Located on the historic campus of the Santa Barbara Junior High

Viva el Arte

Viva '16-'17From cowboy traditions of Colombia and Venezuela, to the Latin dance scene of New York, and many rich cultural traditions between, ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! announces its twelfth season of free family performances in neighborhood venues throughout Santa Barbara County. With a commitment to artistic excellence and education ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! connects people across generations, geography and origins in exciting concerts, participatory workshops and outreach programs in schools September 2016 through April 2017. The season line-up features first-time visits by Cimarrón, Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalitlán, and Yolotecuani; and local favorites Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano and Ballet Hispanico, coming back by popular demand.

Each group presents free community concerts at Isla Vista School, Guadalupe City Hall, and The Marjorie Luke Theatre at Santa Barbara Junior High School, as well as public workshops in accessible spaces throughout the county. Acting on a commitment to education, each group offers assemblies and workshops in schools, after school and at county juvenile facilities, as part of their visits. Like ¡Viva el Arte de Sánta Barbara! and the visiting artists on Facebook for updates on free concerts and workshops with the artists.  To see photos from past Viva shows, click here or visit our Facebook page.

2016-2017 Season:

Fridays at Isla Vista School at 7:00 PM.
Saturdays at Guadalupe City Hall Auditorium at 7:00 PM.
Sundays at The Marjorie Luke Theatre at 7:00 PM.

Show dates and descriptions:

Sept. 15-18, 2016 -LOS CAMBALACHE

Performing as concert #1 of the Viva el Arte SB FREE, family concert series! Los Cambalache, founded in 2007, is a Chicano-Jarocho group based in Los Angeles and is led by César Castro, a unique a master musician and luthier from Veracruz, México. Cambalache means “exchange.” The band includes Xochi Flores on vocals, jarana and zapateado; Chuy Sandoval on vocals, jarana and percussion; Juan Perez on bass; and special guest Rocio Marron on violin. Cambalache will be joined by on stage by accomplished dancers performing zapateado – the percussive accompaniment of dancers’ steps on a wooden platform.

Oct. 20-23, 2016 – YOLOTECUANI

From Tixtla, Guerrero, Mexico, an area rich in traditions, public celebrations and fiestas, comes Yolotecuani. With a 30-year career sharing the traditional music and dance of the region, this quintet has traveled the length and breadth of Mexico performing on harp, vihuela, bass, cajon and percussive dance on the tarima. Their music is richly connected to the traditions of the arrieros, who maintained transport systems of produce and goods by mule train and oxen, across verdant mountains and lush valleys in southern areas of pre-revolutionary Mexico. Yolotecuani also perform traditions from Tierra Caliente and Costa Chica. Led by David Peñaloza, Yolotecuani have appeared in countless festivals, and with “Capella Real de Cataluña” and the Hesperion XXI directed by Jordi Savall, with Lila Downs and Horacio Franco.


Santa Barbara favorites, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano continue to lead the field in mariachi, performing with in festivals around the globe and establishing their newly restored La Fonda restaurant, as a center for the mariachi scene in Los Angeles. Last year’s Smithsonian release, Tradición, Arte y Pasión, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Regional Mexican album. Los Camperos open the new year with schools visits, free family performances, and a reprise of their popular participatory mariachi workshop for young musicians.

Feb. 6-12 2017 – BALLET HISPANICO

Energetic, entertaining and always surprising, fusing the finest modern ballet with a fantastic Latino flair New York’s Ballet Hispanico returns for a week-long residence in Santa Barbara. The Company holds a rich and diverse repertory of over 100 works by the foremost choreographers and emerging artists of our time, which explore the diversity of Latino culture through a fusion of classical, Latin, and contemporary dance powered by theatricality and passion. The Company has performed for an audience of nearly three million, throughout eleven countries, and on three continents. In a recent rebranding of the 45-year-old company, Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director since 2009, noted, “Given the ever-increasing influence of Latinos on the cultural landscape of this country, it felt like the right time to re-introduce Ballet Hispanico as the new expression of American contemporary dance…we now push every day to challenge, through our work, people’s notions of what it means to be Latino in 2016 and beyond.” Ballet Hispanico’s importance and influence in the world of Latino culture is underscored by The New York Times, “The Latin-American experience at last has a voice.” Ballet Hispanico’s visit featuring free public dance concerts, school visits and popular Latin Social Dance classes is supported through the special generosity of Jody and John Arnhold.


In just ten years Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalitán from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, have established their reputation as one of the world’s best, sharing stages with Vicente Fernandez, Mark Anthony, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and Joan Sebastian among others. The group was founded by the Angel Martinez, director of Mariachi Neuvo Tecalitlán who visited Santa Barbara with Viva in 2013. Under the direction of Lupita Martinez, these eleven young women have performed in festivals throughout Mexico and the United States, even travelling to London in 2010.

¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! is sponsored by SAGE Publications, Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Roddick Foundation, the California Arts Council, Anonymous, UCSB Office of Education Partnerships, the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission Community Arts Grant Program, with funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara, in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission. Additional support comes from The Marjorie Luke Theatre’s Dreier Family Rent Subsidy Fund. The program is supported in part by the Santa Barbara Independent, the Santa Maria SUN, El Latino CC, Radio Bronco, Univision, the Best Western South Coast Inn, the Hampton Inn, Pacifica Suites, and Ramada Limited. Viva is co-presented by The Marjorie Luke Theatre, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts & Education Center, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center and UCSB Arts and Lectures, in partnership with the Isla Vista School After School Grant.


Upcoming Event

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