Paul Doré reflects on a successful 15-year run as the President of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation
Long-time Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Board President Paul Doré has much to be proud of as he transitions from his 15-year stint as president back to a full board member, where he’ll continue to serve on several committees.
Doré, 52, joined the Bowl board in 1999, as the youngest member of the 22-member board, and started serving as president in 2002. During his tenure, he not only attended over 400 concerts (“my first show was The Kinks”) featuring world-class musical acts from Pearl Jam in 2003 (“one of my favorites”) to Radiohead in 2008 (“that was a mind-blowing show”), but he also led a radical transformation of the Bowl facilities and brand.
“Being part of the Bowl is magic,” commented Doré. “It’s exciting to be part of a place that is so integral to Santa Barbara, and to help shape its place in history.”
When Doré started serving as Board president, it was a pivotal period in the Bowl’s 83-year history. A snapshot of his legacy showcases the venue’s metamorphosis as well as his successes, including ushering in the last phases of the Bowl’s Master Plan (part of the Bowl’s American Classic Campaign), overseeing 200+ board and 1000 committee and planning meetings, elevating a commitment to education outreach, hosting countless site tours for current and potential donors, and negotiating new contracts with promoters and the County of Santa Barbara.
“I’ve had so many proud moments showing off the evolution of the Bowl,” added Doré. “It’s such a cherished place and ensuring it serves the community and the music industry is always the top priority.”
In 2002, as Doré assumed the role of board president, he was poised to finish the final phases of the community’s vision of creating a world-class performing arts venue.
Doré, along with Advancement Committee co-chair Scott Brittingham, spearheaded fundraising and raised $42 million to support the American Classic Campaign’s phased rollout of the Master Plan for the Bowl restoration and renovation — double the original goal.
“With double the funds, we were able to ensure every detail was met, no corners were cut, and that the venue, via the vision of the Master Plan, left the Bowl as one of the world’s best music venues,” reflected Doré.
The Master Plan ensured the Bowl's early 20th-century aesthetic remained but rested firmly on 21st-century underpinnings to modernize the entire facility, top-to-bottom. Updates rolled-out in phases over 15 years included better facilities and more amenities for performers and patrons; upgraded dressing rooms and enlarged and improved restroom facilities; a new ticket box office; the elegant Wendy McCaw Terrace; the expansive Scranton Overlook; and the Pavilion, the new on-stage structure and the centerpiece of the Master Plan.
More than once during his tenure Doré negotiated contracts for the advancement of the Bowl. In 2006, Doré worked with Congressman Salud Carabajal (then County Supervisor) over a six-year process to renegotiate the Bowl’s contract. The team came up with a 75-year contract that garnered more shows, an improved working relationship with the County, an establishment of a Santa Barbara County arts fund, and new measures to ensure the Bowl’s place as a good neighbor.
Most recently, in 2016, Doré helped bring Goldenvoice on to become the Bowl’s exclusive concert promoter along with Moss Jacobs, longtime talent buyer for the Bowl.
“We brought Goldenvoice back to the Bowl to offer a broad catalog of world-class artists and to remain focused on serving the Santa Barbara community by offering top-tier talent, diversity among acts, and targeted educational opportunities,” said Doré.
Doré also worked with the Board and the Bowl core staff to enhance Education Outreach. As part of the Bowl's mission to invest in future audiences and artists, in
2001, the Bowl committed to giving $1 of each ticket sold to this important program, helping to ensure financial and resource support reaches youth performing arts education programs in Santa Barbara County.
Doré reflects that of his many ‘proudest’ moments, one that stands out is when the new roof was lifted onto the breathtaking Pavilion. The Pavilion construction began in 2006, with Norah Jones being the first to perform under it on June 22, 2007; it was later completed in 2008.
“I remember looking at the stage and remembering all the hard work that went into the Pavilion, getting all that steel up the hill, it was an amazing feat,” Doré reminisced. “Then at the first show, the stage lights went on, and I thought, ‘We did that! We made this place... It’s like a dream!’”
Doré continues his work as a key member of the Bowl board and sits on several committees, including Advancement, Investment, Finance, and Outreach.
“It’s been a pleasure working with all the great Bowl staff over the years,” said Doré. “They understand the Bowl's core mission and they are passionate about the place, just like me.”