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[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Wells Fargo Center for the Arts lobby renovation"][/caption]

SANTA ROSA -- Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, the North Bay arts center and performance venue, has announced a seven-year naming partnership with Sonoma County’s Lytton Band of Pomo Indians to undergo an extensive renovation and remodel of the center’s 36 year-old grand lobby.

The $500,000 capital improvement project begins in full force today with the removal of three large cast iron chandeliers that have hung in the lobby since the center first opened as a church complex in 1974. Work will be ongoing throughout the summer and will culminate late August with the completion of the all-new Lytton Rancheria Grand Lobby.

The Center will remain open during renovation. Performances and events scheduled for this summer will not be affected.

“It’s an extensive project,” says Marc Hagenlocher, the center’s director of operations. Mr. Hagenlocher says the work will include seismic upgrades, improved accessibility and a complete aesthetic remodel to create a “warmer, more open and modern look and feel” for the space. The project is the first-ever major upgrade of the center’s lobby, which hosts hundreds-of-thousands of patrons each year for performances and events.

“We are so grateful to the members of the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians for their incredible generosity,” says Executive Director Rick Nowlin. “We’ve wanted and needed this work to be done for many years now but simply couldn’t afford to do it. This gift is a true testament to the tribe’s commitment to our non-profit arts center and to our community.”

The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians first joined the non-profit Wells Fargo Center for the Arts as a Corporate Alliance Partner in 2009. In addition to their lobby naming gift, the tribe continues to provide annual donations in support of the Center’s education and outreach programs serving 30,000 students annually.

“Wells Fargo Center for the Arts is an incredible jewel for our community that brings the arts to life for children and adults throughout the region,” Tribal Chairwoman Margie Mejia. “Our hope is that the donation will keep the center vibrant and growing and be a community asset that everyone can enjoy.”

Along with its support of Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, the Lytton Tribe has made significant contributions to arts, education and health programs throughout Sonoma County—from supporting the Sonoma County Indian Health Clinic to sponsoring the Lytton Rancheria Learning Center, which provides Head Start and Lytton First Steps classes that are open to all community members. the Tribe also funded the Sonoma County History Day Competition when school budget cuts placed the program in peril; and is a significant contributor to the new Oakland School for the Arts and many additional community service programs in Contra Costa County.

The lobby project include architectural and theatrical lighting to replace the chandeliers, acoustic and visual improvements to the walls and ceilings, new floor treatments and carpeting, new stainless steel cable railings, first floor men’s restroom renovation with improved accessibility and ultra low flow fixtures, and eight  to 12 new plasma televisions to simulcast performances and events from the theater into the lobby and to be used for organizational messaging.

“It’s going to be an exciting new look and feel for the Center,” says Nowlin, “and after more than 30-years, it’s time."

A print quality artist rendering of the finished lobby remodel project is available at: http://wellsfargocenterarts.org/press.html