Pixel Tracker

Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 8:11 am | Fair 42º


Léni Fé Bland, Santa Barbara Arts Patron and Philanthropist, Dead at Age 99

Léni Fé Bland, a patron of the arts who was one of Santa Barbara’s best known and most prolific philanthropists, died Sunday evening at the age of 99.

Léni Fé Bland, at an October fundraiser for the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, was passionate about music and philanthropy. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk file photo)
Léni Fé Bland, at an October fundraiser for the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, was passionate about music and philanthropy. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk file photo)

Fé Bland, a petite, silver-haired woman whose passions were music and philanthropy, was at home with family when she passed away at about 6 p.m., according to a close friend who spoke with Noozhawk.

A native of England, Fé Bland was one of Santa Barbara’s most dedicated philanthropists, giving millions of dollars to a variety of causes, especially those involving music and the arts.

Fé Bland grew up in a family in which music was highly valued, and that background guided her through most of her life.

“A classically trained vocal artist, she was once invited to perform for a group of blind people,” according to her biography on the Santa Barbara Foundation’s website. “Her performance was enthusiastically received, and thus was born a passion for helping others through music.”

Fé Bland, who would have turned 100 on Jan. 10, eventually established her own foundation, which over the past 14 years provided financial support for more than 1,000 students.

Last year, wishing to cut back on the administration of her scholarships and allow more time for the personal connection with the students, Fé Bland established the Léni Fé Bland Fund.

“We lost a great lady today,” Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation, told Noozhawk. “​Léni Fé​ Bland was not only a generous patron of the arts, but also a kind, beautiful soul who loved nothing more than supporting and encouraging the next generation of talented and aspiring musicians. She was deservedly admired and loved by so many.

“​Léni will be terribly missed, but her legacy will keep her in our hearts forever.”

In October, Fé Bland was on hand for the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission’s annual Viva La Bayou benefit at which the mission’s​ Léni Fé Bland Award was bestowed on fellow nonagenarian and philanthropist Betty Rosness. Rosness died Nov. 16 at age 90.

Funeral arrangements were pending late Sunday.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >