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Celebrating 50 Years!

By Anne Wilde

This dynamic women’s auxiliary group is passionate about the Lobero and views our historic theater as a community treasure.

This year, The Lobero Theatre Associates celebrate their 50th Anniversary! Their mission is to aid the Lobero financially in whatever way they can to help keep this architectural and cultural jewel vibrant for future generations. Associates can also be found at the theater in a variety of other roles, such as volunteering for a committee, ushering, decorating for an event, or hosting a luncheon. Established in 1972, The Associates have raised more than a million and a half dollars for the Lobero over the last five decades.

It’s thanks to their stellar partnership that patrons can enjoy improvements to the Lobero’s courtyard, a new ticketing system, the Steinway grand piano, an updated ladies’ restroom, beautiful holiday décor on the esplanade, replacement of our historic theater’s beloved curtain, youth outreach programs, and so much more. The entire arts community benefits from the work of these ladies and we are very grateful for their passion and dedication. The Associates hold a Board Seat on the Lobero Theatre Foundation and the Associates’ President attends meetings.

The group, with a current membership of approximately 50 ladies, welcomed 5 new members this year. The fun, diverse group of women ranges from moms with young children to grandmothers, working women, and retirees. These fabulous fundraisers are always open to new members who would like to help make a positive impact on the Lobero. Two levels of membership are available – Active Member, if one has time to attend monthly meetings, or Mini Member, who is involved more casually.

Either way, all members have access to exciting top notch social events, such as the lovely annual signature Holiday Tea each winter, the Hats Off Luncheon each spring, the New Membership Luncheon, The Associates’ Night Out, and more. The events are hosted around town at various venues, such as Margerum, Santa Barbara Yacht Club, La Cumbra Country Club, Santa Barbara Club, Fieldside, the Lobero’s courtyard, or at the home of a generous individual on a committee who offers to host a luncheon.

In lieu of hosting their traditional “Hat’s Off Luncheon” fundraiser this year, The Associates organized “Curtain Call” – a festive speakeasy soirée on the Lobero stage itself, in April 2022, to raise money to replace our historic theater’s beloved curtain. Guests donning Gatsbyesque garb enjoyed artisanal craft cocktails and tasty hors d’oeurvres, while being serenaded by enchanting soloist Jana McIntrye, accompanied on the piano by Kostis Protopapas, Artistic Director of Opera Santa Barbara. In the end, co-chairs Janet McCann and Danielle McCaffery successfully achieved their goal to host a lucrative fundraiser, surprise fellow Associate Hope Kelly with an endearing covert tribute, provide first-rate entertainment, and have a blast.

To celebrate their 50th Anniversary, The Associates organized an exclusive delectable wine pairing dinner upstairs at Margerum Tasting Room (at Hotel Californian) on June 22nd, which sold out and was met with great enthusiasm. The upcoming Associates’ Holiday Tea, co-chaired by Leslie Haight and Emily Johnson, is planned for December 6th at the Santa Barbara Club, featuring sweet and savory English Tea delicacies, classic champagne flutes, and esteemed Swedish pianist Fredrik Rosvall tickling the ivories. What a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season and introduce new guests to this delightful annual tradition!

For more information on how to become a member, please contact Sheila Caldwell at the Lobero Theatre Foundation.

We hope you enjoy a peek into the Lobero archives.

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