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Jessica Brown

New Festival at the Bankhead Explores Kwanzaa to Celebrate African American Heritage

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The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center will offer a free family event celebrating African American heritage in the Bankhead Theater lobby on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Attendees can expect an explanation and presentation of the Kwanzaa holiday, as well as dancing, drumming, hands-on craft tables, and an African safari booth for all ages. A historical display will celebrate the contributions of African people in America, from Sojourner Truth to Neil deGrasse Tyson, Barack Obama, and others.

The event is co-sponsored by Grandmothers Who Help, a locally based organization dedicated to passing down the history of the African American people and promoting unity in our communities. The celebration at the Bankhead falls between the official dates of Kwanzaa (December 26, 2018 through January 1, 2019) and African-American History Month, which is every February. Note the date is also a week prior to the Monday honoring Martin Luther King’s birthday, January 21, 2019.

A summary of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa, a holiday first celebrated in 1966, is derived from “matunda ya kwanza,” which translates as “first fruits” in Swahili. The family-centered celebration typically includes songs, dances, drumming, storytelling, and a large meal. On each of seven nights, candles are lit to symbolize the seven principles which contribute to building and reinforcing a sense of community and unity.

Let’s take a closer look at the principles of Kwanzaa:

  1. Umoja (unity) – To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race
  2. Kujichagulia (self-determination) – To define ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves
  3. Ujima (collective work and responsibility) – To build and maintain our community together and make our neighbors’ problems our problems and to solve them together
  4. Ujamaa (cooperative economics) – To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and businesses and to profit from them together
  5. Nia (purpose) – To make our vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness
  6. Kuumba (creativity) – To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community better off than we inherited it
  7. Imani (faith) – To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

The new African-American event at the Bankhead adds to the free family-oriented cultural events the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center already sponsors throughout the year. The Lunar New Year will be celebrated on the plaza on February 10 while Hispanic Heritage Day will be observed in May. For those who want to plan ahead, celebrations of Native American Day, Filipino Barrio Fiesta, and Diwali take place during the fall of 2019.

A Performing Arts Center Committed to the Community

At LVPAC, we pride ourselves in putting on incredible concerts and performances throughout the year. But it’s events like these that really separate the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center apart from others. Through the Bankhead Theater and Bothwell Arts Center, we offer countless events each year, from classes and workshops to concerts and performances.

We hope to see you January 12, 2019 for this festival! Contact us today with any questions.

DLUX Puppets’ Alice in Wonderland Returns For Two Performances in Livermore

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DLUX Puppets sold out the Bankhead Theater early this year with their innovative musical adaptation of the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland. The group is set to return Sunday, December 30 for two more performances. A feast for the eyes and a joyful, theatrical experience for all ages, the show is filled with remarkable life-size puppets, interactive digital scenery, and clever dialogue, bringing to life the marvelous world of the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts.

In addition to a matinee at 2 p.m., a new sensory-friendly performance, tailored for those on the autism spectrum or who have other special needs, will be offered earlier in the morning at 11 a.m.

About DLUX Puppets

A multi-talented performer and former star of San Francisco’s famed “Beach Blanket Babylon,” Derek Lux built all the puppets in the show by hand and provides all the voices. The seven puppets range in size from just two feet to over seven feet high and each is different in terms of style, scale, and how they are physically operated. For example, the Queen of Hearts is a hybrid puppet and costume that Lux straps himself into before performing her arms and head.

Lux and his wife Lauren, a credentialed teacher who plays the role of Alice, founded DLUX Puppets in 2016. Their goal is to provide fun family entertainment that also aligns with current education standards and supports social-emotional development. In their production, Alice learns from the characters she meets that her words, thoughts, and feelings have power and that she has the ability to change them and change her world.

DLUX Puppets focuses on making their shows welcoming for all families. The “sensory-friendly” morning performance has been designed to create a comfortable theatrical experience that meets all needs. Some of the modifications they have made include keeping the house lights on at a low level, using natural stage lighting with no abrupt changes, and avoiding startling or loud sounds throughout the performance.

