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On Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, the “Best of the Bankhead,” a virtual benefit for Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, will celebrate the arts and acknowledge all the live entertainment missed as a result of the pandemic.

The event will be hosted by LVPAC Executive Director Chris Carter and emceed by Freddy Silveria, who will appear live from the Bankhead stage. The “Best of the Bankhead” will feature cameo video performances by some of the most popular artists who have appeared at the Bankhead since it opened in 2007. Tickets for the event include dinner and wine delivered to attendees’ homes prior to the event.

Audience favorites at the “Best of the Bankhead” will include comedian Paula Poundstone, ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro, and smooth jazz legend Keiko Matsui. All three have appeared at the Bankhead more than four times each, consistently filling the house, and all three are currently booked for live performances at the Bankhead in 2021. A concert date for Jake Shimabukuro has been scheduled for March, his sixth visit since appearing in the Bankhead’s inaugural season shortly after he became one of the first YouTube artists to go viral.

The Choir of Man, a rollicking pub show that sold out the theater twice in less than a year, will make a video appearance from London, and other surprise guests will perform as well.

Due to the closure of the Bankhead and Bothwell for COVID-19 safety, “Best of the Bankhead” will be Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center’s only major fundraising event in 2020. The annual Brilliance at the Bankhead gala, typically held in September, has been postponed to 2021.

“While we continue to offer virtual performances such as Vineyard Vibes and online art classes, our ability to deliver on our mission to serve the community through the arts has been severely restricted, far beyond anything we could have imagined,” said Executive Director Chris Carter. “We took quick action to preserve our financial situation, but in order to come back strong when we’re able to open again, we must continue to rely on the support of the community. We are so grateful to everyone, from major “Best of the Bankhead” sponsors such as Fremont Bank, to individual donors who have sent us whatever they could. We are focused on how we can help restore the arts in downtown Livermore as soon as it is safely possible.”

During the evening there will be a raffle for two special items - a sparkling Circle of Diamonds pendant donated by Lance Cavalieri Jewelers valued at just over $5,000, and a pair of tickets to the upcoming 2021 Brilliance at the Bankhead Gala starring Vanessa Williams. The “Best of the Bankhead” event will also highlight other initiatives of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, including a new exhibit in the Bankhead Gallery. The “Best of the Bothwell,” a showcase of works by local artists who create or teach at the Bothwell, opens in time for limited-access viewing during ArtWalk on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Full price tickets for “Best of the Bankhead” are just $150 per person and include a catered dinner and wine that can be delivered to each attendee’s home prior to the event. Those who prefer to pick up their meal at the Bankhead instead can take a tour of the “Best of the Bothwell” art exhibit when they do so. Suggested minimum donation in support of the Arts is $25 for "Pay What You Want" tickets, which include show access only. Raffle tickets, which are only available in advance through the Box Office, are priced at $20 each or 10 tickets for $150.

Lead event sponsors for “Best of the Bankhead” include Fremont Bank, the Priem Family Foundation, Jean King, and Lynn and Joan Seppala. Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is also generously supported by event partners Advance Creative, Beets Hospitality Group and Wente Vineyards. All proceeds will support the extensive performing and visual arts activities, as well as educational outreach, offered at the Bankhead Theater and Bothwell Arts Center by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)3 independent non-profit arts organization.