Release: UC San Diego Announces ArtPower at UC San Diego’s 2023–24 Season

Celebrating 20 years of presenting world-class performances and expanded programming at the Epstein Family Amphitheater @ UC San Diego, with support from Aya Healthcare. 


La Jolla, CA—In celebration of its 20 year anniversary, ArtPower at UC San Diego is expanding its season offerings. ArtPower remains dedicated to curating a captivating lineup of performances and events that span performing arts genres, engage and inspire audiences, and strengthen connection between communities. 

Over the past two decades, ArtPower at UC San Diego has presented performances across genres of chamber music, jazz, American Routes, dance, and global music. This year, audiences will see the addition of family, literature, nostalgia, and holiday performances as well as a student-curated series of events. 

“We are proud to showcase a tapestry of artistic expression that connects the cultural landscape of UC San Diego to the greater region and vice-versa” says Colleen Kollar Smith, Executive Director of UC San Diego’s Campus Performances and Events Office. “As a public institution, we are here to be a resource not just to our students, faculty, and staff, but also to every member of the public at every stage of life. This season is reflective of our Chancellor’s vision for UC San Diego to be a destination for the arts, culture, and entertainment.” 

Aya Healthcare has generously provided a $100,000 Presenting Sponsorship to support the diverse performances and events, specifically at the Epstein Family Amphitheater at UC San Diego. “We are proud to partner with alumni-founded Aya Healthcare. Their generous investment allows our office to curate a season where our diverse community is reflected and represented on the amphitheater stage” says Kollar Smith. “Many of the sponsored events are part of the ArtPower at UC San Diego season and others, including a full summer season, will be announced throughout the year.” 

Aya is committed to investing in organizations that make a positive impact in communities that we serve,” states Alan Braynin, Aya Healthcare CEO and UC San Diego alumnus (‘95). “We’re  honored to sponsor this state-of-the-art venue which will showcase vibrant art and culturally rich entertainment for all in the region to enjoy.”

Season highlights include performances by UC San Diego alumna Em Beihold (‘20), a commission of The Fabulous Waack Dancer’s Big Show by Princess Lockerooo and Harold O’Neal, a weekend-long celebration of Women in Electronic Music featuring Suzanne Cianni, the amphitheater’s first birthday party with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Manhattan Transfer’s 50th Anniversary/Penultimate Farewell Concert.

“Em Beihold and Princess Lockerooo are prime examples of how we want to foster relationships with artists,” says Kollar Smith. “In Em’s case, she performed, as a student, during Battle of the Bands, and now she’s Billboard’s 2022 number one emerging artist. With Princess Lockerooo, we are pleased to partner with National Performance Network, REDCAT at CalArts, and the Guggenheim’s Works and Process to support the development of a new work and present the West Coast premiere.” 

ArtPower at UC San Diego shares its 20th Anniversary with the World Premiere of Jersey Boys at the La Jolla Playhouse. To mark the occasion, the original Jersey Boys will return to La Jolla, where it all began as the Midtown Men. Their concert on December 16th at UC San Diego’s Epstein Family Amphitheater will feature the music of the Four Seasons and other holiday hits. 

UC San Diego is committed to creating artistic engagement opportunities beyond the stage and amplifying the work of its faculty, students, and alumni. This year, St. Lawrence returns to campus to conduct a residency with our Music Department and Professor Lei Liang. The culmination of the residency will include a public concert by St. Lawrence and pianist Steven Banks on May 10, 2024 and features a piece by a UC San Diego student. 

Other faculty members who will be featured throughout the season include: Professor Rand Steiger with an original composition created for the JACK quartet in partnership with the Art of Elan; dance faculty member and Founding Artistic Director of Contra-Tiempo Activist Dance Theater, Ana Maria Alvarez, who will bring Azúcar to the amphitheater; and Professor Brian Keating, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astrophysicist at UC San Diego’s Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences, will serve as a live tour guide for audiences to explore the cosmos with The Art of Science, Live! 

ArtPower at UC San Diego’s popular Jazz series grows to five events, including the San Diego premiere of musical poet Aja Monet who will perform pieces from her latest album that fuses art and advocacy, when the poems do what they do; a Mardi Gras concert by Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra; and a screening of the Academy Award Best Picture winner, Birdman, with Antonio Sánchez performing his original percussive score live at the Epstein Family Amphitheater 

During California Festival: A Celebration of New Music, ArtPower at UC San Diego will present two pieces: Carlos Simon’s Requiem for the Enslaved,  a musical tribute to commemorate the stories of 272 enslaved men, women, and children sold in 1838 by Georgetown University; and Tesla Quartet, known for performing cutting edge contemporary works to classical masterpieces. 

ArtPower at UC San Diego will continue to present K-12 programs throughout the year and will also include a full Family Series open to the public, designed to introduce the youngest members of our communities to the arts in a comfortable and accessible environment. All audiences can enjoy Animaniacs Live in Concert, the Little Mermen, and Sonia de los Santos.

UC San Diego’s Campus Performances and Events Office announces two new programming positions and staff members on the team: Elizabeth Bradshaw, Associate Director of Artistic Planning and Outreach and Albert Agbayani, Assistant Director of Artistic Planning and Outreach. Bradshaw is a strategic curator and producer specializing in multi-arts programming, experiential and special events, and community partnerships. Ms. Bradshaw served as the inaugural Loft Curator for ArtPower before producing bi-coastal festivals for Green Flash Brewing Company and creating the first of its kind women’s surf film festival. Most recently, she programmed and produced high profile UC San Diego initiatives which included debut weekend events for the Epstein Family Amphitheater and the signing ceremony for the World Design Capital 2024. Albert Agbayani transitions into a new role after most recently serving as UC San Diego’s Loft Program Manager. He is a cultural strategist with a background in community arts programming, live concert production, and critical engagement and cultivation through the arts. Mr. Agbayani has presented San Diego premiere performances from Mdou Moctar, Meridian Brothers, and world premiere debuts from Wadada Leo Smith and Vijay Iyer. 

“We are thrilled to expand our team to support the robust, year-round programming presented and produced by our office” states Kollar Smith. “Liz and Albert each bring with them extensive experience in the performing arts industry, strong relationships on campus and in the community, and an innovative approach to curation and event production. We are thrilled to welcome them to the team in these new roles.” 


Media Contact
Joanna Christian
858.230.0943 (cell)