All Posts By

Jessica Brown

Renowned Photographer Bill Owens’ Exhibit to be Mounted at Bankhead

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The work of local photographer Bill Owens will be featured in a new exhibit in the Gallery at the Bankhead in early May. Owens, a former staff photographer for The Independent newspaper in the late 1960s, gained worldwide attention with his book Suburbia in 1972 and its reflection of the changes emerging in American daily life. Today, his photography resides in the permanent collection of prestigious museums and galleries worldwide. “Suburbia Re-Visited” will be on display from May 2nd through June 25th.

About Bill Owens

Owens was first introduced to photography while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. During his time as a staff photographer, he was fascinated with the people and lifestyles he encountered while on assignment. Soon, Owens explored the subject further through self-assigned personal shoots during the weekends. Published in 1972, Suburbia was met with immediate success and has sold over 50,000 copies in three editions. The piece has been recognized as one of the 101 most important photography books of the 20th century for its keen observation of middle-class America. What makes Suburbia unique is that it depicts the rapid migration of inner-city apartment dwellers to affordable, newly produced homes on the outskirts of the city. For Owens, this wasn’t just a demographic shift in society but rather a psychological one.

It’s important to know that, at the time, social critics mocked the suburbs for their apparent conformity and spiritual emptiness. However, Owens respected their determination to build better futures. Owens went so far as to spend time with these people, getting to know them and discovering their devotion to the American dream. The photos he made were portraits that reflected that dream.

Over the years, Owens’ works have made their way into private collections and museums across the U.S. and throughout Europe. For example, some of Owens’ pieces can be found in the Museum of Modern Art in both New York and San Francisco. Soon after, Owens issued two sequels, Our Kind of People in 1975 and Working (I Do it for the Money) in 1977, earning praise as a “keen and sympathetic observer of the daily rituals of life amid tract homes” from the Los Angeles Times. Note that Owens’ books will be available for sale at the “Suburbia Re-Visited” reception May 18th. Be sure to check out for more information on the work of Owens.

Bill Owens Book Signing

An opening reception for “Suburbia Re-Visited” and book signing with Owens will be held Friday, May 18th from 7 to 9 p.m. The lobby will be decorated in retro 1960s suburban style for the reception and guests are encouraged to attend dressed for the theme. Owens’ photographs will fill the gallery while adjacent spaces will feature works by local photographers that express a modern-day interpretation of his suburban perspective. The entire team here at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center would like to thank the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council for sponsoring the reception. Please note that both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

This is the second major photography exhibit at the Bankhead Gallery, following last year’s “The Golden Decade,” which featured post-WWII era photography of the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), one of the first fine art photography departments in the U.S. Part of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, the Gallery is located in the lobby of the Bankhead at 2400 First Street. It will be open for this exhibit on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. except on performance days. Admission is free.

Here at LVPAC, we put on more than just live music and theatre performances. If you consider yourself an art enthusiast, then we encourage you to make plans to see “Suburbia Re-Visited” for yourself.

Our 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. Along with the Bothwell Arts Center, the Bankhead is home to nine resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors.

See what’s on the events calendar at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.  

Country Music Legend Lee Greenwood Added to Bankhead Presents Series

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center recently announced the addition of six shows and a community concert to the Bankhead Presents summer lineup, doubling the number of performances offered at the theater between June and August. Let’s take a look at the performers, including country music legend Lee Greenwood.

Lee Greenwood

Grammy Award winner Lee Greenwood will deliver a patriotic finish to Independence Day week with his iconic “God Bless the U.S.A.” Originally released and successful in 1984, Greenwood’s hit became popular again during the Gulf War and after the September 11, 2001 attacks. At one point, “God Bless the U.S.A.” reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. It remains the only song in any genre to reach the top fop five on singles charts three different times. Of course, Greenwood has seen plenty of success outside “God Bless the U.S.A.” He has charted seven No. 1 hits in his illustrious career: “Somebody’s Gonna Love You,” “Going, Going, Gone,” “Dixie Road,” “I Don’t Mind the Thorns (If You’re the Rose),” “Don’t Underestimate My Love For You,” “Hearts Aren’t Made to Break (They’re Made to Love),” and “Mornin’ Ride.” Greenwood’s 1983 single “I.O.U.” also ranked as a top five hit on the adult contemporary charts.

Lee Greenwood will be performing Friday, July 6th at 8 p.m. The LVPAC member pre-sale is currently in progress. Note that tickets go on sale to the public May 3rd.

