Access for All

Gift to UCSB Arts & Lectures launches Arnhold A&L Education Initiative to expand, enhance educational programming, outreach

Luminaries John and Jody Arnhold, generous benefactors to UC Santa Barbara, have made a new gift to the university of $1.145 million over three years to create and support the Arnhold A&L Education Initiative within UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L).

The Arnhold A&L Education Initiative will serve to deepen the signature cross-campus collaborations that connect A&L’s featured guests with students in the classroom. By supporting artists in multi-day residencies, the initiative will enhance partnerships among a breadth of disciplines across campus and in the community. UCSB’s student learning objectives will intersect with diverse arts, culture and ideas to propel academic achievement forward with creativity at its core.

Inspired by the energy of campus and the world-class artists and thinkers A&L brings to the community, alumnus John Arnhold ’75, also a trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation, relishes the student opportunities he and his wife Jody can help make possible. “The arts stimulate the imagination,” said Arnhold, “so exposing students to those at the top of their craft will enhance the educational experience at UCSB. Students will think bigger, dream bigger and create bigger.”

“With every speaker and artist that we bring to A&L, our primary goal is to think beyond the arts and ideas shared on stage, and to determine how we can leverage their time here to make a greater impact,” said Celesta M. Billeci, Miller McCune Executive Director of Arts & Lectures. “Education is core to our mission, and anytime we can facilitate connections and create opportunities for students to learn from the masters we do, and we will continue to do this work. The Arnholds are beyond generous, because not only do they see the long-lasting impact of this hands-on learning and student engagement now, their multi-year support helps A&L guarantee this access for several years to come.”

The Arnholds’ philanthropy at UC Santa Barbara has made a significant impact on the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, UCSB Athletics, and beyond; including support for students and production in Theater and Dance, the English Department and, recently, the opening of the new Arnhold Tennis Center.   

The Arnhold A&L Education Initiative is designed to sustain A&L’s mission to educate, entertain and inspire UC Santa Barbara students and members of the Santa Barbara community. To that end, it will support upcoming residencies with world-renowned artists including Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (JLCO), who will perform a virtual assembly for Santa Barbara and Ventura County K-12 students from its Jazz for Young People program, “What Does Jazz Mean?” Fri., Feb. 4 at 9:45 a.m. The presentation will be live streamed from The Granada Theatre for local schools, while UCSB Black Studies students who have been invited to observe can participate in a post-performance Q&A with the artists. Tickets to JLCO’s Feb. 4, 8 p.m. public performance are available online. 

“It’s powerful when students engage with master artists,” said Loribeth Gregory Beck, A&L’s director of education & community engagement. “They experience how their studies connect with real-world practice. They discover new ideas and perspectives. They are inspired to innovate their approach to their craft. From master classes that hone technique to dynamic conversations that explore the nuances of building a career, these experiences have a lasting impact. Arts & Lectures’ education programs strive to make these influential opportunities for students possible — and the Arnhold Education Initiative is helping us fulfill that mission.”

The Arnhold A&L Education Initiative will have a transformative effect, for years, on Access for ALL, Arts & Lectures’ suite of education programs, which provides hundreds of inspirational, enriching and dynamic learning opportunities each year for classrooms, campus and the community.

“The Arnholds’ gift is truly visionary,” said Billeci. “It will allow Arts & Lectures to fulfill our mission to serve our campus and community with robust residencies and arts education programs with some of today’s most prolific performers. The Arnholds’ multi-year commitment means that we can deliver life-changing arts experiences. A&L can continue to create hope; even in these challenging times we can look forward.”

Additional 2021-2022 season events and affiliated outreach funded by the Arnhold Initiative include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Weds. and Thurs., April 13-14 at 8 p.m. at The Granada Theatre; and Ballet Hispánico’s multi-day teaching residency and public performance, “Noche de Oro: A Celebration of 50 Years,” Fri., April 29 (rescheduled from Jan. 21) at 8 p.m. at The Granada Theatre. The new initiative previously enabled an extensive residency by Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra that culminated in a lively performance of O’Farrill and company’s Fandango at the Wall, inspired by the HBO documentary, at Campbell Hall.

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