Solstice Funds Withheld

The Santa Barbara Arts Commission reaffirmed its decision to withhold a $15,000 grant that’s gone to the Summer Solstice parade for the past 25 years, despite clear instructions from the City Council’s Finance Committee to do otherwise. Earlier this year, the Santa Barbara Arts Commission decided not to provide Solstice any money via its competitive grants category, arguing that Solstice already received a $45,000 line item grant from City Hall and that there was nothing in the competitive grant application to show the money would be spent on anything different than preparing for the parade. (In fact, the $15,000 traditionally funded artists’ workshops.) Three weeks ago, the Finance Committee voted 2-1 to have the Arts Commission reconsider, but last week the commissioners stood by the initial decision to deny Solstice the grant money. They contended that Solstice director Claudia Bratton had been warned that her grant application must reflect the different functions underwritten by the two separate grants and that it was unfair to other grant recipients to lose out because she failed to follow protocol. When the matter goes back to the Finance Committee in October, the discussion could be testy. Councilmember Iya Falcone-running for mayor next year-argued Solstice should get some money because the grant helped to teach artistic and social skills to at-risk youth. Councilmember Helene Schneider, also running for mayor, countered that it was bad process and unfair to other recipients to award money to Solstice after-the-fact.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Latinos Are Being Pushed Out of Santa Barbara in Droves

New census data shows their population has shrunk by 24 percent since 2011.

Police Suspend Public Sleeping Laws

The non-enforcement comes in response to a new court ruling.

Priest’s Firing Raises Questions

What's the real reason Father Gavancho was terminated from Our Lady of Sorrows?

1/9 Repeat? ‘Nobody Knows!’

A UCSB geologist says predictions are purely guesswork.

Posting Bail for Santa Barbara County’s Undocumented ICE Detainees

How Anahi Mendoza and a Santa Barbara County organization help win bail for residents in ICE detention ...