The Granada Theatre and The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts have received a $1 million commitment to the theater’s endowment fund from Sarah and Roger Chrisman, the theater announced on Feb. 5.
The gift comes after the couple’s original donation of $1 million last year to endow the executive director position.
“The performing arts are vital to a free society and serve as a powerful reminder of our humanity,” Sarah and Roger Chrisman said in a statement. “Our motivation to give this endowment is to ensure the long-term excellence and sustainability of The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts and The Granada Theatre for the next 90 years and beyond.”
Sarah Chrisman has been board president of the performing arts center since 2009. As a founding member of the board, she has served the organization for more than a decade in various roles, including as vice president and treasurer. She and her husband are the sole trustees of the Schlinger Chrisman Foundation and they are known throughout the region for their philanthropy.
“Sarah and Roger Chrisman have been among our most generous supporters over the past decade,” Craig Springer, the Chrisman executive director of the SBCPA, said in a statement. “Their financial support and leadership has been instrumental in laying the foundation to The Granada Theatre and the SBCPA’s long-term success and sustainability, and we are deeply grateful for their continued generosity and incredible support.”
Unlike many performing arts centers, The Granada Theatre does not receive ongoing financial support from local or state government. The Granada Theatre covers approximately half of its annual budget through ticket sales and other earned income, but relies on private funding and community support to make up the difference.