Reserving a Seat for the Arts

Barbara Jackson
Barbara Jackson

Philanthropist Barbara Jackson has her place in the main concert hall of the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts — it is a simple wooden chair with a blue-fabric, padded seat, set in a stage-right box. The only seat of its kind in the concert hall; it is brought out only when Jackson, a well-known local arts patron, attends a performance.

It’s a small perk for a woman who, through her extraordinary generosity during the Center for the Arts Campaign, made possible all 1,801 seats in the Barbara K. and W. Turrentine Jackson Hall and helped ensure that UC Davis has a front row seat in the regional and national arts scene. During The Campaign for UC Davis, Jackson continued her support of the arts by making a gift to support a new 375-seat Classroom and Recital Hall. The hall, which broke ground May 2014, is expected to be one of the most active venues in the region, hosting more than 100 chamber, vocal and solo music recitals annually. In recognition of her gift, the stage will be named The Barbara K. Jackson Stage.

When asked how she feels knowing her gifts made all this possible, Jackson said, “I just think we did a good thing with our money.” She added, “Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness. And that’s the way I feel about UC Davis.”