The mission of the Lobero Theatre Foundation is to maintain and operate the historic Lobero Theatre as a performing arts center and cultural asset to the community of Santa Barbara, and to present the highest quality productions in music, dance, and theatre.
In 1938, the Lobero Theatre Foundation was established specifically to raise funds to maintain and upgrade the physical aspects of the Lobero and to bring community-enhancing events to its stage. Though the theatre was still owned by the city of Santa Barbara, the Foundation’s Board of Directors acted as stewards of the building, even raising a record $3.5 million to complete a state-mandated seismic renovation in the early 1990s.
In 1996, the County of Santa Barbara deeded the theatre to the Lobero Theatre Foundation, and today, the Lobero Theatre Foundation continues to raise funds for the benefit of the theatre, and has expanded its mission to support the following activities and audiences:
- Lobero LIVE – The Foundation is committed to bringing the best artists and the finest entertainment to the Lobero stage, be it via the Jazz at the Lobero series, or one of the 15 to 20 other shows the Foundation presents annually.
- Lobero Endowment – The Foundation is actively working to build a $5 million endowment fund to ensure that the Lobero Theatre remains vibrant and accessible for the community of Santa Barbara.
- Brubeck Circle – The mission of the Brubeck Circle is to support and preserve jazz in Santa Barbara through performance, residency and education at the Lobero Theatre. Gifts of all amounts are welcome and ensure the future of jazz at one of the world’s best venues.
- Youth and Community Programs – During the 2010-2011 season, the Foundation brought the performing arts to almost 10,000 local students and under-served community members.
- Encore: Lobero is a $7 million campaign to preserve and enhance the historic Lobero Theatre undertaken in 2013-2014. Improvements to the theatre enhance audience experience and safety, preserve a historic George Washington Smith landmark, and improve the theatre’s energy efficiency. Learn more here.
Although the Lobero Theatre Foundation serves as owner and steward of this landmark institution, it is really you, the Lobero donor and ticket buyer, who serve as the true “foundation” of this great organization. The community built the theatre to be its stage and its cultural heart, and the Lobero Theatre Foundation is dedicated to honoring that tradition.