The New Christy Minstrels

Authentic American music continues through the summer with the addition of the New Christy Minstrels’ folk music returning in late July. Founded by Randy Sparks in 1961, the group recorded over 20 albums and had several hits such as “Green, Green,” “Saturday Night,” and “This Land is Your Land.” The group’s debut album, Presenting the New Christy Minstrels, won a Grammy Award and sat on the Billboard charts for two years.

The New Christy Minstrels will be performing Friday, July 27th at 8 p.m.

Asleep at the Wheel

This American country music group has been there and done that, earning nine Grammy awards, releasing more than 25 albums, and filling venues of all sizes. Asleep at the Wheel’s toe-tapping music and rich harmonies are certain to captivate the Bankhead audience for the fifth time. Those attending should expect a night of fun alongside the legendary kings of western swing.

Asleep at the Wheel will be performing Monday, August 20th at 7:30 p.m.


Montreal-based artistic collective Cirquantique will be making their first appearance at the Bankhead in June. Audience members will be treated to their dazzling cabaret burlesque show “Bang! Bang!” The talented cast evokes the Prohibition era through music, animation, scenery, and costume design. Take a step back in time to the Roaring Twenties and immerse yourself in a world of sensational physical and visual art. Prepare yourself for a combination of cabaret, burlesque, circus, aerial and trapeze dance, all while entering a world where speakeasies, bootlegging, and the black market play major roles in society.

Cirquantique will be performing Tuesday, June 5th at 7:30 p.m.

Better Than Ezra

Popular 1980s alternative rock band Better Than Ezra will also be making their first appearance at our performing arts center in Livermore. The group is best known for their 1993 platinum album Deluxe and the 1995 single “Good,” which reached No. 1 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks charts. Coming out of New Orleans in the early 1990s, the group’s music reached new heights when Taylor Swift covered their track “Breathless” and their song “Juicy” was licensed to Desperate Housewives.

In August, the Bankhead will host a community concert featuring local rock band LunaFish. Together with guest artists and friends, LunaFish will fill the stage in “Psychedelic Summer” with hit music from the sixties and seventies.

The additional new shows double the already announced Summer series which includes Rita Coolidge, Shawn Colvin, Rockapella touring with The Company Men, blues-rock band Indigenous, smooth jazz master Keiko Matsui, as well as Derik Nelson & Family. The series closes with a night of laughter featuring the Southern Fried Chicks on their “Cage-Free Comedy Tour.”

From live music to comedy, the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center has you covered. Get your tickets today before they’re gone.  

Event Preview: Family Fun Series at the Bankhead

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Get your popcorn ready! The Bankhead Theater recently introduced this summer’s Family Fun Film series, featuring three beloved films of the 1980s. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center will show “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Princess Bride,” and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” on the theater’s large screen. Keep reading as we drum up some nostalgia and provide further details regarding the showings.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

The series opens in June with one of director Steven Spielberg’s most groundbreaking films. As a refresher, a spaceship leaves earth and unknowingly abandons one small and gentle alien. When a young boy named Elliot befriends and brings the alien back to his suburban house, he and his siblings decide to hide the alien from everyone. The ultimate goal is to get E.T. back home. However, this task is much easier said than done, especially when E.T. gets sick. Released in June of 1982, E.T. was an immediate blockbuster. In fact, it surpassed Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film of all time, only to be overtaken by Jurassic Park 11 years later. It’s no question why E.T. is considered one of the greatest films ever made. A timeless story of friendship, it ranks as the greatest science fiction film ever made in a Rotten Tomatoes survey.

We are thrilled to show “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Wednesday, June 20th at 7 p.m. at the Bankhead. Tickets are just $5.

The Princess Bride (1987)

Yet another iconic film of the 1980s, this one tells the classic tale of a young man who sets off to rescue his one true love. The two encounter quite the cast of characters in the enchanted land of Florin, including the evil Prince Humperdinck, Dread Pirate Roberts, giant wrestler Fezzik, as well as the vengeful Inigo Montoya. Each is responsible for helping or hindering the efforts along the way. As opposed to the aforementioned film, The Princess Bride garnered modest box office success. Through the years, though, the film became a cult classic. The film ranks No. 50 on Bravo’s “100 Funniest Movies,” No. 46 on Channel 4’s “50 Greatest Comedy Film” list. If you enjoy movies with romance, adventure, and comedy, then this is an absolute must-see.

