Arts and culture thrive at Pepperdine University, home of the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts, where a diverse variety of performing artists showcase their talents each year.

The Center’s recently announced 2018–2019 performances and exhibitions feature an impressive range of incredible artists, including leading interpreter of the Great American Songbook Michael Feinstein, ukulele virtuosi Jake Shimabukuro, Grammy Award-winning singer Sheena Easton, and acrobatic troupe Cirque Mechanics.

“Each year, we present an innovative, unique, entertaining and diverse program of exceptional performances and museum exhibitions,” says Rebecca Carson, Managing Director of the Center for the Arts. “The 2018–2019 season will include several returning favorites as well as many new-to-Pepperdine performances. I look forward to connecting these talented artists with our enthusiastic audience!”

Among the musicians and bands coming to Pepperdine’s Malibu campus are legendary Grammy-winning songwriter Jimmy Webb with special guest Ashley Campbell; joyful jazz band Sammy Miller and the Congregation; Americana country group The Lone Bellow; acoustic folk trio I’m With Her; Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee JD Souther; Celtic bluegrass quartet We Banjo 3; acclaimed jazz singer Nicole Henry; the Lovin’ Spoonful founder John Sebastian; dynamic string duo Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas; and a special collaboration between roots and folk groups The Dustbowl Revival and Hot Club of Cowtown as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Band. 

The Parkening International Guitar Competition, the world’s preeminent classical guitar competition, including the Final Round and Awards Ceremony where guitarists compete for a $30,000 cash prize and the Jack Marshall Gold Medal, also takes place this season (June 2019).

On Friday, September 28, the thrilling Chinese Warriors of Peking kick off the season’s dance and spectacle offerings, which include the visionary Ailey II (Feb. 26), visually striking Jessica Lang Dance (March 5), and the L.A.-based Pacifico Dance Company (April 14), with their focus on fostering appreciation for Mexican culture. 

The Gregg G. Juarez Stars of Stage and Screen series includes guitarist and composer Bill Frisell and his interpretations of music from film and television (Jan. 22), New York theatre celebration concert On Broadway (Jan. 29), and the innovative illusions of Vitaly: An Evening of Wonders (April 12).

Family favorites include Family Arts Fest on March 2, with face painting, food trucks, backstage and museum tours, art projects, and two public performances by Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards, a family-friendly New Orleans Jazz band. Additional family shows throughout the year include Childsplay’s Tomás and the Library Lady (Sept. 30), and children’s musicians Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza (Jan. 27).

This season’s exhibits at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art highlight the influence of pop art, as well as two separate exhibitions focused on iconic California artists Richard Diebenkorn and Squeak Carnwath. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, and one hour prior to most shows through intermission. Admission is free.

Each year, some 55,000 people from 1,000+ zip codes attend the performances, rehearsals, museum exhibitions and master classes presented at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts. Located on Pepperdine’s breathtaking Malibu campus overlooking the Pacific, the center serves as a hub for the arts, uniquely linking professional guest artists with students and area patrons. Facilities include the 450-seat Smothers Theatre, the 118-seat Raitt Recital Hall, the “black box” Helen E. Lindhurst Theatre and the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art.

For tickets and a complete schedule, call 310.506.4522 or visit Arts.Pepperdine.Edu.