The Santa Rosa Wells Fargo Center for the Arts has re-opened after a $2.8 million renovation and is celebrating by giving back to the community. The refreshed Ruth Finley Person theater now offers increased seating and better sightlines along with many other upgrades and will host a free concert on August 25th by the US Air Force Band of the Golden West.
Santa Rosa kids are also well-served by the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts “Education Through the Arts” programs, which impact over 30,000 students each year. Many programs are offered throughout the year with a goal of “finding innovative ways to employ the arts to support the teaching of math, science, reading, and all core curriculum subjects, inspiring original thinking, improving comprehension, acknowledging different ways of learning, stirring creativity and improving students overall performance in the classroom.”
Recently the Education Through the Arts program received a boost with a grant for the Target Literacy Program which is entering its third year this fall. “At Target, we are committed to serving local communities where we do business,” said Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations, Target. “That’s why we are proud to partner with Wells Fargo Center for the Arts as we work to strengthen communities and enrich the lives of our guests and team members.”
The Target Literacy Program serves third grade students in six classrooms at two schools in Santa Rosa. It is an explicit goal of the Program to target children with the most need, those who may not already have a book of their own at home, and who would not otherwise be able to take part in these experiences. The schools selected to be part of this program are comprised largely of minority students (ranging from 83 – 96%) and of students on the free lunch program (ranging from 91 – 98%).
Currently, there are no additional openings for other schools or for individuals to participate in this program, however other classrooms and students can replicate parts of this program by reading the book in advance of seeing a play, instilling a love and understanding of reading, and then bringing the words to life on stage by visiting the Center to see the stage production, as the Family Fun series of shows are open to the public. In addition, the Target Literacy Program is only one of approximately ten Education Through the Arts programs offered by Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. Please visit the Center's website to learn more about those programs, which offer many opportunities for involvement by students of all ages.
For the August 25 FREE concert at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, doors open at 1:45 pm for a discussion with members of the band at 2pm and the concert at 3pm. Tickets have all been accounted for, but any tickets not claimed will be released 15 minutes before the show starts.
Rick Nowlin, Executive Director, says, “This renovation has been a long time in the making, and we are excited to share the results with the community. From improved sightlines to better accessibility to a raised stage to new seats, audience members will notice a significantly improved experience, and this free concert is our way of saying ‘welcome’ to our friends and neighbors.”