The showing of “The Princess Bride” takes place Wednesday, July 25th at 7 p.m. at the Bankhead.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

A misdirected baseball brings four kids into an attic workshop where their dad’s latest invention accidentally shrinks them to just a quarter-inch tall. Ironically, Wayne believes the electromagnetic shrink-ray to be a failed experiment and throws it in the trash with the kids in it. As a result, the kids must make their way back to the house. They encounter bees, ants, scorpions, and a lawnmower before their dad finds them and brings them back to size. “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” took the movie industry by storm, grossing in excess of $222 million worldwide. Not only that, but it became the highest-grossing live action Disney film ever, a record it held for five years.

The showing of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” takes place Wednesday, August 15th at the Bankhead Theater.

For your convenience, LVPAC will have concessions available in the lobby for each film. Our performing arts center strives to offer family-oriented entertainment for the whole family. Please note that all three movies in this series are rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America. Parents should make their own decision regarding appropriate content for their children.  

This series builds on the success of the Classic Film Musicals Series which was launched earlier this year at the Bankhead Theater. If you didn’t attend, it included favorites from the Golden Age of film musicals, complete with newsreels and cartoons of the era. Only the award-winning classic “Singin’ in the Rain” with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds (May 2nd) and “Shall We Dance” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (June 6th) remain this season, but the Classic Film Musicals Series is scheduled to resume in September.

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is your one-stop shop for movies, live music, and incredible performances all summer long. Check out our events calendar today!

Event Preview: Classic Albums Live: Led Zeppelin II

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Get ready for one of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” to come to life on the Bankhead Theater stage when Classic Albums Live arrives later this month. A Canadian-based group familiar to rock music aficionados, Classic Albums Live brings together world-class musicians to perform some of the most famous albums. The group will perform Led Zeppelin’s iconic second album in its entirety, including iconic hits such as “Whole Lotta Love,” “Heartbreaker,” “Moby Dick,” and “Bring It On Home.”

About Led Zeppelin

It wasn’t much longer after their first album that Led Zeppelin got to work on No. 2. The quartet of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones pulled the album together over six months in 1969 while on tour throughout North America and London. Not surprisingly, “Led Zeppelin II” was one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the time. It’s safe to say that the result lived up to expectations and more. In fact, Led Zeppelin II” topped U.S. charts by the end of the year, bumping the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” Rolling Stone called the work “one of the greatest, heaviest, and raunchiest albums ever, steeped in both Delta and Chicago blues, Sixties psychedelia and gentle-to-bone-crushing dynamics.” In November of 1999, “Led Zeppelin II” was certified 12x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales passing 12 million copies.

What’s interesting about this album is that each song was separately recorded, mixed, and produced at various studious in the UK and North America. The album was basically written on tour during periods of few hours in between concerts. As you might have guessed, the result was a sound featuring spontaneity and urgency through necessity.

An Inside Look at Classic Albums Live

Craig Martin, the group’s producer, said that he founded Classic Albums Live in 2003 after hearing too many poor tribute bands. Ultimately, he wanted to provide the audience with a more musically authentic experience. Martin started with a small venue in Phoenix and gradually grew in popularity from there. Soon, Classic Albums Live was filling some of the most prestigious venues across North America. Of course, it took more than just the effort of Martin to take the group to uncharted territory. It’s why he makes it a point to select exceptional musicians who focus on playing the world’s most well-known and familiar rock albums with absolute detail and precision. Martin compares the group to a symphony orchestra performing the works of great composers. It won’t take long for diehard Led Zeppelin fans to realize that every note of the album, including vocals and sound effects, is faithfully recreated. This is what Classic Albums Live refers to as a “rock immersion experience.” As Martin says, this is music the band members grew up with. The group knows the songs inside and out and, in the preparation process, spends hours listening to each note carefully, finding ways to perform it live without any recorded elements. Classic Albums Live brings in as many musicians and instrumentalists as are needed to accurately recreate each album.

The Performance

Classic Albums Live: Led Zeppelin II is set to take place Saturday, April 21st at 8 p.m. Ticket prices start at just $40 with $17 tickets available for students or active military personnel.

The Bankhead Theater

For more than a decade, the Bankhead Theater has been bringing artists and audiences together to share the rich experience of live performance. Here at LVPAC, it’s apparent that exposure to the arts has the potential to transform lives. For example, seeing, hearing, and taking part in a performance can be exhilarating for young people as they grow and develop, fueling a new level of creativity.

