This designation is designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts and humanities.

As part of this tradition the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission will be recognized with a proclamation at the County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, October 4th. The Arts Commission is also hosting a California Arts Day event at the Arts & Culture Center, Friday, October 7th beginning at 12:30 at 1330 State Street. The event showcases the offerings and contributions of diverse regional arts and cultural organizations in the County. Mayor Schneider will kick-off the event with a proclamation and Paul Willis, City Poet Laureate will read a new poem at this reception for 2011 City Cultural Arts Grants recipients.

This year 69 nonprofit cultural arts groups will benefit from the City’s Cultural Arts Grant program that provide funding in three distinct categories; Community Arts, Events & Festivals, and Organizational Development.

Community Arts Grants fund smaller artist-based or neighborhood arts projects or programs with a goal to engage communities and provide access and opportunities for underserved individuals and groups. This year 23 nonprofit organizations requested a total of $118,640 for the $47,049 available for Community Arts grants. Alana Tillim, Owner and Managing Director of Santa Barbara Dance Arts, one of the nonprofits states “City grants provide vital funding support for classes, and our Rent Subsidy Program helps underserved students and burgeoning artists get a start by fueling their interests and talent.”

A total of 36 organizations requested funding for Organizational Development Grants with requests totaling $474,412 for the $149,000 allocated. These grants will provide funds to help strengthen and sustain organizations and expand their audiences and/or programs. Maurie Lord, Artistic Director of Genesis West emphasized the need for this funding. “This year’s Organizational Development Grant from the City has totally energized Genesis West… giving us the support and courage to branch out into an exciting brand new direction of pop-up theatre.”

This year 10 non-profit organizations received Community Events & Festivals Grants to help promote art and cultural events during Santa Barbara’s off-season— from September to May— Events such as Epicure SB, and the upcoming New Noise Festival help increase tourism, employ the creative community, and promote Santa Barbara as a cultural arts destination generating income by bringing out-of-town visitors for overnight stays. This year, through the competitive grant process $252,500 was requested for the $100,000 available in this category.

For more than 28 years the City of Santa Barbara has made a strong ongoing commitment to stimulate and preserve the cultural life of Santa Barbara through its Community Art and Promotion Grants program. The County Arts Commission through an ongoing partnership between the City and County with the shared goals to support our regional arts and quality of life; provide technical assistance to area artists and arts and cultural nonprofits; and promote Santa Barbara as a cultural arts destination administers this program.

October is a great month to immerse yourself in arts and culture! For more information on the California Arts Council’s California Arts Day events visit.— and for information on the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission visit


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