The scenic and bountiful land, the world-recognized wine and food, and the warm-hearted people make us feel blessed to live in this nook of Sonoma County. Recently, we’ve been enjoying another benefit of this area: we are just three right turns and a 12-minute drive from the world-class entertainment offerings of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Clay and I enjoy nesting here in our little farmhouse on the vineyard, but the ease, accessibility and quality of the Center's performances lure us out. We saw an incredible concert from Willie Nelson last fall. Tonight, we’re taking my mother and her friend to the Irish Rovers. Later in the year, we're going to see the a capella group Straight No Chaser with good friends Ted and Kathy Klopp and SNL-alum Dana Carvey with other good friends.
The building was built originally as the Christian Life Center in 1974, but was purchased by prominent local families in 1981 as a home for the Santa Rosa Symphony and other performing arts. In August, the first phase of a $10-million renovation was completed, giving the center a bigger stage, new seating on the main floor, and better sight and sound lines.
The Center seats 1600 in the Ruth Finley Person Theater and no seat is more than 75 feet from the stage, so every performance feels immersive and intimate. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience the intimacy both as audience and performer – I was proud to perform with the Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus to a sold-out crowd last Christmas season when we participated in the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Holiday Pops Concert.
If all the entertainment inside the center isn’t enough, the parking lot outside the center comes to life every Wednesday and Saturday morning with the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmer’s Market. We wrote a blog about the quality local produce and meats, interesting goods and friendly vendors we encountered there last year. We couldn’t be luckier to have such a great community gathering spot just around the corner!
Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
- Some exciting upcoming performances include: Engelbert Humperdinck, Chicago, Stuart Little, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, An Evening with John Legend and A Conversation with Ina Garten. For more show listings, check out their schedule.
- The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmer’s Market sets up shop outside the Center Wednesdays, from 8:30 a.m - noon, and Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.