Backstage Stories

The Granada Theatre Welcomes New Board Member

February 20, 2024

The Granada Theatre Welcomes New Board Member


Granada Theatre Welcomes New Board Member

The Granada Theatre is pleased to welcome Deborah Marks Bertling to its Board of Directors. Since the mid-1990s, she’s been an instrumental part of the arts community in Santa Barbara.

“My husband and I helped fund The Granada during its remodeling,” said Bertling. “I’ve always loved The Granada, and it’s so wonderful to see it refurbished to its original glory.”

With the iconic theater celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, it was an ideal time to add a passionate local arts lover to the board.

“I’ve known Deborah for years through our involvement in the Santa Barbara arts community,” said Palmer Jackson, Jr., Chairman of The Granada Theatre. “She is a tireless champion for artists and the performing arts. We look forward to having her on the board to advance our mission and draw more community members to the theater.”


Musical Background

As a child, Bertling dreamed of becoming a singer. She was one of the lucky and talented artists who was able to make a career as a musician. From 1995 to 2016 she graced The Granada stage in roles with Opera Santa Barbara. Bertling was also actively involved with the opera’s outreach program, bringing the art of opera into schools throughout the Santa Barbara area.

Her artistic career also includes acting roles with several regional theater groups, award-winning independent films, and soprano soloist concerts in Central California.


Community Philanthropy

Since the Hershey, Pennsylvania native moved to Santa Barbara in the 1990s, she’s actively given back to the community through a variety of philanthropic and volunteer programs.

Bertling is the current chair of the Community Arts Music Association (CAMA), one of the eight resident companies of The Granada Theatre. The organization is dedicated to bringing the world’s best classical music artists and orchestras to Santa Barbara.

With a passion for music education, Bertling runs the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation, which helps young musicians in the region. She is on the Advisory Council for the Out of the Box Theater Company and the Westmont Music Council and serves as the musical director for Royal Family Kids, a faith-based camp for foster children.


Joining The Granada Board

To be honest, the thought of joining another board wasn’t on my mind but he’s (Palmer Jackson, Jr.) very persuasive,” Bertling said with a laugh. “And with this being the Granada’s centennial year, I couldn’t say no.”

Bertling’s three-year term with the board began this month.

“I hope to be a voice for the resident groups in the space and to be an advocate in the community for the theater itself,” said Bertling. “I want to revive awareness in the community that this amazing theater is here and get more people in to see a performance.”