The Fund for Santa Barbara will host the 2011 Year End Grant Awards Party from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7 at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, 1221 State St. in Santa Barbara.

The event is a time to celebrate the work of the 14 community organizations receiving grants, as well as the fact that The Fund for Santa Barbara has raised and distributed more than $400,000 in grants in 2011 (the largest grant-making total in its 31-year history).

Attendees will be treated to appetizers by SOhO and live music. Spanish and ASL translation will be provided, and everyone is welcome.

Fall 2011 Grant Recipients

» 2nd Story Associates/Rental Housing Mediation Task Force — $5,000
To support the continuation of the Rental Housing Mediation Task Force (established out of a grassroots effort in 1976) in its mission to resolve rental housing disputes out of court, help to maintain housing, and to prevent homelessness by mediating between landlords and tenants.

» AB 540 Coalition of Santa Barbara — $5,720
Continued support for the AB 540 Coalition’s empowerment of AB 540 students, parents and allies with the information and tools necessary to access higher education in the wake of the passage of the California DREAM Act.

» Adsum Education Foundation Inc./General Support — $5,000
Funding to help expand fund development and student outreach strategies as well as cover operating expenses.

» Carpinteria Valley Foundation/Hydraulic Fracturing Coalition — $10,000
Funding to: 1) ensure enforcement of and consider improvements to current county fracking regulations; 2) enhance state and federal regulatory oversight of fracking, and 3) raise public awareness, understanding and engagement.

» Coastal Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)/Santa Maria Civic Engagement Project — $7,000
Funding for CAUSE to support Future Leaders of America in building a nonpartisan civic engagement program in 2012 in Santa Maria, thereby strengthening voter participation in Santa Maria’s Latino community.

» Conflict Solutions Center/Restorative Justice Partnership Initiative — $9,000
Support for the Restorative Justice Partnership Initiative’s goals, including 1) to bring peace and restoration to the victim and community, 2) to hold youth accountable for their actions, and 3) to provide an alternative to incarceration.

» La Casa de la Raza/Alliance with Mexican Immigrant Labor/MILPA (Mexican Immigrant Labor and Producers Association) — $10,000
Continued funding for Mexican Immigrant Labor and Producers Association to address economic and social inequalities resulting from relationships established between disenfranchised family farmers and powerful transnational corporations.

» Mental Health Association in Santa Barbara County/Pushy Shovel Community Peace and Freedom Garden — $3,543
Pushy Shovel Community Peace and Freedom Garden Group started growing in February 2011. The Garden Group will supply organic vegetables to the Santa Barbara Mental Health Association’s Fellowship Club, which provides free lunches to members with mental health challenges five days a week.

» Orcutt Area Seniors In Service Inc./“Celebrate Our World” — $8,000
Continued support for the Luis Oasis Senior Center’s “Celebrate Our World” program, which aims to bring about a change in society by first giving people the resources for which they can begin to understand a new culture, then later adapt to new ways of thinking to lessen racial prejudice and promote a society with less tension and better harmony.

» Pacific Pride Foundation/Santa Barbara Lavender Elders — $5,000
Funding for the continuation of efforts to create a climate in Santa Barbara in which LGBT elders feel safe and supported by the agencies that serve them; become more empowered to speak on their own behalf; and experience less isolation by developing a sense of community with other LGBT elders.

» PALABRA (collaborative effort with Esperanza and ySTRIVE)/One Community, One Voice, One Power — $10,000
Support for this community collaboration challenging Santa Barbara’s proposed gang injunction by researching the effects of similar suppression tactics on other cities and advocating for an alternative vision with a healthier use of community organizations, local businesses, schools, parks and other non-monetary resources.

» Project Gutpile/Educational Video, The Non-Lead Hunter — $7,000
Continued funding to educate Spanish- and English-speaking hunters about the poisonous effects of lead ammunition for humans and wildlife.

» Santa Ynez Valley Alliance/Valley Blueprint Evaluation Project — $2,500
Funding for The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance to create a “progress report” on the 1998 Valley Blueprint to evaluate what progress has been made towards the goals set forth in the Blueprint, highlight areas where the community has made very little progress, such as the provision of affordable housing, and refocus the community’s efforts to achieve such goals.

» William James Association/Poetic Justice Project — $10,000
Funding for this collaboration of formerly incarcerated writers, artists, musicians and actors to create original theater examining crime, punishment and redemption.

The Fund for Santa Barbara’s grant-making and technical assistance programs support community groups working for social, economic, environmental and political change throughout Santa Barbara County. Since 1980, The Fund has awarded more than $4 million to more than 800 community organizations. In addition, The Fund provides free technical assistance in the areas of fundraising, community organizing, organizational development, advocacy, and effective use of media to more than 200 projects each year.

The Year End Grant Awards Party will be open to the public at 5 p.m. There is no fee, but a $10 donation is requested at the door. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

To join in the festivities or for more information, click here or call 805.962.9164.

— Geoff Green is executive director of The Fund for Santa Barbara.