Alive with color and crowds, the 38th annual I Madonnari Street Painting Festival at the Old Mission Santa Barbara was another beautiful Memorial Day Weekend celebration. Benefitting the Children’s Creative Project (CCP), a nonprofit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, the treasured event’s featured artist this year was Emily Lostaunau.  

Inspired by the International Street Painting Competition in Grazie di Curtatone, Italy, I Madonnari has been a Memorial Day weekend tradition since its creation as a fundraiser in 1987 (by former CCP Executive Director Kathy Koury) as the first festival of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Now there are more than 100 similar street painting festivals throughout the U.S., Canada, and Central and South America — but as you can see from Ingrid Bostrom’s vibrant photos of the May 25-27, 2024 event, there’s still something uniquely special about ours.

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