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Spotlight to Shine Bright on Performing Arts Icons at 2nd Annual Granada Theatre Legends Gala

The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts is honored to announce its second annual Granada Theatre Legends Gala, to be held Friday, Sept. 16, 2016.

This stunning event is one of Santa Barbara’s most impressive fundraisers and features inspiring honorees, extraordinary talent and dedicated patrons in support of Santa Barbara’s cultural community.

The Legends Gala honors individuals and organizations that have had a significant impact on the performing arts, and this year SBCPA is proud to recognize Irma and Morrie Jurkowitz, UCSB Arts & Lectures and Christopher Lloyd as its 2016 Legends. 

Irma and Morrie Jurkowitz are one-time owners of The Granada Theatre and tower. Irma and Morrie are two of six Legacy Donors to the theater’s restoration campaign; they were instrumental in the formation of the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts; and they established the Jurkowitz Center for Community Engagement in honor of their daughter and grandson, Debbie and Michael Nesbit, who loved the performing arts and music education.

Through the Jurkowitz Center, The Granada Theatre reaches beyond the venue, providing important cultural resources for the Santa Barbara region. The Jurkowitz Center is a true center of community energy and creativity, hosting events and programs for all audiences of the Santa Barbara region, particularly youth, teachers, veterans and seniors. 

UCSB Arts & Lectures has educated, entertained and inspired audiences for more than half a century and counting.

Showcasing the work of world-class musicians, dancers, writers, cultural icons and maver­icks of all varieties, UCSB Arts & Lectures includes leaders sharing ideas on topics ranging from food security to history, from human rights to the splendors and the challenges of planet earth.

“Arts & Lectures is a stunning example of the great good that generous citizens working together can accomplish with their community,” said David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning historian and Arts & Lectures lecturer.

Widely respected as one of the nation’s premier university-based arts and cultural presenting programs, Arts & Lectures brings live performing artists and the leading thinkers of our day to the stage, leaving audiences enchanted, provoked and always engaged.

Christopher Lloyd is a long-time Santa Barbara resident who is being honored for his outstanding body of acting work, including the famous Back to the Future trilogy as well as his roles as Jim Ignatowski on the television series Taxi, Uncle Fester in the film The Addams Family (1991) and its sequel Addams Family Values (1993) and Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). 

Lloyd has won three Primetime Emmy Awards and an Independent Spirit Award, along with a nomination for two Saturn Awards and two Daytime Emmy Awards.

Additionally, Lloyd has participated as a mentor in the Visiting Artist Studio, a program through the Jurkowitz Center for Community Engagement that teaches high school students how to master their artistic craft through first-hand experience with performing arts professionals.

The Legends Gala is an exceptional black-tie affair set in the stunning Granada Theatre, where guests enjoy an exclusive on-stage experience. 

A gourmet three-course dinner by Duo Catering & Events featuring local fare, wines and signature cocktails will be coupled with entertainment by stunning local and national talent, including Jack Stewart and Leila Drake of State Street Ballet, the Santa Barbara Choral Society, members of the Santa Barbara Symphony and Opera Santa Barbara. 

The excitement hits a new octave as the winner of the opportunity drawing is revealed for the SeaDream Mediterranean Yacht Cruise. The luxurious seven-day holiday for two features a $1,000 air travel voucher, all-inclusive executive suite accommodations, 5-star gourmet cuisine and outstanding service valued at just under $20,000.

The raffle tickets are $1,000 each, with only 100 tickets available for purchase, legendary odds with a 1:100 chance of winning! Winners need not be present to win, and the tickets are open to the public to purchase.

The Legends Gala is co-chaired by local luminaries Anne Towbes and Gretchen Lieff, supported by a dynamic Legends Gala Committee, including Meg Burnham, Annette Caleel, Jane Dailey, Mary Tonetti Dorra, Brooks and Kate Firestone, Audrey Hillman Fisher, Melissa Gough, Patricia Gregory, Roberta Griffin, Susan Gulbransen, Pamela Dillman Haskell, Jill Levinson, Marla McNally Phillips, Nina Phillips, Joan Rutkowski, Leslie Schneiderman, Stephanie Sokolove, Kirsten Springer and Carol Wilburn. 

The Granada Theatre has been a prominent landmark in Santa Barbara’s thriving music and performing arts landscape for more than 90 years.

All proceeds from the Legends Gala will help to ensure that this state-of-the-art venue continues to actively engage the community through diverse live performance and filmed entertainment programming.

In addition, funds raised from the gala will assist the SBCPA in its effort to provide best-practices business and marketing support services for The Granada Theatre’s eight resident companies and its Historic Theatre District partners.

For more information about tables and additional sponsorship opportunities for this exciting event, contact Hayley Firestone Jessup, vice president for advancement, at 805.899.3000 or [email protected]. For more information, visit

Carrie Cooper is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts.


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