The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission teamed up with the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation’s Education Outreach Committee to create funding for grants that aim to make fine art more accessible for a broad range of local residents.
The Commission’s initiative extracted twenty-five cents from each concert ticket sold to generate $30,000 for Community Arts Enrichment grants. The funding aims to support new Santa Barbara-based projects that facilitate local participation and appreciation of the arts.
According to the CAC website, grant application deadlines are April 30 and Sept. 30. Candidates are required to live within the county and provide their artistic services to its residents.
Santa Barbara County Arts Commission Executive Director Ginny Brush said the organizations are passionate about increasing access to fine arts in Santa Barbara County.
“This is the first year we have done this program,” Ginny Brush said. “When they established their foundation, this was a huge part of what they wanted to do.”
Brush said the collaborative effort will provide a unique opportunity for the groups to expand and integrate art education in the area.
The SBCAC facilitates various cultural arts endeavors in the region, according to Brush.
“We represent the cultural arts for the county of Santa Barbara, and work with all five of the supervisorial districts,” Brush said.
Brush said the Santa Barbara Bowl also funded the “Notes for Notes” program, which provides instruments and recording studio time to Santa Barbara Boys and Girls Club members. Additional projects include regional music education programs from Veracruz, Mexico and opportunities to take part in a traditional junior mariachi band.
Brush said the CAE grants help facilitate transportation, instruction and various other resources.
Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Executive Director Rick Boller said he is enthusiastic about the Arts Commission partnership.
“We look forward to having this relationship for many years in the future,” Boller said.
Although the Bowl has fostered a similar program in previous years, Boller said the new funding sources will allow the Arts Commission to reach out to cities in Northern Santa Barbara County, such as Guadalupe and Cuyama, that are “historically underserved” by fine arts programs.
The Santa Barbara Education Foundation aided the Arts Commission’s previous efforts to expand its program.
SBEF Executive Director Margie Yahyavi said the organization aims to provide instruments and music education classes for local schools severely impacted by California state budget cuts.
“The school district was going to cut music out of the curriculum,” Yahyavi said. “So we rallied the community and its organizations to support keeping music education.”