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Historic Santa Barbara is now bathed in blue as several of the city’s landmark buildings stand in solidarity with medical staff and essential workers.

Iconic buildings taking part in the #LightItBlue campaign include the Sea Center on Stearns Wharf, Arlington Theater Tower, Mission Tower, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital, and our very own Lobero Theatre.

This effort was in participation with the international Light It Blue campaign, which invites businesses, venues, and communities to turn blue in support of the frontline medical staff and essential workers who are confronting the COVID-19 pandemic in hospitals, grocery stores, and other essential businesses around the world.

The #LightItBlue campaign was birthed in the United Kingdom in late March when a flurry of historic buildings began to swap out their incandescent lights for indigo. The sudden illumination stood as a testament to the community’s gratitude towards those who’ve been thrust onto the front lines of the COVID-19 public health crisis. For more information on the #LightItBlue campaign, visit

Inspired by the worldwide response and seeking a way to contribute to the Santa Barbara and Goleta communities, local event production companies, art collaborators, and organizations banded together to make this idea a reality. The aforementioned buildings were the first in Santa Barbara to be lit up in blue as participants in the campaign, with others expected to follow suit. This project in unity and togetherness will keep our community aglow through the end of May.

“By bringing some light to our beautiful, iconic architecture during this challenging time, we can in some small way say thank you and pay tribute to our dedicated health care workers.” – Lani Ballonoff, SPARK Creative Events

The community has been encouraged to celebrate and admire the illuminated buildings in classic quarantine fashion-that is, appreciating from afar, avoiding group gatherings, and continuing to practice social distancing. Project organizers have emphasized that while they want to the Santa Barbara community to engage with this act of recognition, their utmost concern is for public safety and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Mayor Cathy Murillo said, “I’m proud of the collaboration between our community artists and art organizations to honor the hard work and sacrifice of health care professionals and frontline employees. Thank you for providing the community with a lighting display to bring us all together.”

Since the Lobero Theatre’s genesis in 1873, it has sought to support and unify its surrounding community. From acting as an earthquake shelter in 1925 to providing light during these dark times in 2020, Lobero staff and patrons make it their mission to stand together to serve the 805 and beyond.

Photos by David Bazemore Photography. Lighting Design by Spark Creative Events, a locally-owned production company specializing in lighting, decor, and audio/visual components and installations.

Keep an eye on our social media platforms for upcoming projects and events that connect our community.