Let’s talk about the Bankhead briefly. This 507-seat facility makes the perfect environment for live music, theater, dance, and other performances. Artists at all levels agree that performing in such an intimate venue provides a number of benefits. In fact, the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Chanticleer praised the Bankhead for its incredible acoustics. Not surprisingly, artists looking to make a transformation of their own have chosen to make it a stop on their tour.

We hope to see you for what should be a fun evening with Classic Albums Live. Check out our events calendar today!

Bay Area Children’s Theatre Musical Camp Added to Summer Enrichment Programs

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Each year, the Bothwell Arts Center and Bankhead Theater are home to summer arts and music programs for students from elementary school to high school and above. These interactive, hands-on classes provide opportunities for discovery and exploration in art, acting, music, writing, TV production, and more. Things will be a bit different in 2018 as a two-week intensive musical theatre camp is brought to the Bothwell Arts Center by Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT). This program is guided by professional instructors and concludes with a student production of “Madagascar, A Musical Adventure, JR” on the Bankhead stage. A new Television Production camp through Giraffe Space has also been added to a summer lineup that includes the following:

  • The return of Livermore Shakespeare Festival’s acting camp
  • Derik Nelson & Family’s music workshop for teens
  • Creative writing
  • Art Camp at the Bothwell

More About the Program

What exactly can your child expect? Well, students will learn vocal technique, basic dance vocabulary, and storytelling skills as they prepare and rehearse for the fully produced student musical production August 9th and 10th. These aren’t the only areas of focus, though. For example, students learn how to support one another on and off the stage. Your son or daughter will also further develop their creative thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as increase self-confidence. Believe it or not, BACT has already reached more than 110,000 children and adults throughout the Bay Area. It’s our hope that the program will have a similarly positive impact on those in Livermore in 2018.

Let’s dive into what’s new for this year’s program. The weeklong production camp at Giraffe Space teaches media skills such as writing and camera techniques, live-cam production and on-air performance and will end in a 30-minute television talk show. The LVPAC is excited to welcome back the trio of Derik, Riana, and Dalten Nelson to put on a music workshop for teens geared toward singing, songwriting, and performance skills. After the educational showcase on Friday, July 13th, the group will perform at the Bankhead Theater with their folk-pop music in a show that highlights their unique sibling harmonies.

Led by artists from Livermore Shakespeare Festival, “Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them” is designed to help students find their inner actor through theater games, improvisation, costume creation and rehearsals, ending in a student performance. The Bothwell, meanwhile, is home to a weeklong camp intended to enrich creative writing skills, as well as the popular summer art sessions which offer students the chance to explore media from watercolor and clay to fabrics and acrylic. Whether students are enrolled in a full or half-day camp, they will undoubtedly enjoy creating different projects each session. An artist’s exhibit showcases completed works at the close of each week.

Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center – 2018 Summer Enrichment Programs

Event: TV Production Camp
Location: Giraffe Space

Dates: June 11-15, June 18-22

Ages: Grades 6-12

Event: Summer Art Camps

Location: Bothwell Art Center

Dates: June 18-22, June 25-29, July 30-Aug 3

Ages: 4-6 (half day), 7-10, and 8-17

Event: Creative Writing Camp

Location: Bothwell Arts Center

Dates: July 9-13

Ages: Grade 3-12

Event: Music Workshop with Derik Nelson and Family

Location:  Bankhead Theater

Dates:  July 9-13

Ages: Grade 6 – College

Event: Shakespeare “Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them”

Location: Bothwell Arts Center

Dates: July 16-27

Ages: 8-10 and 11-14

Event: Bay Area Children’s Theatre Musical Theater Camp

Location: Bothwell Arts Center/Bankhead Theater

Dates: July 30 – August 10

Ages: Grades 2-8

Education Outreach at Our Center for Performing Arts

Here at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, we want every student in the Tri-Valley area to have the chance to experience the arts. Whether it’s the Bay Area Children’s Theatre or a free family event, it’s our hope that your son or daughter is able to tap into their creativity. For years, we have made it a priority to subsidize $17 student tickets for all LVPAC Presents performances. It’s important to know that portions of these activities are underwritten by generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.

Is your child interested in attending BACT this summer? Click here for information regarding specific fees, registration, and other program information. There are a limited number of scholarships available through the LVPAC Education Fund.