Patrons can feel free to use supportive technology, talk, stand, or leave their seats during the show, so the performance space is open and judgment-free for everyone. A special DLUX Puppets sensory-friendly study guide is available to help prepare young audience members on what to expect.

“During our debut season, we had a very memorable post-performance meet and greet with a special needs child and immediately saw the magic between puppets and this population,” said Lauren Lux. “There are families who might otherwise not be able to attend the theater because of sensory sensitivities to changing lights and abrupt sounds. We hope our modifications will provide access for that community so they can attend and experience the joy of live theater.”

Both Derek and Lauren Lux will be available in the lobby after every show, so audience members can take photos with Alice and admire one of the puppets close up.

In addition to the public shows at the end of December, two performances are being offered to students from local elementary schools through an arts education outreach effort sponsored in part by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center Education Fund. The fund will also underwrite $10 student tickets for the two public shows. Adult tickets are just $20.

DLUX Puppets will return to the Bankhead Theater in early June 2019 with their new production of “Peter Pan.” Tickets for both Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan are available now through the Bankhead ticket office or online at

Our Performing Arts Center

We take a lot of pride in what we do here at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. LVPAC offers wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. The Bankhead Theater, which houses the Livermore Visitor Center and Gallery, together with the Bothwell Arts Center, is home to nine resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors.

Whether it’s DLUX Puppets or another upcoming performance, we look forward to seeing you and your loved ones at the Bankhead! You won’t find a more intimate arts venue in Livermore, Pleasanton, or Dublin, CA. Stop by the Bankhead Theater box office today to purchase your event tickets or buy online!

“Meet Me in St. Louis” to be Followed by Additional Classic Film Musicals at the Bankhead

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Screening dates for four more classic film musicals at the Bankhead Theater have been announced, extending the popular series through May 2019. The last in the current series, “Meet Me in St. Louis” starring Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien, will be shown on Wednesday, November 28 at 7 p.m. The series will then resume in February 2019 with the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers favorite “Top Hat,” followed by “Oklahoma,” “Brigadoon,” and the 1954 version of “A Star is Born” featuring Garland.

About the Classic Film Musicals

The Classic Film Musicals series, launched earlier this year, offers audiences the opportunity to enjoy some of the greatest movie musicals as they were meant to be seen, in a truly theatrical setting. Tickets cost just $5 each for the full-length feature films, which are preceded by a cartoon and newsreel of the era. Popcorn, movie treats, and beverages are available in concessions before the show.

“Meet Me in St. Louis” and other classic film musicals

The holiday-themed “Meet Me in St. Louis” revolves around Esther Smith (Garland) and her three sisters as they look forward to enjoying the 1904 World’s Fair before their family has to move to New York. In addition to “The Trolley Song,” the film includes the iconic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which was a hit for Garland and became a holiday standard.

One of the most beloved Astaire/Rogers films, “Top Hat” features the sophisticated “Cheek to Cheek” number, one of their best-known dance sequences with its sleek footwork and flying feathers. “Top Hat” will be followed by “Oklahoma” in March, starring Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae. Filmed in 1955, the Academy Award-winning score by Rogers and Hammerstein features some of their most famous tunes including the title song, “Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’,” and “People Will Say We’re in Love.” With its unusual time traveling storyline, “Brigadoon” stars the exceptional dance partners Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse in a classic romance set in an enchanted Scottish village with songs such as “Almost Like Being in Love” and “Heather on the Hill.”

Last in the 2019 spring series will be the 1954 version of “A Star is Born,” one of the most expensive films of that era, which starred Garland at the height of her career, opposite James Mason. Garland’s renditions of “The Man That Got Away” and “My Melancholy Baby” went on to become lasting hits. The 1954 version was a remake of the original from 1937. It has since been remade twice more, including the current 2018 version starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.

