Community leaders, generous patrons, and university officials gathered at the Coral Casino on Tuesday, June 13, for UCSB Arts & Lectures’ annual season reveal event. Celesta Billeci and her indefatigable team of cultural curators have come up with another extraordinary slate of programming that confronts the challenges of our historical moment with a dynamic cross-cultural response. New faces and formats will join some familiar artists and speakers in what promises to be a year of unprecedented vision and amplitude for Santa Barbara’s leading presenter of live cultural events.
Arts & Lectures (A&L) likes to start things off with a rush, and 2017-18 will be no exception. In the first 10 days of programming alone, audiences will get a chance to see six spectacular performances: Lila Downs (Sept. 27), Lang Lang (Oct. 1), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Oct. 3), and Bill Murray (Oct. 6), all at the Granada Theatre, as well as Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles on October 4 at UCSB’s Campbell Hall and Samantha Bee on October 5 at the Arlington Theatre. Each of these shows represents the opening of an individual series within the larger scope of A&L’s offerings. For example, An Evening with Samantha Bee is part of the Talking Heads series, which will also include Ira Glass, Trevor Noah, and Mike Birbiglia. Bill Murray and Lang Lang belong to the Marquee lineup, joining the Israel Philharmonic (Nov. 1), mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato (Apr. 15, 2018), and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (May 15, 2018) on that list.
The Lectures side of A&L will introduce a new format by bringing in renowned…
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