Wells Fargo Center for the Arts Welcomes New Partners North Bay Stage Company and Sonoma Latin Arts

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Wells Fargo Center for the Arts Welcomes New Partners North Bay Stage Company and Sonoma Latin Arts

Wells Fargo Center for the Arts announced today two new collaborations with local arts organizations: North Bay Stage Company (NBSC) and Sonoma Latin Arts (SLA). NBSC joins Roustabout Theater as the Center's second resident theater company, and will reside primarily in the East Auditorium, beginning its residency in April of this year. SLA joins Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmer's Market and Village Charter School as the Center's resident partners and began its partnership in January of this year. Both organizations share the Center's mission to enrich, educate, and entertain while connecting the community through the arts.

"As a non-profit organization, it is our goal to make the Center a gathering place for everyone in our community," said Rick Nowlin, the Center's Executive Director. "Adding North Bay Stage Company and Sonoma Latin Arts to our roster of resident organizations further expands the programs that North Bay residents can participate in and benefit from here at the Center, and we are delighted to be working with two organizations that share our core purpose of using the arts to bring people together."

North Bay Stage Company was started when former members of the Raven Players Artistic Group, the resident live theater company of Healdsburg's Raven Performing Arts Theater, formed an independent community-based theatre company in an effort to reach a larger pool of talent with the opportunity to perform in a more visible and centrally located venue as the Center has to offer.

"For the core creative group who comprise North Bay Stage Company and have worked together for almost 10 years, we look ahead to a bright future embarking on what is the right next step in our growth," observed John DeGaetano, NBSC Artistic Director. "North Bay Stage Company presents high quality theatrical entertainment and we value our connection to a broad audience in Sonoma County. Joining the artistic family at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts is truly a new beginning for us, and feels like an ideal fit."

NBSC endeavors to provide an avenue by which regional actors, singers and dancers along with technical crew, musicians and emerging artists may have a chance to learn or showcase their talents. It achieves this through a rich assortment of productions, play readings, group discussions, and education, all intended to encourage individuals to further pursue their dreams and ambitions in theater arts. NBSC's founders have produced such shows as Chicago, Out Town, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Odd Couple, Cats and many others. Six productions are planned for the 2014 season-two musicals, a classic comedy, an original work from a Bay Area playwright, a dance revue and a popular mystery, in addition to a season gala, designed to introduce the new company to the community, on April 24. The inaugural season will be announced February 17 and will launch with the Tony Award-winning classic musical Cabaret in July 2014. For more visit North Bay Stage Company.

It is the extraordinary impact on people's lives when they take the opportunity to learn to dance that inspired the launch of the non-profit Sonoma Latin Arts. The organization began as Santa Rosa Salsa in 2001, presenting salsa dance classes and social dancing at the Flamingo Hotel, and has since evolved into a vibrant organization committed to providing multidisciplinary and multicultural arts education programs for youth, adults and families to preserve, promote and celebrate Latin arts and culture.

Sonoma Latin Arts programs are for youth and adults, ages 7 and up, and range from drop-in classes to series of classes to dance companies with performance opportunities. The goal of SLA is to eventually add other Latin arts disciplines and music programs to the curriculum.

"Over the past 13 years, I have had the privilege of seeing how taking the opportunity to learn to dance can dramatically impact people's lives," said SLA founder Irene Silva. "From improved health to improved confidence to meeting their sweetheart at a dance class; I am thrilled at the opportunity to bring the benefits of music and dance to a wider audience through Sonoma Latin Arts."

Santa Rosa Salsa will continue to exist as an independent production company, presenting social dances every Sunday and hosting the popular annual 3-day Salsa Festival. This year's festival (Feb 13 - 16, 2014) will feature the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, a 19-piece band that received the 2014 Grammy for Best Latin Tropical Album, and will include fundraiser for Sonoma Latin Arts. For more information on the salsa festival, visit santarosasalsa.com.

Adjunct to SLA is the Academy of Language and Arts of Sonoma (ALAS), a private language immersion and cultural arts program also developed by Irene Silva and to be housed at the Center. ALAS will initially incorporate Spanish language development for preschoolers, and will expand to K - 2 in August 2014. In addition, there will be a Saturday Spanish school for ages 5 - 13, learning Spanish through the Arts. ALAS's long-term goal is to add Mandarin language development to the curriculum.

About Wells Fargo Center for the Arts: A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts is home to world-class performances, nationally recognized education programs, contemporary visual art, and many popular events. The Center is located in the heart of the Sonoma wine country and ranked among California's top performing arts presenters. Together with its resident companies, the Center presents more than 100 performances in music, dance, theater, renowned speakers, and comedy; provides education programs serving 30,000 children and adults; and hosts more than 1,000 community events a year. Owned and operated by the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation, the Center relies on charitable community donations to achieve its mission - to enrich, educate, and entertain.

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