Granada Theatre Legends Gala
Legends honoree and singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins with presenter Anne Towbes at the Granada Theatre Legends Gala. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)
  • Legends honoree and singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins with presenter Anne Towbes at the Granada Theatre Legends Gala.
  • Santa Barbara Symphony Executive Director Kevin Mauvin, left, Gaja Hubbard and Maestro Nir Kabaretti.
  • Legends Gala committee co-chairs Joan Rutkowski, left, and Stephanie Sokolove.
  • Lilian Crossman, left, Legends honoree Sara Miller McCune and presenter Celesta Belleci.
  • Caren Rager, Chrisman executive director and president of the Santa Barbara Center for Performing Arts, with Jim Litchman.
  • Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree and Brooks Firestone.
  • Master of ceremonies Andrew Firestone with his wife, Ivana Bozilovic.
  • Dennis Patrick, left, with his son, Marine pilot 1st Lt. Austin Patrick, who is stationed in San Diego, and his son’s girlfriend, Rachel Ross.
  • Jerry and Bobbie Rubin.
  • Judi and Harry Weisbart.
  • Pianist David Potter performs at the pre-party.
  • Baritone Lee Poulis and mezzo soprano Audrey Babcock perform at the gala.
  • Andrew Firestone orchestrates a lively auction.
  • One of the centerpieces for the gala.

iSociety: Rochelle Rose

The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts announced its 2018 Legends — singer/songwriter/artist Kenny Loggins, philanthropist Sara Miller McCune and the Santa Barbara Symphony — who were honored last month at the fourth annual Granada Theatre Legends Gala. The gala honors individuals and organizations that have had a significant impact on the performing arts.

The event was a black-tie affair and was set at The Granada Theatre, where guests enjoyed an exclusive on-stage dining experience and a variety of live entertainment. Selections from “Kismet” were performed by mezzo soprano Audrey Babcock and baritone Lee Poulis accompanied by pianist Kostis Protopapas.

Later, “Conviction of the Heart” was performed by awardee Loggins and Teen Sing choir members. After a welcome by board chairman Palmer Jackson, Andrew Firestone took the baton as master of ceremonies.

Major sponsors included SAGE Publishing, Meg and Dan Burnham, Sarah and Roger Chrisman, Kate and Brooks Firestone, Audrey and Tim Fisher, Lillian Lovelace, Charles and Merryl Snow Zegar, Tracy and Michael Bollag, Irman and Morrie Jurkowitz, Bobbie and Gerry Rubin, Joan and Geoffrey Rutkowski, Anne Towbes, Stephanie and Jim Sokolove, UC Santa Barbara and many more.

Wines were provided by Andrew Murray, Fess Parker Winery, Rusack and Westerly Wines.

The Legends Gala was co-chaired by Joan Rutkowski and Stephanie Sokolove, who were supported by committee members Meg Burnham, Annette Caleel, Belle Hahn Cohen, Haley Conklin, Bobbi Didier, Mary Tonetti Dorra, Melody DuPrau, Brooks Firestone, Audrey Hillman Fisher, Frank Goss, Erin Graffey, Roberta Griffin, Susan Gulbransen, Pamela Dillman Haskell, Irma Jurkowitz, Gretchen Lieff, Nina Phillips, Leanne Schlinger, Anne Sides, Kirsten Springer, Anne Towbes, Carol Wilburn and Joann Younger.

Granada Theatre Legends Gala
Lilian Crossman, left, Legends honoree Sara Miller McCune and presenter Celesta Belleci. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

In program notes, Rutkowski and Sokolove said, “We remember all those who have shared the stage of The Granada Theatre, delighting and thrilling audiences since 1924.”

Celesta Billeci bestowed the Legends award to McCune, founder and executive chairman of SAGE Publishing. A passionate supporter of the arts, McCune served on the board of the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts from 1998 to 2009, including as chief financial officer throughout the restoration of the Granada and its reopening in 2008.

The Santa Barbara Symphony was presented it Legends award by Rutowski. For 65 years, the symphony has inspired and advanced the community by providing world-class orchestral music to all, as well as music education to more than 10,000 students each year throughout Santa Barbara County.

Towbes presented the Legends award to Grammy-winning musician and songwriter Loggins. His philanthropic commitments include Unity Shoppe of Santa Barbara, which started with a single donation of toys as the spokesman for Santa Barbara County’s Toys for Tots program in 1987.

Proceeds from the Legends Gala support The Granada Theatre, which continues to actively engage the community through diverse live performance and filmed entertainment programming.

The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, a privately-funded 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1983, provides production, sales and administrative support to arts organizations from greater Santa Barbara.

Purchased by the SBCPA in 2003, and restored and reopened in 2008, The Granada Theatre has state-of-the-art electrical, sound, lighting and fly systems, large and up-to-date dressing rooms as well as contemporary audience amenities.

Click here for more information about The Granada Theatre, or contact Hayley Firestone Jessup, vice president for advancement, at 805.899.3000 or

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.