Contact us today.   

Speakers Announced for Livermore Innovation Fair 2018

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The Annual Livermore Innovation Fair will expand the list of speakers in 2018 to include three leading science and technology pioneers, NASA Ames Research scientist Peter Graube, Jack McCauley of Oculus Rift, as well as fifth-generation winemaker Karl Wente. This completely free family-friendly event is set to take place Saturday, April 14th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bankhead Theater. For those who aren’t familiar with the event, the Innovation Fair fosters a unique connection between the five STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) disciplines. Not only that, but the Innovation Fair combines a science fair with a high-tech exhibition, art show, and community celebration. Keep reading to learn more about this one-of-a-kind event.

About the Speakers

This year, three local science and technology leaders will share their insights on creativity and innovation. Peter Graube, a trained engineer with a fascination for machine automation, brings more than three decades of experience at NASA working on wind tunnels, jets, centrifuges, and rockets among his many projects. Karl Wente, vice president of winemaking at the Wente Family Estates, holds degrees in chemical engineering, viticulture, and enology. Wente is an expert when it comes to combining current technologies with the hands-on traditions of his winemaking family. Last, but certainly not least, is Jack McCauley. The co-founder and chief engineer was instrumental in taking the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset from prototype to build but is equally well-known for designing the guitar and drums in the popular video game Guitar Hero.

Why Attend the Event?

There are countless ways art and technology intersect in the world around us. It’s our hope that this event sparks the imagination in your entire family. Those who attend can enjoy everything from scientific displays and visual art to technology experiments and so much more. On top of all that, there will be live music performances on the plaza as well. In 2017, more than a thousand students from Livermore communities took part in the Innovation Fair. They took advantage of the opportunity to explore new innovations in robotics, 3D printing, rocketry, telepresence, remotely operated, vehicles, and more.

Educational Outreach

Kelly Bowers, superintendent of Livermore schools, recently mentioned that the Innovation Fair is enthusiastically embraced and appreciated by the entire district. Said Bowers: “At all grade levels, students are excited by hands-on activities that challenge and inspire them to solve problems or to create new products. The Innovation Fair is a welcome community opportunity for all of our families to explore arts and technology.”

Even though the event is free, the LVPAC staff encourages online registration. All registered attendees will automatically be entered into a drawing to win special prizes. Keep in mind that admission to the theater for the speaker sessions is first-come, first-served and limited to space available. The Second Annual Livermore Innovation Fair “Art in Technology” is made possible through the generosity of major sponsors such as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Topcon Positioning Systems, Lam Research, Black Lab, and a number of other companies who have provided invaluable resources and support.

More than Just a Center for Performing Arts

As aforementioned, we want everyone to have the opportunity to experience the arts. It’s why LVPAC presents performances at schools and at the Bankhead Theater while also providing free monthly family events. All year long, LVPAC funds plenty of cultural arts programs, master classes, and the East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars program. Our staff also helps subsidize $17 student tickets for all LVPAC Presents performances. It’s important to know that portions of these activities are underwritten by generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.

We are more than just another local arts center that puts on occasional performances. LVPAC plays an integral role in the community, helping share the performing arts with children. If you’re interested in learning more about these programs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.The Second Annual Innovation Fair is shaping up to be our largest educational outreach effort for 2018! Those who register now will be automatically entered for prize drawings. What are you waiting for? The Innovation Fair is the perfect opportunity to get out with the whole family and do something different that’s completely free.  

Get Your Tickets to the 2018 LVPAC Summer Series

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center just announced the Summer Series at the Bankhead, which opens June 21st and runs through the beginning of September. The seven-show series includes the return of favorites such as legendary pop icon Rita Coolidge, the pure a cappella magic of Rockapella touring with The Company Men, the folk harmonies of Derik Nelson & Family, as well as Keiko Matsui’s smooth jazz. A number of artists will make their first visit to the Bankhead Theater, including singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin and the American blues-rock band Indigenous featuring Mato Nanji with Chris Duarte. The Summer Series comes to a close September 1st with the Southern Fried Chicks’ hilarious take on life and love in their Cage Free Comedy Tour!”

Performing Arts Center Tickets

Tickets for all shows in the Bankhead Presents went on sale to the public about two weeks ago. We are proud to announce that, for the first time ever, every show will have a limited quantity of seats priced at just $20 each. Of course, our center for performing arts will continue to offer the discounted tickets available for students and active military personnel.

