2021 in Review
We look back at last year with gratitude beyond measure. In 2021 The Lensic was able to reopen for live performances, thanks to the incredible support and enthusiasm of our community.
As a Lensic supporter, you play a starring role in all we do!
On June 17, after more than a year without patrons in the theater, we reopened The Lensic’s front doors, filling to capacity for a free screening of The Wizard of Oz. Live performances returned in August with Jono Manson & Friends: Bring Up the Lights. This showcase of local talent featured singer-songwriter Manson plus a dozen other musicians, including Eliza Gilkyson, Michael Hearne, and Hillary Smith.
Our Lensic Presents series returned in September with a celebratory, sold-out concert by trumpet master Chris Botti. Eight more events filled the fall season, including a spectacular evening with the young dancers of American Ballet Theatre Studio Company and sold-out shows by Branford Marsalis and Seth Meyers. The triumphant return of Joe Illick and the New Year’s Eve Orchestra closed out a remarkable year.
Nearly 13,500 K–12 students from more than 50 New Mexico schools viewed our virtual performances, which included an educational performance by American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, filmed on The Lensic’s stage, and theatrical presentations Charlotte’s Web and Agua Es Vida.
The Lensic Technical Theater Internship Program welcomed 12 local high school students for weekly hands-on training in lighting, rigging, sound, and stage management. This program introduces students to potential careers.
Lensic Presents Masterclasses led by 10 visiting artists impacted 145 students. Jazz legend Branford Marsalis worked with UNM music students and jazz program students from New Mexico School for the Arts and the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association. The rising stars of American Ballet Theatre Studio Company shared their expertise with NDI dance students.
We welcomed the return of local music and presenting groups to our stage, hosting 31 shows by 13 local organizations, including the Santa Fe Symphony, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Performance Santa Fe, and AMP Concerts.
The Lensic proudly partnered with Santa Fe’s Silver Bullet Productions to present a staged reading of Manahatta, a play by award-winning Native playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle that was directed by Maura Dhu Studi.
Nearly 2,000 people attended free Lensic Presents events, including movie screenings and a low-sensory magic show by magician and autism educator Kevin Spencer.
Our Landmark Theater
While our stage was dark, the historic Lensic continued to require care and attention.
In 2021 we tackled several plumbing and heating issues, which tend to arise unexpectedly in a 90-year-old theater, even with regularly scheduled maintenance.
We prepared for reopening with projects including a deep cleaning of theater seats, carpets, the Lensic bars, and public areas. We also made sure The Lensic’s air-filtration system exceeded the newest health and safety recommendations.
Through donor generosity, we installed a new, red stage curtain, replacing the gold curtain that had been in service since 2001.
In 2021 The Lensic received Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for the seventh consecutive year. It’s an exceptional rating that confirms our strong financial management and a commitment to accountability and transparency.