Disney Legend Lea Salonga

Tickets to see Broadway star and Disney Legend Lea Salonga on May 8, 2020 are already sold out, nine months in advance. (Photo - Raymund Issac)

Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center began its new fiscal year last month after reaching several notable milestones in sales, membership, and fundraising.

The 2019-2020 Bankhead Presents season, which was announced in late May, will open with the Brilliance at the Bankhead Gala on Sept. 7. The season runs through June 2020.

Sales for the new season are moving quickly. On the first day of member presales, single day sales were double the level reached on the same day a year earlier. The record pace continued through the public on-sale date in June.

Some of the upcoming shows are selling fast. The May 2020 performance by Broadway star and Disney legend Lea Salonga is already sold out. Nearly all the regularly priced tickets for the “So You Think You Can Dance LIVE 2019” show on Nov. 29 sold within a few days after it went on sale last month.

Texican rock band Los Lonely Boys in November, Lonestar and Phil Vassar’s “Holiday & Hits” show in December, and the return of The Choir of Man in January are among the others now selling well.

Additional money for key projects has also been secured. The “Green the Bankhead” project, initiated in early 2018, reached the $500,000 funding milestone, allowing the next phase of the project to begin.

New environmentally-friendly carpet will be installed throughout the Bankhead Theater. The building will be closed to the public while the work is completed and will reopen before to the gala.

Last year, new programmable LED lights were added above the stage. This fall, solar panels will be mounted on the roof to provide energy for the building.

In June, the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center was awarded a California Arts Council “Arts Education Exposure” grant of $12, 680. One of just 124 organizations to receive the money this year, it will be used to help underwrite special student matinee performances and local school assemblies. The grant will also help support free cultural arts celebrations for Native American Day in September and Hispanic Heritage Day in May.

Director of Development and Communications Chris Carter said the past fiscal year has also seen a broadening of support for the organization’s efforts.

“Our pool of donors has grown considerably and we are closing in on reaching the 1,000 member milestone," he said. "What is perhaps even more significant is that the number of larger donors has also increased. In the last year, 20 percent of our members gave $1,000 or more.”

Community participation across the organization has also grown. In addition to attendance at Bankhead performances and the new Bothwell Presents music series, the third Livermore Innovation Fair in April saw record attendance.

The current “Man on the Moon” art and photography exhibit in the Bankhead Gallery has welcomed more than 900 visitors, the most recorded for any exhibit there to date. A closing reception for “Man on the Moon” will be held on Aug. 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. It will provide a final opportunity to view the large-scale photographs from NASA and the scale model of the Apollo 11 mission trajectory created by members of the Livermore Science & Society Center. Additional photos, video, artwork and associated memorabilia complete the exhibit.