Live Music and Much More

We use the Summer Series as a way to welcome returning artists who are popular with local audiences. In 2012, the two-time Grammy Award-winner Coolidge filled the Bankhead with her timeless, chart-topping hits such as “Higher and Higher” and “We’re All Alone.” Those in attendance were also treated to Rita’s take on classic jazz tunes and music that pays tribute to her Native American heritage. This summer’s appearance will be a third visit for the powerful full-band vocal sound of Rockapella, on tour this year with The Company Men, whose voices blend in incredible mash-ups of hit songs, both classic and modern.

How would you like to hear the perfectly blended folk and jazz harmonies only a family can deliver? If so, then be sure to make plans to check out Derik, Riana and Dalten Nelson for what is expected to be an unbelievable Friday evening at the Bankhead. As they did in 2017, the group will lead a weeklong interactive music workshop tailored to teens that focuses on musicianship, songwriting, and performing techniques prior to their concert.

These performances aren’t the only highlights of the summer, though. Make your next visit to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center a family night as everyone takes in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” For your convenience, there are seven performances from July 21st through August 5th.

Livermore’s Premier Arts Center

For more than a decade, the Bankhead Theater has welcomed a wide range of artists and audiences, bringing them together for exceptional performances. In addition to the shows in the Summer Series, we are planning to present a showcase of local bands on the Bankhead stage in mid-summer. Executive Director Scott Kenison explains that the family-friendly, low-cost concert would partially replace the free ‘Evenings on the Green’ community concerts that were previously offered on the Shea Homes Stage in front of the theater.

Said Kenison: “As an independent non-profit arts center, our goal is to share a love for the arts and enhance the cultural life and economic vitality of Livermore, while remaining fiscally balanced. For shows we present inside the theater, ticket sales typically cover just the cost of putting the artist on stage, not opening the theater on keeping the light on. We’re actively seeking a sponsor the ‘Evenings on the Green’ and exploring other options but, unlike Pleasanton which can offer city-sponsored concerts each Friday evening in the summer, we must work to seek opportunities where we can cover our costs.”

Educational Outreach

Education is a big piece of our performing arts center. It’s no secret that the arts can have a significant impact on our lives, especially young people’s. It’s why we work to keep ticket prices affordable for everyone.

“We are always looking to make live entertainment more accessible,” said Kenison. “We want everyone to be able to enjoy seeing a performance at the Bankhead.”

In addition, LVAC underwrites $20 student tickets year-round through the Education Fund. Both the Bankhead Theater and Bothwell Arts Center offer free events as well as other performances, visual arts, and cultural events all year long.

We look forward to seeing you and your entire family at the Bankhead this summer. Check out our events calendar today!  

Event Preview: Sense and Sensibility

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Jane Austen remains one of the most popular and beloved authors of all time. She wrote with insight and wit about her own 18th century English upper middle class. In “Sense and Sensibility,” Austen describes the economic uncertainty created by the rules of male inheritance and the limited choices for women of the time. Based on one of her best novels, Aquila Theatre brings to life the story of the sisters’ complex circumstances and their pursuit of eventual happiness. This one-of-a-kind production takes place March 22nd at the Bankhead Theater. Keep reading to learn more about the event and the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center as a whole.

Let’s take a closer look at the plot of “Sense and Sensibility.” Basically, it revolves around the uncertainty brought about by the traditional practice of the first-born male inheriting the entire family fortune. As you might have guessed, this often left the rest of the family to fend for themselves. Women of the era didn’t have much say about their future. Their choices were limited and dictated by circumstances beyond their control. Frankly, the best hope for a secure future was a profitable marriage. Austen’s classic romantic comedy takes an inside look at the levelheaded, sensible Elinor and the hopelessly romantic Marianne. Along with their mother, the sisters are forced to leave their home and comfortable way of life soon after their father unexpectedly dies. The story is filled with hope, heartbreak, and unexpected twists as the characters struggle to find a new, successful future for themselves.

Now that you know a bit more about “Sense and Sensibility,” it’s important to understand Aquila Theatre. Based in New York, Aquila Theatre is critically acclaimed worldwide for skillful reinterpretations of classic plays in productions designed to captivate audiences. This particular version of “Sense and Sensibility” is directed by Desiree Sanchez and incorporates her unique use of space, movement, design, and sound. Take it from New York Theater Review, who describes the work of Sanchez as “polished and laser sharp. She gets the maximum amount of potential out of every stage moment and has exceptional attention to detail.”

