Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

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Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
The center in 2009
Former names Wells Fargo Center for the Arts (2005–2016)
Address 50 Mark West Springs Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95403[1]
Coordinates 38°29′36″N 122°44′57″W / 38.4932°N 122.7492°W / 38.4932; -122.7492Coordinates: 38°29′36″N 122°44′57″W / 38.4932°N 122.7492°W / 38.4932; -122.7492
Owner Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation
Type Performing arts center
Capacity 1,612 (Ruth Finley Person Theater)
399 (East Auditorium)
Opened 1981
Construction cost $4.5 million

The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts (sometimes called the LBC, and also known as the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts from March 2005 – March 2016) is a performance venue located just north of Santa Rosa, California, by U.S. 101. The facility is owned and operated by the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation, a non-profit arts organization established in 1979.[2]


The principal performance space is the Ruth Finley Person Theater, which seats 1,612 around a 58-foot (18 m) wide stage,[3] with no seat further than 75 feet (23 m) from the stage.[4] In addition to performing arts, the Center offers facilities for parties and community events.

The Center's smaller venues include:

  • Carston Cabaret (capacity: 100–300 people)[5]
  • East Auditorium (capacity: 400) formerly known as The Merlo Theater[6]
  • Fireside Room, with gas-powered fireplace[7]
  • Pavilion (outdoor location)[8]
  • Lytton Rancheria Grand Lobby[9]
  • Atrium
  • A 9,000-square-foot (840 m2) atrium[10]
  • three conference rooms[11]

Presentations and tenants[edit]

The Center presents more than 100 performances each year. Many notable artists have performed at the Center. Resident companies include the North Bay Stage Company and Roustabout Theater.[12]

Other tenants include the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market and various medical and educational organizations.[13]


The Foundation purchased the property from the Christian Life Center in the 1970s for $4.5 million. The facility opened to the public in 1981.[14] In 2006, the Foundation sold the naming rights to Wells Fargo Bank for ten years, coming into effect on March 12, 2005.[15] The foundation continued to own and operate the center,[16] which is scheduled to officially revert to its original name on March 12, 2016.[17][18]

Notable performances[edit]

The venue was the site of the taping of comedian Lewis Black's fourth album, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues, and the final recorded performance by comedian George Carlin, his 14th HBO special, It's Bad for Ya.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2006-07 Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  2. ^ "Info: Foundation, Nonprofit". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  3. ^ "Main Theater Specification Sheet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  4. ^ "Seating Chart". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ [3][dead link]
  8. ^ [4][dead link]
  9. ^ [5][dead link]
  10. ^ [6][dead link]
  11. ^ [7][dead link]
  12. ^ "Resident Companies". Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  13. ^ "Resident Partners". Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  14. ^ "History". Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  15. ^ "Luther Burbank Center for the Arts Officially Becomes Wells Fargo Center for the Arts" (Press release). PR Newswire. March 9, 2005. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Naming Sponsorship". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  17. ^ Taylor, Dan (February 17, 2016). "Santa Rosa arts and entertainment center to be Luther Burbank Center again". The Press Democrat. Santa Rosa, California. 
  18. ^ Meline, Gabe (February 17, 2016). "Hallelujah, It’s Called the Luther Burbank Center Again". KQED Arts. KQED, Inc. 

External links[edit]