Established in 1938, the Lobero Theatre Foundation has a stewardship role to maintain and operate the historic Lobero Theatre as a performing arts center and cultural asset to the Santa Barbara community, and to present the highest quality productions in music, dance and theatre. The organization has a $2.5 million operating budget, of which $1.2 million is expected to be raised through contributions.
The Lobero serves the needs of our 50,000 annual audience members as well as the artists who use the theatre. The Lobero stage hosts more than 20 local performing arts producers, schools, and presenters, including the Flamenco Arts Festival, CAMA, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Santa Barbara Youth Ensemble Theatre, Santa Barbara Choral Society, State Street Ballet, New Noise Music Festival, and Summerdance Santa Barbara.
In addition to operating the venue for the community’s use, the Lobero presents between 20 and 25 performances annually through our Lobero LIVE series in order to enhance the performing arts offerings available to local audiences. We also provide a diverse array of performing arts education opportunities to local youth.
Sometimes called “The American Riviera,” Santa Barbara has an environment of natural beauty, a fascinating history and a rich community of venues, artists and arts and culture organizations. Santa Barbara has twice the number of non-profits per capita as the average for California, second only to Marin County. This results in a wealth of volunteerism and philanthropy, but also tremendous rivalry for fundraising and ticketing revenue. Despite this perceived competition, Santa Barbara’s arts and culture community is marked by a great deal of collaboration and partnership. A cross section of executive and development staff from the sector are currently working on a three-year study to outline a Creative Community vision and masterplan for the entire county, funded by the Santa Barbara Foundation.
Beyond the arts and culture sector, Santa Barbara is home to two universities, two colleges, and a number of other higher learning institutions. It has a state-of-the hospital and dozens of social service agencies. The temperate climate and quality educational facilities have attracted a number of tech-industry corporations, and tourism is a major driving factor of the local economy.
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