Classical Performing Arts in Today’s Wired World: Where’s the Fit?

Posted on Oct 12 by SEASONS Magazine

Rodney Gustafson, courtesy photo.

Rodney Gustafson, courtesy photo.

Antioch University Santa Barbara presents “Classical Performing Arts in Today’s Wired World: Where’s the Fit?” on Monday, October 17 at 4 p.m. on the AUSB campus at 602 Anacapa St. as the next installment in the university’s Antioch in Conversation… series.

During a candid discussion of how Santa Barbara’s arts organizations are staying vital and viable in a world filled with rap music, video games, and movies-on-demand, Rodney Gustafson, founder and artistic director of State Street Ballet, and Kevin Marvin, executive director of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, will discuss how imagination and true grit are essential for today’s classical performing arts organizations to stay relevant. Against all odds, these home-grown ensembles are thriving, but it takes constant vigilance. 

Kevin Marvin, courtesy photo.

Kevin Marvin, courtesy photo.

Gustafson was a featured dancer with the American Ballet Theatre before founding State Street Ballet. Under his guidance, the company has grown into a sought-after touring troupe while continuing to enrich Santa Barbara with high-caliber performances and a ballet school.

Marvin was a church organist as a youth and attended college on a piano scholarship, but after graduation he became a banker. Eventually, he found a way to marry his passion for music with his business skills by becoming an arts administrator. Fund-raiser, programmer, labor negotiator, audience developer… He does all this and more at the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra.

My hat is off to these dedicated professionals,” says Barbara Greenleaf, Antioch’s Associate Vice Chancellor of External Affairs. “They bring so much joy to so many in Santa Barbara, from the youngest to the oldest, and they do so in the face of drastically changing tastes and enormous competition. I can’t wait to find out how they manage to pull it off.”

The event is free and open to the public. To learn more, visit


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