Local Hero

David Asbell: Directing the Lobero

We know it embarrasses him, but, we are thrilled to see our fearless leader selected as one of the Independent’s 2016 Local Heroes.

“It was almost exactly 20 years ago that David Asbell accepted the position of executive director at the Lobero Theatre… he not only brought the kind of savvy that only comes from working backstage, but he also brought a profound vision of what the Lobero Theatre could become: Santa Barbara’s beating creative heart. By establishing a welcoming atmosphere and by being open to a creative team that includes such area luminaries as Hale Milgrim, Dianne Vapnek, Peggie Jones, and Stephen Cloud, Asbell has turned the Lobero into what we need most, in good times and bad: a blessed community of like-minded people, alive to the arts and ready to listen and share the love of great music, ideas, dance, and theater.” (Read the full story)

For the past 20 years, David has worked hard to make the Lobero the bustling, vibrant performing arts venue that it is. He created the Lobero LIVE and Jazz at the Lobero series, bringing truly legendary artists to the stage. He has had a leading role in the completion of more than $10 million in major renovations behind the scenes and in the auditorium. Most important, David has championed the Lobero’s essential role as a community resource, a place that our local artists call home. From the Chamber Orchestra to the Film Festival to Sings Like Hell – they are all welcomed here by the man at the helm.

This Thanksgiving, the Lobero Board and Staff are thankful for David and all he’s created.

 

The S.B. Questionnaire: David Asbell

Leader of the Lobero on Bo Diddley, Fear of Failure, and Friends with Boats

Photo: Paul Wellman.

Monday, January 6, 2014
via Santa Barbara Independent

 

When I approached David Asbell to answer the Proust Questionnaire, the executive director of the Lobero Theatre Foundation replied, “Sure, but I’m pretty boring.”

David, who has successfully run one of Santa Barbara’s performing arts jewels for years before recently spearheading its renovation, is self-deprecating and low-key, but I would never call him boring. He’s passionate about the arts in our city, and many nonprofits in our culturally sophisticated town are indebted to his devotion and commitment. One of my personal highlights of running the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for the past decade has been to call this patron of the arts my friend.

Real the full questionnaire here… including these highlights: 

What is it you like most about your job?

It seems so central and important to our community. I have always worked in the arts and this particular job gives me a sense of accomplishment like no other job I have had.

What is the best thing about the new Lobero?

The best physical thing is our new entryway, the Esplanade. It is a much nicer space to meet and gather before and during a performance.

What’s your all-time favorite memory about the Lobero?

Having a drink after the concert with Bo Diddley in one of the upstairs dressing rooms. He was getting on in life, was really tired, and just opened up to me. We didn’t talk about anything all that important, but I felt I got a sense of him as a person and he had lived this incredible life. Very special.

What is your motto?

Never leave your wallet backstage.

Viva la Fiesta!

Lobero Staff in Parade

Lobero Theatre board and staff ride in the 2012 Fiesta Parade

It all began in 1924…

Tracing the history of the Lobero Theatre’s reopening and Old Spanish Days Fiesta

The grand opening of Santa Barbaraʼs rebuilt Lobero Theatre took place on August 4, 1924, with the play Beggar on Horseback. Nine days later, on August 13, 1924 another horse-related event took place just around the corner on State Street, soon to be known as the first official Fiesta parade. Given that these two celebrations occurred so close together, was there a connection?

Lobero Theatre Board member George Burtness worked with prominent local historians to find the answers. Read the full story here, excerpted from BACKSTAGE at the Lobero.

Keep an eye out for the team in tomorrow’s parade as well —

Fiesta is a holiday that began as a small-town family party to mark the resurrection of a cherished institution­–a theatre.” – Otis Wickenhauser, Captured Dream, A History of the Lobero Theatre

Summer Vacation

Tessitura Learning & Community Conference
San Francisco, July 14-18

The LTF recently sent five staff members up  to the San Fran for five days of software knowledge and professional training as part of the Tessitura Network (#TLCC13). We had a blast meeting and mingling with theatre personnel from all over the world and our own backyard, joining our colleagues at the Granada Theatre and Arts & Lectures. Now we’re all armed with new tricks and tips from the world of ticketing and fundraising.

Beyond conference walls, team Lobero cruised daily through Union Square, noshed at the San Francisco Ferry building marketplace, enjoyed an evening reception with a gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge, and represented at the conference-closing bash at the California Academy of Sciences (which is a stunner of a museum).

As I once wrote in my Junior High yearbook, Stay cool, Don’t ever change. Have a great summer!!!