CAMA's mission is to enrich Santa Barbara's cultural life by bringing live performances by world-renowned classical artists and orchestras of the highest artistic excellence to the community and by providing creative, focused music education programs for individuals of all ages.


CAMA, Santa Barbara's oldest arts organization, brings the finest classical musicians from around the globe to Santa Barbara, California. CAMA presents an exciting mix of internationally acclaimed orchestras and soloists in two concert series.

The history of CAMA begins in the fall of 1919 when a group of community-minded Santa Barbarans came together in the optimistic years following World War I to create the Civic Music Committee. Their intention was to present the finest in musical performances, including the new Los Angeles Philharmonic, founded by philanthropist William Andrews Clark, Jr. that same year. The group's work was taken over by the Community Arts Association's Music Branch in 1926, which in time evolved into today's Community Arts Music Association (CAMA).

Since the 1920s, CAMA has presented such legendary artists as Pablo Casals, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vladimir Horowitz, Jascha Heifetz, Igor Stravinsky, Artur Schnabel, Isaac Stern and Marian Anderson, with yearly performances from the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Since the 1950s the orchestra series has expanded and the concert annals now include virtually every great orchestra of the world, from the New York Philharmonic to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Today, CAMA's international series at The Granada Theatre presents the world's finest classical orchestras and recitalists. The International Series is the direct descendant of CAMA's original orchestra series, which has regularly presented internationally renowned orchestras and soloists to Santa Barbara audiences since the 1920s. The International Series is supported by an endowment from SAGE Publishing.

CAMA's master series at the Lobero is dedicated to presenting the world's finest classical recitals and chamber music. Masterseries was originally founded by Stephen Cloud and classical pianist Michael Isador in November 1982. Under CAMA's aegis, Masterseries continues the work of Esperia Foundation through an endowment gift that underwrites complimentary tickets for selected community members.

Photos by David Bazemore