The performance

As aforementioned, Esther Smith (Garland) and her three sisters are caught up in the excitement of preparing for the 1904 World’s Fair. She is in love with the boy next door, who has yet to notice her despite her somewhat clumsy efforts. When her father tells them they will be moving to New York City, each of the girls is upset for their own reasons until twists and turns lead them to an eventual happy ending.

There’s no question that “Meet Me in St. Louis” is a must-see during the holiday season. Best of all, ticket prices are just $5 each! Just keep in mind that all attendees must have a ticket, regardless of age.

The Bankhead Theater

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit offering wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. The Bankhead Theater, together with the Bothwell Arts Center, is home to eight resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors.

Now is the perfect to check out the Bankhead if you’ve never been to the venue before. Here are just some of the upcoming performances in December:

We look forward to seeing you and your loved ones at the Bankhead throughout the holiday season! Book your event tickets online or stop by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center box office.

Danville Native Returns to Co-Star in John Logan Play “Red”

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Rehearsals are underway for an intimate new production of “Red” by John Logan at the Bankhead Theater. The two-man play features Harvey T. Jordan as the abstract expressionist artist Mark Rothko and Michael McDonald as Rothko’s assistant Ken. The production is directed by Misty Megia and produced by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.

“Red” is the first show in a stage-on-stage setting at the Bankhead and opens for a five-performance run starting October 18.

About “Red”

Winner of the 2010 Tony Award, “Red” captures a pivotal period in Rothko’s tumultuous career. The play provides a compelling view into the artist’s mind as he ponders his artistic legacy, even as he works on a notable new commission. Set in the late 1950s, “Red” is based on a true event.

Rothko was asked to create a set of large murals for the new Four Seasons restaurant in New York. He hires a new assistant to help him, an aspiring artist eager to learn from a master but who also represents the emergence of a new generation in modern art. While they work side by side, the duo challenges each other over divergent styles, musical taste, attitude, and philosophies.

The play debuted in London before transferring to Broadway and has been seen in multiple productions, including an acclaimed recent revival in London’s West End with Alfred Molina (Rothko) returning to the role he created in 2009. At the Bankhead, Henry Jordan will also be stepping back into Rothko’s shoes. Jordan, who appeared in the role at Stage 3 in Sonora in 2012, has appeared in various roles at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and American Blues Theatre Company, among others.

The return of a Danville native

Michael McDonald returns to his East Bay roots to make his first appearance in the role of Ken. McDonald spent his early years in Danville and attended high school in San Francisco before heading to the University of Minnesota, where he participated in the actor training program as part of obtaining his BFA. Since then, McDonald has appeared off-Broadway in productions with The Acting Company, as well as Drury Lane Oakbrook and other regional theater companies.

McDonald is excited to star in a theater close to where he grew up, in a role he has looked for an opportunity to play ever since he first became aware of the play, not long it made its U.S. debut.

About Misty Megia

For more than two decades, Megia has worked as a director, choreographer, set designer, and performer throughout the Bay Area. Among her many directing and choreography credits are the 2015 Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre production of “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Bankhead, as well as “Evita,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Cinderella,” “Oklahoma,” and ‘Into the Woods.” Megia has appeared on stage in such roles as Val in “A Chorus Line,” Gloria Thorpe in “Damn Yankees,” Lorraine in “42nd Street,” and Virtue in “Anything Goes.”

The performance

“Red” by John Logan runs each day from October 18-21, with two performances October 20. Sets for the production will be designed by Carol Edwards with lighting by Eric Johnson. Both actors and audiences will be positioned on stage for the performance, so seating is limited.

Tickets are just $33, with $13 tickets available for students and active military personnel, plus an additional $7 facility and handling fee.

Book yours today!

