A Love Letter to a Woman in the Arts

In August, after more than 36 years of service, Kathy Koury retired as Executive Director of the Children’s Creative Project (CCP).

For those who may not know, Kathy’s the person who brought the art of street painting to the Western Hemisphere in the form of the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival, our beloved festival at the Old Mission every Memorial Day weekend. I Madonnari has become the model for street painting festivals all over the U.S., North America and Mexico.

It’s a major fundraiser for art programs that provide art experiences for thousands of children in our local schools.

With Kathy’s leadership, the CCP has grown into a program that serves 100 public schools and 50,000 students in Santa Barbara County every year,  ith a comprehensive catalog of touring and resident artists and free performances by major artists at the Arlington Theatre and the S.B. Bowl.

Kathy’s vision and passion for the arts, for children and artists, and children who will become artists, and actors, and dancers, and musicians, has been an immeasurable gift to our community.

She’s single-handedly facilitated lasting friendships among artists from all parts of the world, especially the street painting community, “The Tribe”.

She leaves her legacy in the capable hands of Kai Tepper, the CCP staff, and Board of Directors.

Kathy, we are forever grateful for all you have given us. I know I speak for all of the street painters, in saying that we hope you’ll be our I Madonnari Maestra forever.


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