In 1986, the B Street Theatre opened as a simple touring theater for children. Since then, it has grown to be one of the West Coast’s premier children’s theaters, producing 19 shows per year and serving 300,000 people annually. But the two-theater playhouse had outgrown its original space and sought options.
In April 2015, a task force put together by former-Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson published its findings and recommendations regarding a potential world-class performing arts center in downtown Sacramento. It found room for growth in Sacramento’s performing arts markets, particularly for high-quality facilities in the 150-300, 500-800 and 2,200-2,500 seating capacity range.
With the findings, the timing for a new and improved B Street Theatre was ideal. The theater launched a capital campaign to raise the needed funds to build California’s first year-round, fully-professional theater for children. In May 2016, construction began on the new $25 million complex on 27th Street and Capitol Avenue. The new 48,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in February 2018 and will include two theaters — a 365-seat children’s theater and a 250-seat mainstage theater, as well as rehearsal space, an expansive lobby, an on-site, full-service restaurant and a rooftop deck. Sutter Medical Center donated the land to build the complex. A generous donation from Angelo K. and Sofia Tsakopoulos and matched by Sutter Health Community Benefit brought in total contributions of $3 million. The new theater will be named the Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, in honor of its largest donor.
Mike Testa, CEO of Visit Sacramento, offers his insight into what the city has to offer tourists. For more from Testa, check out “The Little Music Festival That Was” in our August issue. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll email you when it’s available online.
After losing an undisclosed sum both years, TBD Fest (otherwise known as The Bridge District Festival) has incurred blame from investors and rival music promoters for being underfunded. General consensus is that if a festival can’t pay for its talent before selling a single ticket, it’s under-capitalized.
Randy Roberts, deputy director of the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, offers her insight into the essential role of museums as community organizations.
Founded in 2000, Music to Grow On focuses on special-needs children and works in 20 school districts throughout the greater Sacramento region. Barth describes music therapy as “the use of music to reach non-musical goals,” which can include everything from communication and motor skills to memory and academics.