Blues Greats Among Five Big Name Shows Added to Bankhead Season

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The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center announced that five shows will be added to the 2018-2019 Bankhead Presents season. Several blues greats return, including Robert Cray for the fourth time in February 2019 and Keb’ Mo’ for his first appearance in May. Country music stars Larry Gatlin and Gatlin Brothers arrive this November, while the incredibly popular Jake Shimabukuro returns to the Bankhead Theater in late January.

Let’s take a closer look at these shows.

Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers

The first of the five additions is Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers on Friday, November 16. Since their debut album in the mid-1970s, the brothers have sent their country harmonies up the charts with such songs as the Grammy Award-winning “Broken Lady” and “All the Gold in California,” which won an American Country Music Award. Larry, Steve, and Rudy will swings through Livermore with an “Unplugged Show,” their natural family harmonies and genuine stage charm filing the theater with family country and gospel hits, as well as stories of how the songs developed.

Jake Shimabukuro

Considered one of the most innovative players in the history of the ukulele, Jake was relatively unknown when he appeared as part of the Bankhead’s inaugural season in 2007. His rich and varied albums have always captured the many moods of the ukulele. Released just a few weeks ago, “The Greatest Day” features some of his most adventurous work with half the album featuring original songs and the other half featuring imaginative covers of such iconic hits as The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and “If 6 was 9” by Jimi Hendrix.

Robert Cray

Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Robert Cray has been credited with attracting a new generation of fans to the world of blues with a distinctive razor-sharp guitar sound that ably bridges the lines between blues, soul, and R&B. With more than 20 acclaimed albums over the past four decades, including his latest “Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm,” Cray has received five Grammy Awards and built a dedicated following worldwide. We look forward to his return to the Bankhead Theater on February 10.

The Choir of Man

Set in a real working pub on stage, these nine male band members sing, dance, and foot-stomp through a range of music, from pub tunes, folk, and classic rock, all while pulling pints and welcoming audience members to interact with the show. The show truly is a party and concert rolled into one, featuring the music of Paul Simon, Adele, Queen, and others. Get ready for a brand new way to experience music on stage at the Bankhead this February.

Keb’ Mo’

Four-time Grammy Award-winner and roots storyteller Keb’ Mo’ is considered a modern-day standard bearer of the Delta blues tradition. His modern take on the country blues will now close the 2018-2018 season with a single performance on May 14. In addition to eleven Blues Foundation Awards and an American Album of the Year for his music, Keb’ Mo’ has also brought his broad talents into television and film for which he has won six BMI awards.

Ticket information

The performance date for Jake Shimabukuro has not been finalized but tickets for Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Robert Cray, The Choir of Man, and Keb’ Mo’ are available now for Member Presale. Tickets for these performances will be available to the public beginning September 26.

DLUX Puppets to Return to the Bankhead Twice in 2018-19 Season

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DLUX Puppets will return to the Bankhead Theater this season with two visually stunning and entertaining family shows. The multimedia retellings of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan” use state-of-the-art digitally projected scenery, high-quality life-sized puppetry, and actors, weaving in popular songs from past decades.

Keep reading to learn more about the group and these must-see performances.

About DLUX Puppets

Now a nationally recognized company, DLUX Puppets debuted their production of Alice in Wonderland in 2017, although the project was many years in the making. A multi-talented performer and former star in San Francisco’s long-running show “Beach Blanket Babylon,” DLUX Puppets’ founder Derek Lux has always been interested in puppets and has been actively designing and creating innovative puppets for nearly a decade.

“Alice in Wonderland” brings to life the classic tale of Alice’s journey through the marvelous world of the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts. In the productions, all of the characters Alice encounters are intricately engineered life-size puppets, hand-built and voiced by Derek. The show’s seven puppets, ranging in size from just two feet in height to over seven feet tall, each took between 100 and 200 hours to construct.

Each puppet is different from the others, both in the way they are built and in terms of style and scale. Some require Lux to step into a full harness to perform the puppet’s head and arms, or to fly the Cheshire Cat’s body through the air. The digitally projected scenery, created by Steve Axtell, helps tell the story with interactive images.

