2015 marked the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium’s 75th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of Cabrillo Festival’s move downtown to our permanent home. How apropos that with these auspicious milestones we’re able to unveil an ambitious new vision for the future of this iconic City-owned gathering place. With the committed support of the Civic Renovation Leadership Team, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Santa Cruz City Council, and the Parks and Recreation Department, great strides have been made in planning for a much-hoped-for renovation of the Civic Auditorium as a performing arts and cultural center for our community.
There is still a long journey ahead and much support to be garnered, but progress is encouraging. Current and prospective users of the Civic—both commercial and non-profit—have been surveyed, focus groups conducted, and research and analysis of those findings compiled. A Tier One structural engineering study and a Tier Two seismic capacity study have now been completed, with very positive reports. As well, ELS Architecture and Urban Design created an exciting conceptual design envisioning our new theatre, and enabling us to move the project forward with a new sense of excitement and possibility.
Next steps are underway! Consultants AMS Planning & Research have launched a business planning study that will include situation and operations analysis, an online survey to engage community input, and proposals for future operating and management plans. Understanding that this project will require a significant public/private investment, a Civic Renovation Fund Development Steering Committee has now convened to begin the process of identifying and engaging private donors who can help make this dream a reality.
We’re excited and grateful to so many who are championing the renovation and the wonderful benefits it would bring for all citizens of the City and County. We’ll update you on our progress and call you to action as we continue on this exciting pursuit!
Cabrillo Festival Executive Director
Civic Auditorium Renovation Leadership Team Chair