University of California, Santa Barbara Arts and Lectures
Ticket Office: (805) 893-3535
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Performing Arts
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer teaches UCSB students.

Performing Arts Outreach

When Arts & Lectures’ internationally recognized artists and speakers enter the everyday lives of students, they bring a unique opportunity to relate academics to current events and artistic trends from the world stage. Arts & Lectures’ outreach program provides free educational activities to approximately 20,000 each year with partnerships on campus, in schools and in the community through:

  • Assemblies in elementary and secondary schools
  • After-school workshops and conversations with youth
  • Assemblies for incarcerated youth
  • Meet-the-artist sessions on and off-campus
  • Panel discussions with artists and University scholars
  • Lectures and demonstrations in University classes
  • Technique classes for students of all ages
  • Coaching for advanced students
  • Social events and meetings with student groups and classes
  • Post-show Q&A sessions with audiences of all ages
  • Free family performances in underserved neighborhoods

Community Outreach

Arts & Lectures accomplishes the University’s mission to contribute to community education by presenting artists in schools, after-school programs and other settings for youth and families. The sessions bring fun and excitement to the school day and are often young students’ first opportunities to experience live professional performance. In showing this commitment and attention to young students, Arts & Lectures builds awareness for the option of a University education. The diversity of the programs provides colorful and unforgettable reinforcement of curriculum – not just in areas of visual and performing arts – but also in history and social science, language arts and even mathematics. The artists and speakers are important role models representing achievement through dedication, hard work and valuing the arts. For many young students in ethnically diverse schools, the performances are a source for pride in sharing their culture.

Our community outreach also supports the achievements of young students who are already seriously engaged in the arts through master classes, teen creative sessions, and workshops. Instruction and advice from jazz heroes such as Chick Corea and the education team from Lincoln Center Jazz have a big impact on a school band. Individual coaching and encouragement in master classes bring enormous benefits for gifted students who are considering careers in performance. In the words of one parent:

"I would like to thank you for giving the local young musicians, my daughter included, the opportunity to participate in the master class with the Sejong orchestra members last Sunday. The feedback that she received both in her violin playing and about the music conservatories are truly valuable. Thank you."
- Wendy Wu

In order to maximize our impact and resources we partner with schools and community organizations to create optimal scenarios for education and inspiration. Our partners include Children’s Creative Project, the A-OK and Healthy Start program, Boys & Girls’ Clubs, and the County Juvenile detention facilities. Master classes for young musicians are organized with the Music Academy of the West and the Youth Symphony. Santa Barbara Dance Alliance is a regular partner in providing community dance classes for adults and teens.

Campus Outreach

The outreach program on the UCSB campus connects students with artists in nearly 100 class and ad hoc sessions each year. Touring dance companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens send their ballet masters to teach the techniques and choreography essential to their companies’ styles. Distinguished musicians like Midori and the Emerson String Quartet work with the highly accomplished students in Department of Music master classes. Hugh Masekela, Philip Glass and other living legends converse and answer questions on the roots of their traditions, musical instruments, pedagogy, and artists’ roles in societies across the globe. Visiting actors and playwrights, such as Olympia Dukakis and Tony Kushner, coach our student actors in techniques of their craft and help them prepare for professional auditions.

"Thank you so much for setting up the workshops ….they were the highlight of my UCSB career."
- Nancy Sanchez, UCSB student

Artists’ visits engage the students in informed discussion and stimulate critical thinking. They spark ideas and conversations that go on after the artists are gone, offering the unique mode of inquiry and expression of the arts to study varied liberal arts subjects and sciences. Underscoring the integration of the arts in all cultural life, Arts & Lectures visiting artists contribute to courses ranging from the study of religions, history, sociology and languages, visual arts and film to the performing arts. YoYo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, the highlight of our 2006-2007 season, served as a model for interdisciplinary co-operation that united the campus and community in the study of the Silk Road as history and metaphor for cultural exchange through two months of classes, public lectures and performances culminating in the Ensemble’s week-long visit and public performances at the Arlington Theater.

The value of these visits lies in the complementary perspectives of practicing professionals as articulated in one UCSB professor’s comments here:

"I was very happy to have the Crooked Road Musicians in my class…As I told my class, they can study history and read documents from the past, look at visuals and artifacts…and hear and read about what historians say about the past. But they don’t usually get to HEAR the past…"
- Patricia Cohen, UCSB Professor of History

By giving a voice and presence to the important topics of the day, our outreach program offers students opportunities to learn about the culture and beliefs of others and to explore identity – their own and their relation to others – which is crucial to preparation for their future personal, professional and civic lives.

Campus Outreach Partners

  • Art Studio
  • Black Studies
  • Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Music
  • Center for Middle East Studies
  • Chicano Studies
  • College of Creative Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Dance
  • East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Film Studies
  • French & Italian
  • Germanic & Slavic Languages
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • History of Art & Architecture
  • Interdisciplinary Humanities Center
  • MultiCultural Center
  • Music
  • Religious Studies
  • Residence Halls
  • Sociology
  • Theater
  • Women’s Center

School and Community Partners:

  • Bellas Artes, Carpinteria & Santa Barbara
  • Cabrillo High School, Lompoc
  • Carpinteria High School
  • Casa de la Raza
  • Cesar Chavez Dual Language Immersion School, Santa Barbara
  • Children’s Creative Project
  • Cleveland Elementary, Santa Barbara
  • Dos Pueblos High School, Goleta
  • El Camino Junior High School, Santa Maria
  • El Camino School, Goleta
  • Ellwood School, Goleta
  • Ernest Righetti High School, Santa Maria
  • Fesler Junior High School, Santa Maria
  • Franklin Elementary, Santa Barbara
  • Goleta Valley Junior High School
  • Guadalupe Cultural Arts & Education Center
  • Harding Elementary, Santa Barbara
  • Isla Vista School, Goleta
  • Isla Vista Teen Center
  • Juvenile Hall, Santa Maria
  • Kellogg School, Goleta
  • La Cumbre Junior High School, Santa Barbara
  • La Patera School, Goleta
  • Lompoc High School
  • Lompoc Valley Middle School
  • Los Prietos Boys Camp/ Academy
  • Marjorie Luke Theatre
  • McKenzie Junior High School, Guadalupe
  • McKinley Elementary, Santa Barbara
  • Montecito Union School
  • Music Academy of the West
  • Notre Dame School, Santa Barbara
  • Peabody Charter School, Santa Barbara
  • Pioneer Valley High School, Santa Maria