The Santa Barbara Birth Center, a nonprofit, free-standing birth center set to open in fall 2010, has been awarded a $10,000 grant for start-up costs and initial operations by The Fund for Santa Barbara.

The SBBC also has received a $10,000 grant from the World Wide Web Foundation, and has been offered a $100,000 challenge grant by the James S. Bower Foundation.

The birth center invites the public to a free event from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center, 32 E. Micheltorena St. There will be a slide show, food by Aparna, the Mistress of Spice, and music by Cory Sipper.

The Santa Barbara Birth Center will be medically equipped for birth and located within blocks of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The center will provide a comfortable, family-friendly environment and offer large private rooms with queen beds and birthing tubs, a kitchen and private outdoor garden space. Women will be attended by the same midwives throughout their pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum, ensuring the highest-quality continuity of care.

— Laurel Phillips is executive director of the Santa Barbara Birth Center.