2022-23, an Incredible Run For UCSB Arts & Lectures

By Giving List Staff   |   November 26, 2022
La Santa Cecilia performs in an assembly for hundreds of local school children at the Granada Theatre (photo by David Bazemore)

The stage is set, the curtain has been raised, and live performances are back for UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) devotees. 

At the helm of this cultural renaissance for Santa Barbara is Celesta M. Billeci, UCSB Arts & Lectures Miller McCune Executive Director. 

A&L’s 2022-2023 programming theme is Leadership & Vision. “At a time of seismic cultural and political shifts,” Billeci says, “we look to visionaries and innovators who show us that the impossible is truly attainable.” A&L hopes the community will join them as they examine leadership and vision from the personal to the global, to help us move forward with strength, determination, and hope. 

Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos (photo: Nigel Parry)

There are over 45 events slated for the new season, offering a dynamic series with titles that speak to their wide range: Dance, Great Performances, Word of Mouth, World Arts & Music, Jazz, Chamber Arts, Hear & Now, Americana, Vanguard, and Young at Heart.  

Ballet Preljocaj presents their twist on the classic Swan Lake as 26 dancers take to the stage juxtaposing Tchaikovsky’s lauded composition with new arrangements as modern dance choreography explores motion through new gestures.  

 Nina Totenberg, award-winning legal affairs correspondent, talks about her new memoir, Dinners with Ruth. Totenberg has won every major journalism award in broadcasting. Her new memoir details her decades-long friendship with the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and how together they tore down professional and legal barriers for future generations of women. 

 The Great Performances Series features four stellar events: An unforgettable evening of chamber music with the “dream team” of Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma; world renowned pianist Lang Lang’s first Santa Barbara performance in eight years; the delightful artistry of the Wynton Marsalis Quintet; and the award-winning Joyce DiDonato in EDEN, a masterful fusion of music, movement and theater. 

Additionally, A&L regularly commissions new works and this season they have co-commissioned Mark Morris Dance Group’s “The Look of Love: An Evening of Dance to the Music of Burt Bacharach,” among other projects.

“It is worth your time, and it is worth investing in this program because it is a phenomenal gift to the community. We have something for everyone,” Billeci says.

So, whether you want to catch a wave with surf legend Laird Hamilton, soak in the comic stylings of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, gain timely insight from global political risk expert Ian Bremmer, or laugh with one of the best stand-up comics such as Tig Notaro, there has never been a better time to mark your calendars and make a date for an illuminating experience presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures.


UCSB Arts & Lectures

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Senior Director of Development & Special Initiatives: Stacy Cullison


To educate, entertain and inspire.

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Enriching Program at Santa Barbara’s Doorstep

Arts & Lectures brings our community, the University, and its students an incredible array of artistic offerings that are unequaled in any other community of our size in this country. A&L always manages to present the kind of material that appeals to thousands – I don’t know how they do it! Their robust education outreach, presented to both English- and Spanish-speaking audiences, enriches younger students immeasurably. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a varied and stellar program right here on our doorsteps!
– Sara Miller McCune

Sustain Cultural Excellence in Santa Barbara

Arts & Lectures remains a beacon of hope in Santa Barbara, connecting art and education to the community. But they are still struggling with the impact of COVID-19 on their programs. Your support will allow Arts & Lectures to continue to play a pivotal role in the vibrancy of our community. 

“Access for ALL is Arts & Lectures’ suite of education and community programs, making inspirational, enriching, and dynamic learning opportunities possible for classrooms, campus, and the community,” says Celesta M. Billeci, UCSB Arts & Lectures Miller McCune Executive Director. 

Arts & Lectures hosts field trips for local K-12 students to see the most notable artists and thinkers of our time and also offers substantial discounts (and often even free admission) to students, as well as opportunities to learn from some of today’s hottest musicians, renowned dancers, revered authors, and more. 

Over the past few seasons, A&L has reached nearly 450,000 people and with your help they can offer life-changing opportunities and continue to transform the community.

Key Supporters

Advisory council members and leaders who have helped make A&L
a vibrant part of Santa Barbara:
Jody & John Arnhold
Loren Booth
Marcy Carsey
Marci & John Mike Cohen
Audrey & Timothy O. Fisher
Connie Frank & Evan Thompson
Martha Gabbert
Eva Haller
Luci & Rich Janssen
Dorothy Largay & Wayne Rosing
Kath Lavidge & Ed McKinley
Patty & John MacFarlane
Manitou Fund
Sara Miller McCune
Jillian & Pete Muller
Natalie Orfalea & Lou Buglioli
Maxine Prisyon
Heather & Tom Sturgess
Anne Smith Towbes
Sherry Villanueva
Lynda Weinman & Bruce Heavin
Bridget Yin & Russell Steiner
Merryl Snow Zegar & Charles Zegar