For nearly three decades, Aquila has made the live theater experience more accessible for all audiences. When artistic director Peter Meineck founded Aquila, he wanted to share a deeper understanding of the plays we all know and love. It was Meineck’s hope that everyone could enjoy the ancient Greek dramas, the works of Shakespeare, and of course, new American classics. Members of Aquila Theatre tour on a regular basis and have been awarded for their creative, multidisciplinary, educational programs, and their outreach to underserved audiences in all sorts of communities. LVPAC is excited to partner with Aquila Theatre for what is expected to be an incredible performance.

The Performance

“Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility” takes place Thursday, March 22nd at the Bankhead Theater. Ticket prices range from $40 to $80. Please note that the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers discounted tickets for both students and active military personnel. We ask that you call or visit the box office to book these tickets.

The Bankhead Theater

The Bankhead Theater isn’t your average performing arts center. Since 2007, the Bankhead has welcomed countless artists and audiences, bringing them together to share the rich experience of a live performance. Our center for performing arts is proud to put on more than 40 events throughout the year. We present just about every genre you can think of, from authentic western swing and the Great American Songbook to smooth jazz and classic rock. That said, the Bankhead is more than just a concert venue. We encourage you to bring the entire family for dance, acrobatics, theater, opera shows, and comedy performances.

We continuously strive to make the arts accessible and affordable for everyone. When you bring a group of 10 or more people, you can save 10 percent on select LVPAC shows. So the next time you think about going to the arts, be sure to invite your family, friends, business associates, or club members to a performance.

If you’ve never been to the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, now is the time. The venue provides a truly intimate experience for artists and audiences alike.

See our events calendar for upcoming performances.

Event Preview: Danú

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. Do you have plans yet? If not, the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center invites you to our St. Patrick’s Eve Celebration at the Bankhead Theater. We are proud to welcome Danú, one of the most popular traditional Irish ensembles in 2018. Those in attendance will be treated to an enthralling mix of ancient Irish music and new repertoire on the night before the most Irish of holidays. If you’re familiar with Danú, you might know that the band members hail from Waterford, Cork, Dublin, and Donegal. As a group, Danú offers the music of their heritage in a performance that’s been called “impressive, immersive, and uniquely and unmistakably Irish.” Keep reading as we take a closer look at the group.

About Danú

Danú was formed in 1995 as part of Ireland’s delegation to the annual Lorient Interceltic Festival in France, the largest gathering of Celtic nations in the world. Just two years later, the group’s self-titled debut album was released to critical acclaim. Frankly, it didn’t take long for others to see how special Danú could be. In 1999, the group signed a multi-album record deal with the Record Label Shanachie Entertainment with whom they would release five albums and a DVD internationally between 2000 and 2006.

Let’s get to the sound of Danú now. For more than two decades, the group has been known for virtuosi players on flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button, accordion, bouzouki, and vocals (Irish and English). The group is no stranger to awards either. Danú has won numerous awards from the BBC and Irish Music magazine and toured Europe, the Middle East, and North America, performing at prestigious venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and Symphony Space in New York City. Thousands of listeners also tune in to hear Danú’s music in live broadcasts on National Public Radio, the CBC, and the BBC. Part of what makes the group’s sound so powerful is that they take audiences on a musical journey to their native Ireland, offering a moving and memorable concert experience.

Danú’s star vocalist, Nell Ní Chróinín, brought her own history of awards to the group when she joined in 2016. Her multiple awards include TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year 2012 and the recipient of the prestigious Oireactas ‘Corn Uí Riada award in 2014.

The Irish Times describes Danú as “a spirit-raising concoction.” Danú regularly sweeps audiences away on a musical journey to their native country in an experience that’s truly moving, authentic, and unforgettable. It’s safe to say there’s no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Livermore.

The Performance

Danú is set to appear at the Bankhead Theater Thursday, March 16th at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $40 to $80 and are going quickly. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center also has discounted tickets available for students and active military personnel.

The Bankhead Theater

For years, our performing arts center has been the heart of a vibrant cultural arts community. The Bankhead is at the forefront of our efforts. This 507-seat venue regularly welcomes artists and audiences, bringing them together to share the rich experience of live performances. We are fortunate to put on more than 40 exceptional performances throughout the year. They aren’t limited to live music, either. Audience members also come to the Bankhead for dance, acrobatics, theater, opera shows, comedy, and much more.

