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Nat Fast Day Celebrates Children and the Arts at Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum

Longtime Santa Maria artist Nat Fast, who died in October, will be celebrated Jan. 26 when the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum holds its fourth annual Nat Fast Day for young artists.
Longtime Santa Maria artist Nat Fast, who died in October, will be celebrated Jan. 26 when the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum holds its fourth annual Nat Fast Day for young artists.  (Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum photo)

By Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum |

The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum is celebrating the arts and the legacy of Nat Fast with a special family event that invites children to paint, draw, sing and dance with professional artists. The fourth annual Nat Fast Day is free to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, at the museum.

“Nat Fast was a true renaissance man and extraordinary artist and teacher who was a special friend to the Discovery Museum,” said Chris Slaughter, interim executive director for the Discovery Museum. “He was a champion of arts education for our young people and his legacy lives on at our annual Nat Fast Day.

“Nat knew that the greatest gift we can give our youth is experience in the fine and practical arts. These essential experiences teach children to be creative thinkers and create more complete and successful individuals.”

Nat Fast died last October at age 89.

Nat Fast Day begins with watercolor painting with the Orcutt Children’s Arts Foundation and sculpting with Laura Moll from Allan Hancock College from 10 a.m. to noon. Starting at noon, families will enjoy performances by Central Coast Swing Dance, the Righetti High School Ballet Folklorico and the Orcutt Academy High School Glee Club, while exploring hands-on painting with artists Hattie Stoddard and Beth Ostipiuk of the Town Center Gallery.

From 2 to 4 p.m., children can sing along with critically acclaimed family rock band, BIRDIE. With original lyrics described as “music for the kid in everyone,” BIRDIE’s fun, upbeat CDs will be available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Discovery Museum. Also from 2 to 4 p.m., artist Beverly Johnson will teach acrylic rock art, along with many more arts and crafts activities for kids and families throughout the day.

A special Nat Fast art raffle will give the community the opportunity to own one of two professional giclee prints from the artist’s most treasured collection. Ticket donations are $5, or three for $10, and can be purchased at the museum or click here to buy tickets online. Winners need not be present at the drawing that will be held during the event at 3 p.m.

As the only children’s museum in Santa Barbara County, the mission of the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum is to foster family and youth-inspired learning by creating experiences to explore ourselves, our valley, our world, and beyond. The museum’s exhibit and program-based “please touch’ atmosphere engenders the best in self-discovery for children and families.

The Discovery Museum is located at 705 S. McClelland St. in Santa Maria and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with Twilight Thursday special hands-on events offered until 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month.

Click here for more information about special Sunday events, like the Nat Fast Day, or call 805.928.8414.

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