Discrimination at the Arts and Crafts Show

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Santa Barbara’s dirty little secret: Discrimination — being practiced, right in front of everyone and all the tourists that come to Santa Barbara, every Sunday for the last 50 years, at the Arts and Crafts Show on Cabrillo Boulevard, where a handful of photographers and artists, with the city’s blessing, prevent craftspeople from setting up around the pier area on Sundays at the risk of expulsion from the show.

Everyone knows that the area around the pier is where most of the tourists that come to Santa Barbara congregate late into the afternoon, what with the parking, restaurants, bike rentals, skate park, and the “Funk Zone.”

Even though there are many more craftspeople than there are photographers and artists, they refuse to permit craftspeople from setting up in the pier area claiming, “they cannot sell expensive art next to cheap crafts.”

Is their fear a rational reason to hold the rest of Santa Barbara hostage to arbitrary discrimination? I don’t. What say you Santa Barbara?

How long must we endure this black mark on our beautiful city? The city fathers should be embarrassed and ashamed to allow this illegal arbitrary discrimination to continue for one more day, when someone in authority could easily order the removal of the word “section” from the rules, immediately.

No more sections. No more discrimination. One show. One list.

Jim Koorey has been a member of the Santa Barbara Art and Craft Show since 1970.

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