The city-owned property at 631 Garden St. has been used as a Summer Solstice Workshop space in the past and will be dedicated as a permanent, year-round arts workshop from now on.
The City Council unanimously voted to give one-time capital funding to launch the first phase of improvements, and the Arts Collaborative nonprofit will start fundraising for money to operate the space, according to the funding agreement.
Summer Solstice needs a place to work on floats and costumes for the annual Summer Solstice Parade in June, and local arts programs, theaters and artists will have a place for rehearsals, set design, exhibits and classes.
“It will be a great help not to have to be looking for workshop space. That’s an incredible relief,” she said. “We are thrilled that this project is finally coming to fruition after many, many, many years and lots of work by a lot of people. It will be a wonderful asset for the city and the arts community.”
The Arts Collaborative has the lease with the city and will start construction on the site after the June 21 Summer Solstice parade. The workshop will probably be unavailable for several months while crews work on the gates, the lighting and the bathrooms, Bratton said.
The Santa Barbara City Council is scheduled to formally vote on the agreement at its Tuesday afternoon meeting.
This funding came from $4 million of one-time money available from the Redevelopment Agency dissolution, a property tax refund and insurance payout from the Police Department employee embezzlement case. Council members funded a variety of capital projects in January, including the $300,000 for a community arts workshop.
A community workshop space has been envisioned since the 1980s, and it’s the last piece of the Regional Arts Master Plan, according to Ginny Brush of the County Arts Commission.