Alice is played by Lux’s wife, second-grade teacher Lauren Lux, who developed a performance activity kit to connect the “Alice Wonderland” production with Common Core literature standards and provide a STEAM focus through the art and engineering elements in the puppets. The show also incorporates a social-emotional aspect as Alice learns from the characters in Wonderland that her words, thoughts, and feelings are powerful and that she can change them to change her world in a positive way. A similar activity kit for “Peter Pan” is also in development.

The performances

“Alice in Wonderland” returns Sunday, December 30 for two performances, including one adapted for audiences with sensory-friendly needs. DLUX Puppets’ new production of “Peter Pan” will be presented at the Bankhead Theater on June 2, 2019. Tickets for both shows are priced at just $10 for students and $20 for adults.

After all performances, both Derek and Lauren Lux will be available in the lobby so members of the audience can take photos and see one of the puppets close up. In addition to the three public performances, DLUX Puppets will present additional shows for students from local elementary schools through a special arts education outreach effort, sponsored in part by the LVPAC Education Fund. For more information on school performances, please contact Kiran Guleria at

Don’t forget that we have a number of incredible performances on tap at the Bankhead Theater. Check out our events calendar and book your tickets today.

Event Preview: Lee Greenwood

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Start making plans to celebrate Independence Day at the Bankhead Theater. Grammy Award-winner Lee Greenwood will deliver a patriotic finish to the week, filling the venue with familiar country music such as his iconic song “God Bless the U.S.A.” Keep reading to learn more about Greenwood, as well as ticket information.

About Lee Greenwood

Let’s go back to Greenwood’s hit “God Bless the U.S.A.” for a moment. Not only was it named the 1985 Country Music Association Song of the Year, but “God Bless the U.S.A.” remains the only song in any genre to reach the top five on the country singles chart three times. Of course, Greenwood’s most famous song had quite an impact in the wake of 9/11.

According to Greenwood, his goal was to write something that could unite Americans from coast to coast and instill pride in the United States.

“The song represents my family, my community, and those men and women who have paid the price for the freedoms we all love and enjoy,” Greenwood said.

Without question, “God Bless the U.S.A.” continues to touch a chord in the heart of all who hear it.

Music has always been a part of Greenwood’s life. A native Californian, he started playing piano at age 7 and, by the end of high school, he could play most of the instruments in the orchestra. Interestingly, Greenwood passed on college sports and music scholarships and even opted out of his graduation ceremony to play at a casino in Reno, Nevada.

It was only a matter of time before Greenwood made the jump straight to Nashville.

Longtime fans of Greenwood are familiar with popular crossover tunes such as “Touch & Go Crazy,” “I.O.U.,” as well as his duet with Barbara Mandrell, “To Me.” Greenwood was named Male Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association in 1983 and earned a Grammy Award for “I.O.U.” His CD “American Patriot,” recorded and released in 1992, went Platinum in just three months.

Most recently, Greenwood released a book, “Does God Still Bless the USA?” He is also a member of the National Endowment for the Arts Council, a presidential appointment.

The performance

Lee Greenwood will be taking the stage at the Bankhead Theater Friday, July 6 at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $20 to $100.

Please note that everyone, regardless of age, must have their own ticket to enter the theater. If you need student, military, or ADA tickets, please contact the LVPAC box office. It’s worth reminding audience members that ADA seats or spaces are designated for wheelchairs only.

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is an independent 501 (c)3 non-profit offering wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. The Bankhead Theater, together with the Bothwell Arts Center, is home to eight resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

Event Preview: Shawn Colvin

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Best known for her Grammy Award-winning single “Sunny Came Home,” singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin will bring her unique storytelling style of folk-pop to the Bankhead Theater on Thursday, June 21st. For decades, Colvin has been known for her keen observations and ability to infuse even the toughest of tales with tenderness, empathy, and a sense of humor.