There’s no question that exposure to the arts has the potential to transform lives. It’s why we’re dedicated to making performances affordable and accessible to everyone. Nothing quite compares to the intimate environment of the Bankhead. What exactly do we mean by this? Well, the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Chanticleer praised the venue for its perfect acoustics. For artists looking to make a transformation, a stop at the Bankhead is an absolute must.

Our Livermore arts center is an independent non-profit organization that operates the Bankhead, as well as the Bothwell and Downtown Art Studios. We invite you and your loved ones to share in the power of live performances. Interested in donating? LVPAC is an independent 501(c)3 organization offering wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond.

See our events calendar for upcoming performances.

Our Role in the East Bay Jazz High School All Stars Band

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

We want every student in the Tri-Valley area to have the chance to experience the arts each year. Whether it’s performances at schools put on by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center or the free monthly events at the Bankhead Theater, we certainly try to do our part. Of course, there are also the fun workshops and master classes with visiting artists. In this post, though, we want to talk mainly about our part in the East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars Band.

LVPAC was instrumental in helping director Spencer Sussman get the program going. Basically, the East Bay Jazz High School All Stars program offers students a priceless opportunity for real-world performance experience. Here’s how it works: Each fall, members are selected by audition. Once the group is finalized, they perform both in a big band format as well as a smaller jazz combo. These all-stars are made up of students selected specifically for their ability to improvise. Our center for performing arts is proud to support the East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars by identifying opportunities and providing financial support through the Educational Fund.

More About the East Bay Jazz Music Program

If your high schooler is interested in a program dedicated to high-caliber musical performance and education, then tell them about the East Bay Jazz. The program’s big band and combo ensembles rehearse weekly and perform frequently between January to June. What can you expect your son or daughter to learn? For one thing, East Bay Jazz members fine-tune their skills within the jazz idiom. But it’s the real world performance experience that is simply second to none. There’s nothing better than East Bay Jazz students sharing our love of music with the community and beyond.

Let’s talk more about Spencer for a bit. The director is a tenor and bass trombonist, composer, arranger, and educator from San Francisco. Spencer holds a masters in jazz studies from San Jose State University, studying under the guidance of Scott Whitfield, Thomas Hornig, and Aaron Lington. Through the years, Spencer has performed with the likes of Jon Faddis, Jamie Davis, Clairdee, Fred Berry, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Spencer is no stranger to the international stage, performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz a Vienne, and at venues across New Zealand. Without a doubt, Spencer has taken the East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars program to new heights.

How You Can Help Amplify the Performing Arts

It’s no secret that across the U.S., performing arts programs are suffering. Each year, LVPAC presents and produces over 250 arts events and activities. Then there’s the number of students we impact. We’re happy to say that we engage with more than 10,000 students and adult learners through the Arts in Education programs.    

So how exactly can you help us with our education outreach programs? There are five options to choose from:

  1. Membership – A gift of $125 or more automatically qualifies you for membership to the LVPAC. Membership gives you access to discounted tickets, pre-sale opportunities, and invitations to members-only events.
  2. Bricks and seats – The naming of a seat in the Bankhead Theater or a commemorative brick at the theater’s entrance or in the Madden Family Courtyard is tax-deductible. These specific donations provide underwriting for the many programs we have to offer. Think of bricks and seats as an investment in the future of LVPAC.
  3. Matching gifts – Matching Gift Programs are an easy way to increase the impact of your donation. Who knows? Maybe your employer will decide to double or even triple their tax-deductible contribution. We suggest that you see your human resource department for more information.
  4. Event sponsorship – Are you hoping to increase brand exposure while also supporting the arts? Event sponsorship is the perfect way to do that. Series sponsors reach an educated and affluent audience that supports our performing arts center. It’s a no-brainer!
  5. Legacy gifts – A legacy gift allows your charitable intention to be realized while also achieving the most favorable income tax benefits available.

Here at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, we do so much more than put on memorable events that involve live music or theatre. We also continually put educational outreach at the top of our priority list. Feel free to learn more about the East Bay Jazz High School All Stars music program.

Upcoming Events

Sat 21

Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Sat, July 21 @ 8:00 pm
Organizer: Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre
Wed 25
Fri 27
Sat 28

Red, White and Bothwell

Sat, July 28 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Aug 03

Call 925.373.6800 or email for tickets and information