The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians announced a $100,000 matching grant to support the funding of the Solvang Festival Theater renovations.
It was announced in front of a sold-out crowd to see country music legend Clint Black at the Solvang Festival Theater Thursday night.
The donation match is part of an effort to raise $4.7 million to improve infrastructure, increase accessibility and upgrade the technical capacity at the 700-seat venue.
Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians said, "The Solvang Festival Theater provides a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience for Central Coast theatergoers, and its performances have been enriching lives in our community for nearly 50 years. As the organization looks to the community to help fund needed renovations, our tribe is proud to support the Solvang Theaterfest board's efforts and make sure the venue remains a source of quality entertainment in the Santa Ynez Valley."
The theater began in 1974 and has given 3,146 performances of 242 productions of plays and musicals.
Ann Foxworthy Lewellen, the Vice President of the Solvang Theaterfest Board of Directors said, "From Halloween Haunted Houses, to 'My Fair Lady,' to great performers such as Clint Black, the theater is more vital and reaches more lives than ever. Solvang Theaterfest, now in need of a renewed community investment, greatly appreciates the generous support of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians."
The renovations plan include a complete replacement of the rear wall and walkway of the theater surrounding audience seating, and the construction of an 8-foot-higher wall behind the audience with cantilevered panels to block wind, capture more warmth and buffer external noise.
They also plan to construct new stairs, place in a wheelchair ramp, add a new entrance to audience seating and technological upgrades that will enhance the viewing experience.