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County Arts Commission to Mark 40th Anniversary

The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture invites the public to the 40th anniversary celebration of the County Arts Commission on Sunday, March 4.

The commission was established in 1977 by the Board of Supervisors to serve as coordinator and catalyst for bringing government, artist and public together for the cultural benefit of all.

The anniversary celebration will take place 3-5 p.m. March 25, with a formal program starting at 4 p.m. in the Mural Room of the County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara. State Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson is among the dignitaries who will speak in the program.

During the event, collaborating art exhibition spaces along the Anapamu Street corridor will be open for free. Participating anniversary venues include:

Channing Peake Gallery, the Jardin de las Granadas, the Public Library’s Faulkner Gallery, Sullivan Goss Gallery, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, which will offer free admission in honor of the anniversary.

Dennis Smitherman, chair of the Arts Commission, said the communal open house is reflective of the commission’s history.

“Bringing the community together to celebrate our resources and spotlight the incredible work of our artists, organizations and galleries is one of the core functions that has placed the Arts Commission at the nexus of county arts and culture over the past 40 years,” he said.

The County Arts Commission also will present its annual Leadership in Art Award to the Santa Barbara County Arts Fund. The Arts Fund has been an incubator for emerging artists in the county, showcasing the work of local artists of all ages and identities from the Santa Barbara region.

The commission wants to recognize the impact of the Arts Fund’s Teen Arts Mentorship Program, which is committed to enhancing the education of a new generation of artistic talent.

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission is a 15-member commission appointed by the County Board of Supervisors, with three members representing each of the five supervisorial districts.

The Arts Commission's key functions include making recommendations for the Percent for the Arts program, which establishes public art throughout the county; serving on grant panels for the County Arts Enrichment awards; and helping to generate cultural arts policy for county constituents.

Current commissioners represent a variety of artistic and cultural disciplines countywide.

— Gina DePinto for Santa Barbara County.


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