CAMA at 100: The Centennial Season of Santa Barbara’s oldest arts organization
Beautiful music, exciting music, profound music—Community Arts Music Association has been bringing this gift to Santa Barbara for 100 years.
Born in the dark days following World War I, flourishing during the roaring twenties, and eluding demise during the great depression, CAMA has endured through a story of struggle, survival, and triumph as compelling as the world-renowned music and performers it presents.
CAMA’s roots date to the 1919 Civic Music Committee and the 1921 Orchestra Committee (Music Branch) of the Community Arts Association (CAA). Though they differed in approach, the two organizations were in accord in wanting to promote and provide the very best in classical music for Santa Barbara. It was the CAA that, in 1922, took on the monumental task of re-building Jose Lobero’s declining Opera House into the Lobero Theatre that we know today. Both organizations continued their work side-by-side until 1926 when the CAA Music Branch took on the work of the Civic Music Committee. In 1941, the Music Branch incorporated as a separate entity, CAMA, and continued the work begun in 1919.
CAMA’s presentation of live classical music performances featuring world-renowned artists and orchestras over the past 100 years is a testament to its founders and successors who have upheld their commitment to enriching Santa Barbara’s cultural life, and those who have supported this legacy. Today, CAMA continues to enrich the lives of the Santa Barbara region and its visitors to experience and enjoy classical music through live performances and educational outreach for future generations.