Cristal's Blog


April 1, 2024

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The Community Arts Music Association (CAMA) has been a cornerstone of Santa Barbara's cultural landscape for over a century, tirelessly bringing the world's most exceptional classical musicians to our community. Founded in 1919 by a group of visionary individuals seeking to elevate the city's musical offerings, CAMA has become synonymous with excellence, enriching lives and inspiring generations through live performance.

A full audience inside a theater with everyone looking at the stage in front of them.

CAMA: Enriching Santa Barbara's Cultural Landscape

CAMA's journey began in the aftermath of World War I when a collective of forward-thinking Santa Barbarans established the Civic Music Committee with a vision to showcase the finest musical talents of the time. Their ambition led to the creation of what would eventually become CAMA, an organization dedicated to presenting world-class orchestras and soloists to audiences eager for cultural enrichment.

Since its inception, CAMA has spared no effort in curating an unparalleled lineup of performances featuring luminaries such as Pablo Casals, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Igor Stravinsky, among countless others. CAMA's concert series has consistently dazzled audiences and earned local and international acclaim, from the grandeur of symphonic orchestras to the intimacy of chamber music.

A birds eye view of an orchestra with members in tuxedos.

The International Series at The Granada Theatre

One of CAMA's flagship endeavors, the International Series at The Granada Theatre, is a testament to its commitment to excellence. Supported by an endowment from SAGE Publishing, this series continues the tradition of presenting the world's finest orchestras and recitalists, ensuring Santa Barbara remains a destination for musical brilliance.

Moreover, the International Series at The Granada Theatre fosters cultural exchange and appreciation. By showcasing artists from diverse backgrounds and traditions, CAMA promotes understanding and unity through the universal language of music. Additionally, the series provides educational opportunities, including pre-concert talks and outreach programs, to engage audiences of all ages and backgrounds in the richness of classical music. Through these initiatives, CAMA enriches Santa Barbara's cultural fabric and fosters a deeper connection to the global artistic community.

Situated in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, The Granada Theatre stands as a historical and architectural marvel. Originally opened in 1924, this Spanish Colonial Revival-style building underwent extensive restoration in 2008, blending its rich heritage with modern amenities. With its ornate detailing, majestic auditorium, and state-of-the-art acoustics, The Granada provides an unparalleled setting for CAMA's International Series, elevating each performance to new heights of excellence. As patrons step through its doors, they are transported into a world of timeless elegance and musical splendor, making every visit to The Granada a genuinely unforgettable experience.

People dressed up for a night out in front of the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara

Masterseries at the historic Lobero Theatre

Equally vital to CAMA's mission is the Masterseries at the historic Lobero Theatre, which pays homage to the organization's roots. Originally founded in 1982, this series champions classical recitals and chamber music, perpetuating a tradition of artistic innovation and cultural celebration.

The Lobero Theatre itself is a cherished architectural gem, steeped in history and revered by performers and patrons alike. From its humble origins as an opera house in 1873 to its transformation into a beacon of cultural significance, the Lobero has stood as a testament to Santa Barbara's enduring commitment to the arts.

Recognized by Architectural Digest as one of the world's most beautiful theaters, the Lobero continues to captivate audiences with its timeless elegance and intimate atmosphere. Recent renovations have ensured that this historic venue remains a vital hub for artistic expression and community engagement for generations to come.

Two young musicians playing violins in The Community Arts Music Association's CAMA's educational program.

CAMA’s Musical Education and Outreach

Through CAMA’s Musical Education and Outreach programs, the joy and beauty of classical music are shared with audiences of all ages, ensuring that the legacy of musical excellence continues to thrive for generations to come.

CAMA's educational initiative, Music Matters, extends a complimentary music appreciation program to schools in the Santa Barbara area. Designed by Dr. David Malvinni, a musicologist and CAMA's Director of Music Education, the curriculum titled "A Classical Music Journey for Young People" is structured into three annual cycles. Unique in its breadth and depth, this curriculum introduces students to a diverse range of musical genres including classical, jazz, and world music. Music Matters has been providing students with a rich exploration of the musical canon for the past two decades and has become an integral part of the educational landscape in Santa Barbara schools.

As a realtor deeply rooted in the Santa Barbara community, I am proud to support CAMA and its mission to enrich our city's cultural tapestry. CAMA's legacy serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when passion, dedication, and vision converge to create something truly extraordinary.

As we celebrate CAMA's contributions to Santa Barbara, let us reaffirm our commitment to preserving and nurturing our city's rich cultural heritage. Through continued support and engagement, we can ensure that CAMA remains a beacon of artistic excellence for another hundred years and beyond.

If you're seeking to preserve your family's heritage in a new home within any of the upscale communities in and around Santa Barbara, entrust me to manage all your real estate needs. Feel free to contact me at (805) 886-9378 or via email at Meanwhile, let's join hands in championing CAMA's mission and celebrating the transformative power of the arts across our community.

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