An Arts Experience in Livermore

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Aquila2_150x150.jpgBy Jessica Beck

Livermore is encompassed by some of the richest cultural arts in the area. The true blend of art and culture is seen through the area's finest performing arts organizations and an enriched way of life through cultural and educational organizations. The city is home to an opera, symphony orchestra, chamber music series, chorus, Ballet Company, Shakespeare Festival, Community Theater and a host of visual artists. Livermore truly thrives on the arts and experiences that come with it.
The Theater Experience
In October of 2007, Livermore added the Bankhead Theater to its combination of arts and culture. The Theater seats 507 with full stage facilities for music, theater, dance and conferences. Its location in the heart of Downtown Livermore adds a richness and flavor that cannot be recreated. In its first year of operation the Theater presented more than 200 performances and as it rolls into its second year, even more events are planned. The Theater is home to Del Valle Fine Arts, Livermore Valley Opera, California Independent Film Festival, Livermore-Amador Symphony, Valley Dance Theater, Cantabella Children's Chorus, Pleasanton Playhouse and the Valley Concert Chorale.

569.jpgThe Shea Homes Stage located in the plaza directly in front of the theater is home to many multi-day festival events and concerts throughout the year. In the upcoming year, the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center will be presenting An Evening with the Smothers Brothers, The Four Freshman Celebrate New Year's Eve, The Best of Doo Wop, and an Evening with Tommy Tune among other performances.

Along with the Bankhead Theater, Livermore is in talks to construct a 1,960 seat theater with full stage facilities equipped for music, theater, and dance.  Just like the Bankhead, the Regional Theater would have more than 200 performances and events annually. The location is to be on the West side of South Livermore Avenue, again, in the heart of downtown Livermore. Its design will ensure that no seat is more than 125 feet away from the stage. The design will also accommodate full-scale Broadway touring productions as well as some of the most widely recognized artists and performing ensembles. The vibrancy that this theater will bring to the Livermore Valley is an enthusiasm that can not be replicated.

Upcoming Experiences
Along with the many annual events, such as the Harvest Festival and the Livermore Wine Country Festival, one of the upcoming events in Livermore is the ArtWalk 2008. The 7th annual event will be held on October 11th from 11 AM to 5 PM in Downtown Livermore. The day combines art, music, wine and shopping and truly is an event that only Livermore can offer. Exhibits from over 100 artists will be displayed throughout the downtown parks, sidewalks, and inside shops.

The atmosphere of art inside tasting rooms, shops, and restaurants creates a sense of a unique culture among all who attend. Besides individual artists, the day also becomes a home for groups, organizations, and even businesses to represent their work. This is the first year that the ArtWalk will serve as a benefit for the Bothwell Arts Center located on 8th Street in Livermore. The sense of community fills the open streets of Downtown Livermore and will be an event that shouldn't be missed.

Each December, Downtown Livermore combines the holiday season with the cultural arts. Weekends filled with the arts take place on the streets and encompass the entire community's needs. Earlier than the Bird, Home for the Holidays, and Holiday Sights and Sounds Parade all have a winning combination of arts and culture with the holiday season mixed in.

Wine-Tasting4.jpgThe month of May is one of the busiest experiences in Livermore. The Wine Country Festival takes place in Historic Downtown Livermore and provides over 100,000 people with the opportunity to enjoy wine, art exhibits, live music, shopping, and dining simultaneously. Dancing, singing, painting, cooking, and even wine making are all represented at this event. The first weekend in May each year for the past 17 years has been an experience that all who attend enjoy. Wine glasses representing the festival and wine tasting from the cities best wine makers can be found at the Wine Country Festival.

As each year passes, Livermore harvests more and more into its rich ambiance of arts and culture. It is such an exciting time to be a part of an ever growing experience that the citizens of Livermore don't want to keep to themselves any longer.

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