fair 66º


Santa Barbara Bowl American Classic Campaign Receives $2 Million Matching Grant

Longtime supporters, the Dreier family, make the first gift to qualify with $500,000 in unrestricted funding

With the record-breaking 75th anniversary concert season coming to a close, the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Board of Directors announced Thursday at the Bowl’s annual End of Season Celebration that an anonymous foundation has issued a one-to-one $2 million matching challenge grant to the American Classic Campaign for the renovation and restoration of the historic 1936 WPA Santa Barbara Bowl.

The challenge requires the American Classic Campaign to raise $2 million in new and increased gifts by Dec. 31, 2013, which will release an additional $2 million from the anonymous donor, achieving a total of $4 million. All campaign contributions received before the deadline will qualify for this match which, when completed, will position the campaign within $1.5 million of the overall $27 million goal to complete Facility Master Plan renovations.

The board also announced that longtime Bowl supporters Chad and Ginni Dreier have made the first gift to qualify for the match — $500,000 in capital unrestricted funds.

“We are incredibly moved by the generosity of the anonymous donor and the Dreier family’s response to the challenge,” campaign chairman Scott Brittingham said at the season-end wrap-up gathering. “Chad and Ginni Dreier are visionary and dedicated donors who have been incredibly generous to the Santa Barbara Bowl. They kicked off the campaign in 2004 with our first challenge match and seven-figure gift. The completion of the Facility Master Plan is in sight, but we’re not done. This new challenge match comes at a critical time as we work to raise the final $5 million for the American Classic Campaign.”

The Towbes Family Café, a gift of Anne and Michael Towbes, was dedicated at the same gathering. The Towbes gift, made in 2010, assisted in completing a previous $1 million challenge grant.

“Over the last seven years we have raised $21.5 million from over 600 donors in support of the renovation of our beloved Bowl,” Bowl Foundation Board President Paul Doré said. “Anne and Michael Towbes’ gift came at a critical time, and we are proud to have their name on such an important amenity at the Bowl. The Towbes Family Café is the main gathering spot on the plaza.”

New contoured bench seating was unveiled earlier this year, replacing 2,200 seats throughout key sections of the amphitheater — and just in time. The 75th anniversary concert season saw more concert attendees than ever before, more than 120,000.

This month, work will commence on the second phase of The Overlook, an entirely new plaza high above the Bowl. This new phase will add permanent restrooms and additional food and beverage concessions to The Overlook Plaza, providing a convenient pre- and mid-concert gathering place to audiences sitting in the upper sections of the Bowl. The campaign will complete the final phase of audience seating as well as the Lower Plaza and Dreier Administration Building and box office as the final funds are raised.

“The community realized a dream 75 years ago when the Bowl was built as a gathering place for Old Spanish Days,” Doré said. “We continue that dream today as we update the Bowl with state-of-the-art production facilities and modern audience amenities that fit into the Bowl’s natural environment and original Craftsman-style architecture. We are deeply grateful for the incredible opportunity this new challenge-match gift provides. The Bowl is part of what makes Santa Barbara a culturally vibrant, unique city and the generosity of donors like the anonymous foundation and the Dreier and Towbes families make it possible to preserve the historic amphitheater for future generations.”

When the Facility Master Plan is complete, the Bowl will have raised and invested more than $38 million in infrastructure, renovation and restoration. Before 2004, $11 million in early gifts were received, providing the board with the impetus to launch the American Classic Campaign to complete the plan.

“The Bowl’s renewal is a phenomenal gift to the community from both those important early donors who gave us the confidence to move forward, and our 600-plus donors to the American Classic Campaign,” Doré said.

The Bowl Foundation has opportunities to support the American Classic Campaign for all levels of interest.

» Major Gifts. For information on major gifts including donor benefit programs, contact the development office at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.308.9782.

» Name-A-Seat (www.name-a-seat.com). Commemorate, celebrate and honor friends, family and favorite moments at Santa Barbara’s beloved Bowl with a small plaque and share your seat’s story on the Bowl’s community Web site.

For more information on the American Classic Campaign for the renovation and restoration of the Santa Barbara Bowl, contact Development Director Beth Dolinsek Skidmore at 805.962.7411 x115 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Eric Shiflett is the program director for the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation.

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