The Lensic Performing Arts Center at 211 West San Francisco Street  celebrates a 10th Anniversary Gala on April 16, 2011


The Lensic We Love

The admiring glances seen every time we attend a performance event at the Lensic Performing Arts Center are a reminder that this jewel in the heart of town is not only still alive and active but is also celebrating its tenth anniversary this year! So often, great local gems slip quietly and inexorably into disrepair before we realize what is being lost. What good fortune for the city of Santa Fe that a dedicated group of local folk put their minds, money and muscle to ensuring a future for this architectural and historical treasure. And as the renovation was about to begin, one of the excellent decisions that ensued was the hiring of Robert Martin as the Director of the Lensic.

Bob Martin, Executive Director of the Lensic Performing Arts Center

With this gala year and the upcoming celebration, we asked Bob Martin for a bit of his time to help our guests become acquainted with all that the Lensic brings to the City Different. Despite the many demands involved in creating this anniversary party, Bob graciously complied with the questions we posed.

  • How long have you been with the Lensic, and how did you find your way there?

I have been at the Lensic 11 years. I came two months before the renovation begin in April 2000. Sue Weil, who I knew in Los Angeles, connected me up with Merrill Brockway who was helping Nancy Zeckendorf find a director.

For those who need more history on the contributions of Ms. Zeckendorf et al, there’s more about the history of the Lensic in this earlier post

  • In lieu of the usual “Top Ten” list, can you please name some favorite events performed at the Lensic on your watch?

The Los Alamos Project reading; The Laramie Project:10 Years Later; Sonny Rollins at the New Mexico Jazz Festival;  Terry Allen, David Byrne and Emmylou Harris in a benefit concert for Landmine Free World; Eddie Izzard; and Children of Uganda.

For a city of less than 100K residents, this is an impressive and varied list of visiting artists, which should prove enticing for those who have not yet enjoyed a concert, reading or dance performance at the Lensic!

Eddie Izzard, Works in Progress

  • Can you name a community outreach event at the Lensic that has been personally meaningful for you?

That’s hard to pick. I really believe in the importance of all of them.

Guess that this question was akin to asking a parent to name a favorite child; sorry, Bob!

  • What one performer have you always wanted to see at the Lensic, but who has eluded you?

Bob Dylan

Mr. Martin should not feel alone; the movie that tells a similar elusive tale is entitled I’m Not There

  • What performer, living or deceased, would you like to meet and why?

Zero Mostel and Bert Lahr, because I just thought of them.

Zero Mostel as The Fiddler on the Roof

The One and Only Bert Lahr

  • Is there a staff member at the Lensic whose job you secretly envy?

Not really.

Job satisfaction is a great quality in a community leader!

  • What would you like to see happen for the Lensic over the next ten years?

To maintain excellence in programming, to continue taking chances and commitment to community. To be recognized nationally as a model for performing arts centers.

Under Bob Martin’s stewardship, the Lensic is definitely on its way towards these goals, especially with the launch of its $3 Million Fund the Future Campaign to ensure the legacy of performance, education and community events for generations to come.

  • As befits all New Mexicans, the state question, red or green? And where?

Green at Tia Sophias.


Everyone has a Favorite Place – and Color – for Chile!

The 10th Anniversary Gala Celebration commemorating the creation of the nonprofit Lensic Performing Arts Center, along with the 80th birthday of the historic Lensic Theater itself, begins on Saturday, April 16 at 5pm. A champagne reception taking place in the Lensic Lobby will precede the performance. This memorable occasion will also honor Santa Feans Nancy and Bill Zeckendorf, who spearheaded the effort to create the performing arts center that has become so integral to the arts community of Santa Fe. Performances by members of the Santa Fe Concert Association, Santa Fe Pro Musica and Santa Fe Symphony will be enhanced when the directors of each group conduct pieces played by this specially organized “Lensic Ensemble.” The Gala will also feature students from the Santa Fe Indian School and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and a film retrospective of the Lensic and its history will be screened.

We extend our sincere thanks to Bob Martin, for sharing some of his time and thoughts with us and for his energy and devotion to ensuring that the Lensic Performing Arts Center endures as a vital part of the cultural life of our city!

If you would like to be part of  this important Santa Fe celebration, please call the Lensic Box Office at 505-988-1234 or visit their website at

Lensic Center photos courtesy of the Lensic; all rights reserved.