About Shawn Colvin

“Steady On,” Colvin’s debut album, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Recording and “A Few Small Repairs” followed a few years later, giving her a Top 10 hit and Grammys for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Since then, she has released 11 albums, collaborating with a number of artists. On top of that, Colvin has written a critically acclaimed memoir and was honored with the Americana Music Association’s Americana Trailblazer Award in 2016.

She continues to maintain a busy touring schedule, enchanting fans and winning new listeners with her deeply personal stories in song.

Colvin first started playing guitar at the age of 10 in Carbondale, Illinois. By the late 1970s, Colvin was singing in a western swing band in Austin, Texas. Soon after, she moved to New York to become a member of the Buddy Miller Band.

It was during this time that Colvin met producer, guitarist, and co-writer John Leventhal. Interestingly, it was Leventhal who inspired Colvin to find her own voice as a songwriter. Before you know it, Colvin signed with Columbia Records and released her first album.

In 1996, she released “A Few Small Repairs,” which would prove to be her breakthrough. The murder-ballad “Sunny Came Home” gave Colvin a top 10 hit, a platinum-selling album and two of Grammy’s biggest honors: Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Colvin was recently recognized for her career accomplishments when she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Trailblazer Award at the 2016 Americana Honors & Awards Show. Bonnie Raitt had the honor of presenting Colvin with this prestigious award. Said Raitt, “She’s simply one of the best singers I’ve ever heard – and a truly gifted and deep songwriter and guitarist.”

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of “A Few Small Repairs,” Columbia Recordings will be releasing a newly expanded edition of the album Friday, September 15th. This expanded edition will include seven rare live performances from the Sony Music archives, plus enhanced artwork including newly written liner notes by Colvin and producer John Leventhal and recently discovered archival photos. The tour will feature Colvin performing the album in its entirety alongside a variety of hits, personal favorites, and surprises from her repertoire.

The performance

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is excited to welcome Shawn Colvin to the Bankhead Theater on Thursday, June 21st at 7:30 p.m.

Be sure to purchase a VIP package for access to an intimate pre-show acoustic performance with Q&A, plus a photo opportunity with Colvin. The VIP package includes early access to the venue, a premium seat in the first three rows, acoustic performance, meet and greet, as well as a gift bag.

Event Preview: Community4Education

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We invite you to join us in a music-filled, family-friendly event Saturday, June 16th at 4 p.m. to support the educational outreach efforts of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and Livermore Valley Education Foundation. A free afternoon community concert on the Bankhead Theater Plaza will showcase local music groups including the Rhythmic Innovation Community Drum Circle, student jazz band Element 116, and Crowned in Chains. Keep reading for more information about this event.

In the evening, the music moves inside. Students from the Music Pathways program will perform in the lobby before the benefit concert begins at 8 p.m. with lively folk and bluegrass band Crawdad Republic and the soulful sounds of Meredith, Meshach & Friends. Both groups have donated their time in support of the event.

Please note that the afternoon community concert on the plaza is free. Be sure to come hungry, as food will be available for purchase!

Additional details

Tickets to the evening performance are just $20. Raffle prize drawings throughout the event and auction items inside the Bankhead will add to the fun and fundraising.

The Community4Education event is sponsored in part by a generous grant from Wente Foundation for Arts Education. Sponsors include The Independent and Altamont Beer Works. All proceeds from the event benefit LVPAC and LVEF programming.

More Than a Performing Arts Center

We hope you take some time this summer to check out a performance or two at the Bankhead Theater. At LVPAC, our mission is to offer a wide range of arts opportunities to engage our diverse Livermore community.

For more than a decade, artists have put on memorable performances at the Bankhead. Performances aren’t limited to just one or two genres, either. Over the years, audiences have been treated to music of all kinds, including class rock, smooth jazz, and world music.

There’s no question that exposure to the arts can be life-changing. For example, let’s say you take your son or daughter to a performance for the first time. Seeing, hearing, and taking part in a performance can ignite their imagination and fuel creativity for the rest of their life.

