Pixel Tracker

Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 4:09 am | Fair 46º


Art Museum Gets $500,000 for Renovation Project

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) has announced a contribution of $500,000 from the late philanthropist Elaine F. Stepanek through her foundation, the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation.

The funds will go toward the Imagine More Capital Campaign for the museum’s current renovation project. With the Stepanek Foundation gift, the museum has reached a total of $30.8 million toward the $50 million campaign goal.

“A hard-hat tour of the museum’s construction opened my eyes to the building’s critical infrastructure needs,” said Daniel H. Gainey, grandson of Elaine Stepanek.

“It became clear to me we needed to participate in saving this building and keeping our museum in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara,” he said.

“All of us on the SBMA staff and board are extremely grateful for the generous new gift from the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation," said Larry J. Feinberg, SBMA’s Robert and Mercedes Eichholz director/CEO.

"It will serve to fund the absolutely critical needs of this renovation project, and is already having a galvanizing effect on the museum’s capital campaign," Feinberg said.

The Imagine More Capital Campaign supports the current museum renovation project, addressing critical needs of the building and making improvements to benefit staff, visitors, and the community, the museum reports.

Originally from Boston, Stepanek moved to Santa Barbara in 1962 with her first husband Daniel C. Gainey. She supported numerous cultural, educational and medical organizations, locally and nationally.

She married the now-late Edward E. Stepanek in 1979. They were married for 23 years.

Upon her passing, Elaine Stepanek left a generous legacy gift to SBMA which was directed to supporting 19th-century European art exhibitions, especially French Impressionist, which she loved.

Her legacy gift has since supported two important exhibitions: A Gift for Santa Barbara: The Dwight and Winifred Vedder Collection (2007) and Delacroix to Monet: Masterpieces of 19th-Century Painting from the Walters Art Museum (2010).

Mrs. Stepanek’s lifetime giving to SBMA spanned 25 years and totaled more than $1.2 million. Her generosity continues through her foundation.

Recently, the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation underwrote the museum’s 75th-anniversary publication 75 in 25: Important Acquisitions at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The book celebrated the growth of the museum, its art donors, and its permanent collection.

— Katrina Carl for Santa Barbara Museum of Art.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >