061421 Solvang Festival Theater wall

Ann Foxworthy Lewellen, Theaterfest vice chair and chair of the capital campaign, and Theaterfest Board Chair Chris Nielsen point to their names on the donor section of the newly unveiled wall mural at the Solvang Festival Theater on Friday.

Solvang Theaterfest on Friday unveiled a wall-sized mural on the grounds of the Solvang Festival Theater, serving as a gesture of appreciation to those donors who have supported the ongoing “Imagine – Building the Future” capital campaign in its aim to raise $4.7 million for the renovation of the aging theater.

The wall showcases the names of every capital campaign donor, with room for future donors' names to be added, according to Theaterfest Executive Director Scott Coe.

The mural was designed by local artists Suzi Matthies and Barbara Young and will be on display at the theater until the groundbreaking in September, Coe said.

“It’s our way of thanking our donors, and also kicking off the final phase of our fundraising efforts," said Ann Foxworthy Lewellen, Theaterfest vice chair and chair of the capital campaign. "We only have $1.5 million to go to reach our goal, and we hope this mural will rouse even more support from this great community."

Construction on the project, which includes upgrades to electrical, lighting and sound technology, is slated to begin Sept. 13, with completion expected in July 2022.

Renovation plans include a complete replacement of the theater's rear wall, increasing its height by 8 feet and adding cantilevered panels to help deflect wind, capture more warmth and buffer external noise. Acoustically engineered paneling also will be added to the new wall to enhance sound.

Additionally, the project will include new ADA-compliant stairwell access to the theater and box office for staff and patrons, as well as the replacement of the theater's 47-year-old utility poles, which will increase safety for staff and patrons while supporting an enhanced lighting system.

“We are really looking forward to a theater with enhanced performance, enhanced safety and comfort for another five decades and beyond,” said Theaterfest Board Chair Chris Nielsen.  

Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record. 

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