That’s why we invest so heavily in our educational outreach program. Ultimately, we want to make sure that every student in the Tri-Valley area is provided with a chance to experience the arts each year.

How do we make this possible? Well, it all starts with a combination of LVPAC Presents performances at schools and at the Bankhead. On top of that, we put on free monthly family events, as well as workshops and master classes with visiting artists.

We want you to know that portions of these activities are underwritten through generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.

LVPAC has several ways to contribute if you are interested. We make it easy to donate by phone or mail. It’s also a good idea to check out our Support for Education Programs (PDF).

Whether you’re interested in attending the Community4Education event or would like more information regarding our education outreach program in general, contact the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center today.

Bankhead Presents 2018-19 Season Announced

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In just a few short months, the 2018-19 Bankhead Presents season officially begins. We will kick things off with the Brilliance at the Bankhead Gala with Grammy Hall of Fame legend BJ Thomas. Among the nearly 40 events that are scheduled through May 2019 are acclaimed artists such as jazz great Branford Marsalis, rock guitarist Don Felder, and singer/songwriters Jim Messina and Melissa Manchester, all of whom will make their first appearance in Livermore.

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is proud to welcome back audience favorite including comedian Tom Papa, fiddle virtuoso Natalie MacMaster, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with their infectious feel-good swing sound. We will have music for everyone’s tastes as well as comedy, theater, and dance performances. Please note that tickets for all shows go on sale to the public beginning June 13th.

Excitingly different performances

Ready for some new and unique performances at the Bankhead Theater? Here are a few that hopefully pique your interest:

  • The Clairvoyants – This group of mind-blowing, mind-reading talents stunned the audience on “America’s Got Talent” in 2016.
  • Cirque Éloize “Saloon” – This is a musical acrobatic adventure of the wild, wild West.
  • Mayumana – You and your family will love the visually spectacular combination of dance moves, compelling rhythms, and lighting effects that tell the story of “Current.”
  • Mariachi Herencia de Mexico – Want to see the first youth mariachi band ever nominated for a Latin Grammy? Mariachi Herencia de Mexico will appear at the Bankhead in October on their first national tour.

More About Our Performing Arts Center

Executive Director Scott Kenison recently emphasized our commitment to making entertainment accessible to all audiences. Starting this summer and extending through the upcoming season, a new $20 seating level has been introduced for every single Bankhead Presents show. We hope the chance to enjoy great artists at an affordable price will allow everyone in the community to be impacted in a positive way.

Our performing arts center has established itself as a popular venue for comedy and a number of events that will keep audiences laughing. This season, a comic approach to nearly every holiday is offered from The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “The Ultimate Christmas Show” and Second City’s Valentine-themed “It’s Not You, It’s Me” to Late Nite Catechism’s “Will My Bunny Go to Heaven?” Comedy and drama will merge in a single performance of L.A. Theatre Works’ powerful production of “Steel Magnolias” in October.

Keep in mind that LVPAC isn’t limited to the Bankhead Presents series. The Resident Companies of the Bankhead, such as Del Valle Fine Arts, Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre, and Valley Dance Theatre, offer nearly 50 performances and events of their own during the season.

LVPAC members are eligible for priority ticket purchase now and receive a discount on Bankhead Presents shows year-round as well as other benefits. An introductory membership offer for just $99 runs through the end of May 2018 and a new 35MM membership level has recently been established for those under the age of 35 at a cost of just $55.

We look forward to seeing you for the Bankhead Presents series!

Upcoming Events

Fri 14

The Nutcracker

Fri, December 14 @ 7:00 pm
Organizer: Valley Dance Theatre
Thu 20

The Doo Wop Project Christmas

Thu, December 20 @ 7:30 pm
Fri 21

Irish Christmas in America

Fri, December 21 @ 8:00 pm
Sat 22
Sat 22

Love Actually

Sat, December 22 @ 7:00 pm

Call 925.373.6800 or email for tickets and information