Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

Posted on October 29, 2022
| 4:38 p.m.

Ann Foxworthy-Lewellen, left, Theaterfest Board vice chair; Scott Coe, Theaterfest executive director; County Supervisor Joan Hartmann; and Denise De Bellefeuille, Theaterfest Board chair.
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Ann Foxworthy-Lewellen, left, Theaterfest Board vice chair; Scott Coe, Theaterfest executive director; County Supervisor Joan Hartmann; and Denise De Bellefeuille, Theaterfest Board chair. (Courtesy photo)

After completing a $5.3 million renovation of the Solvang Festival Theater, Solvang Theaterfest received the Leadership in Arts Award from the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission. Solvang Theaterfest is the nonprofit group that owns and operates Solvang Festival Theater.

The annual award, established in 2006 to honor leaders that have made a significant impact on arts and sciences in the region, was presented to Theaterfest representatives via Resolution at the County Board of Supervisors meeting on Oct 19.

The theater’s rebuilding project, which started construction in September 2021 and concluded in July 2022, ensures structural integrity, safety and accessibility with new electrical and technical capabilities enhancing lighting and sound.

Overall, the design improves the audience experience and comfort with its higher wall, acoustical improvements, and new seating.

To finance the transformational renovation project, Solvang Theaterfest turned to the community for support. The Imagine! Building the Future Campaign that started in 2019 received more than 700 donations from individuals, businesses and foundations.

In accepting the award, Theaterfest Board chair Denise De Bellefeuille said, “We have ensured that many more generations to come will experience the magic of live theater under the stars in the Santa Ynez Valley.

“We have grand plans for this new theater. Concerts, plays, comedy, weddings, receptions, festivals, even a stunt dog performance coming in November.”

The Board of Supervisors formed the County Arts Commission in 1977 to support, foster and encourage participation in and access to arts and culture for all county residents. The award was presented in October, which has been recognized as National Arts and Humanities Month by the White House and Congress for 38 years.

For more information, contact Scott Coe, Solvang Theaterfest executive director, at exec.director@solvangtheaterfest.org; call 805-588-4112 or visit





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