County Office of Arts & Culture Awarded $4.75 Million to Support Community Resilience

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(SANTA BARBARA, CALIF.) – The Santa Barbara County Community Services Department is pleased to announce the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture has been awarded a competitive $4.75 million grant to support the health, safety and resiliency of the Central Coast Region through the arts.

The grant program, California Creative Corps, was developed by the California Arts Council in partnership with the State legislature. California Creative Corps is an economic and workforce recovery pilot program intended to support pandemic recovery and the environmental, civic and social engagement of California’s most disproportionally impacted communities. Using a variety of art forms, including visual, performing, and traditional arts, artists will advance positive community outcomes by creating locally-focused, contextually and culturally sensitive public messaging and work.

As the Administering Organization for the region, the Office of Arts & Culture will regrant funds to arts and social service organizations and to individual artists and cultural workers throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties. The initiative represents an unprecedented collaboration between County-designated arts agencies from all six counties. The arts agencies will work cooperatively to support program administration and serve as primary partners, service providers and communication conduits in their respective geographies.

“This is an honor for the County of Santa Barbara and we look forward to continued community benefit from our arts and culture sector,” said Joan Hartmann, Chair of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

Modeled in the style of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the grant funding will support a media, outreach and engagement campaign designed to increase: (1) public health awareness messages to stop the spread of COVID-19; (2) public awareness related to water and energy conservation, climate mitigation, and emergency preparedness, relief, and recovery; (3) civic engagement, including election participation; and (4) social justice and community engagement. Projects are intended to cultivate trust, belonging, community cohesion and interdependence—particularly in communities that are most impacted. Communities located in the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index will be prioritized.

The Office of Arts & Culture will partner with the Arts Council for Monterey County, Arts Council Santa Cruz County, San Benito County Arts Council, San Luis Obispo County Arts Council and Ventura County Arts Council to plan and implement the program’s multiple phases. The scope of responsibility includes:

  • Implementing culturally and discipline-specific engagement strategies to priority communities and trusted culture bearers
  • Mentoring—through professional development, workshops or other opportunities—individual artists, cultural practitioners and nonprofit organizations
  • Increasing visibility of the work of artists, cultural practitioners and nonprofit organizations
  • Engaging in robust outreach to ensure comprehensive geographic reach for sub-grantee organizations, artists and cultural practitioners
  • Managing the application processes for artists and sub-grantee organizations The regional guidelines and application process will be released in Fall 2022. All funds will be distributed by September 30, 2024. • For more information about the Santa Barbara County Community Services Department, visit:
  • For more information about the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture, visit:


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