When Nick Jr. starts to get boring and Barney just isn’t doing it for you anymore, it might be time for you to get out of the house. Lucky for you, you do not have to venture far from Fraggle Rock – or I.V. for that matter – to find some great ways to enjoy interesting films and avant-garde art.
Santa Barbara is home to a host of filmmakers and artists, which means that the local scene is full of the most wild, wonderful and wacky screenings and exhibits this side of Los Angeles. The UCSB Film and Media Studies website is a great resource for those of you looking to stay close to home. Check out the events and announcements pages for interesting workshops, lectures and more. If you’re looking for more options on campus, the UCSB Arts & Lectures website at www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu, can give you plenty of ideas for fun things to do within walking distance of the dorms.
When you’re ready to venture off campus, check out nighttime screenings at I.V. Theater, hosted by Magic Lantern Films. This organization often screens the films that everyone is talking about at a fraction of the price that everyone else is paying, so it is worth your time to check out their website, www.magiclanternfilms.org. With popcorn, pre-show music and plenty of film geeks out to see and be seen, the Magic Lantern screenings guarantee a good time for one and all.
Ready to head out of I.V. and into – gasp – downtown? Have no fear, Fraggles, because going downtown is a lot less scary than trying to outwit Sprocket. Film buffs should check out the Santa Barbara Film Commission’s website at www.filmsantabarbara.com for info about local lectures, events and screenings that often attract enough industry professionals to make attending worth any aspiring intern’s time.
Everyone knows that every year, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival brings celebrities, paparazzi and great movies to downtown SB. But, most people do not know that the SBIFF has a Cinema Society that hosts events and screenings all year round. Membership is definitely more expensive than a Netflix subscription or a rental at Emerald Video, but if you can swing it then it’s definitely worth checking out. More information is available at http://www.sbfilmfestival.org/html/cinema_society.html.
Art aficionados also have plenty of options when it comes to enjoying downtown SB and, although the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the University Art Museum are both a lot of fun, there’s plenty to do beyond the beaten path of the local art scene. Believe it or not, local bars have found a way to combine alcohol and art, as plenty of them offer local art on the walls along with great booze behind the counter. If you’re of age, make sure to check out the Green Room at 435 State St. and Elsie’s at 117 West De La Guerra St. For info about more bars that show art, as well as complete listings of galleries and museums in Santa Barbara, check out the Santa Barbara Visual Arts website at www.sbva.org.
Looking for the very best in cutting-edge contemporary art? Check out the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum. This local institution is dedicated to providing a space for visual and performing artists to share their most thought-provoking new works with the public. Exhibits here are often interactive, always edgy and definitely worth checking out. For more information visit www.sbcaf.org.
So, Fraggle freshmen, now that you know your way around some of the best local places to enjoy Santa Barbara’s unique film and art scenes, you have no excuse not to leave the dorms. Even if Sprocket has you too scared to go further than Campbell Hall or I.V. Theater, you can still catch some great movies and interesting art. And, if you manage to get off campus and away from the beaten path, there are plenty of places downtown where you can enjoy art, film and alcohol all within about 15 minutes of each other, if not in the same bar.