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Letter to the Editor: Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show Heavily Impacted by Waterfront Work

I just read with some incredulity the statement attributed to Adam Hendel in the March 30 article on the Cabrillo Bridge Project that says, “Changes in construction shouldn’t impact Stearns Wharf or the Arts and Crafts Show operations ...”

How wrong that is! This project has forced the closure of almost 40 percent of the Arts section from the wharf down, driving out a large number of artists, we have lost loads of parking, soon both the Cabrillo roadway and the sidewalk will be gone, and work on the sewer system has taken up large amounts of parking in the Palm Park lot.

Yet the City Recreation Department continues to charge us the same high fees, keeps adding more artists and crafts people without really telling them how impacted the show is, and controls our show’s own publicity fund to the extent that they are not allowing us to advertise the show along the construction zone with signs or anything.

In short, this is the worst thing to happen to Santa Barbara’s 50-year-old arts and crafts institution ever. We are fighting to survive in the face of the La Entrada and Cabrillo Bridge projects, the Mission Creek remediation, and sewer line refurbishment, and all in the face of the Recreation Department’s greedy, steadfast course to milk every last drop of money from those artists and crafts people who are trying to carry through all this huge amount of construction to keep our show going.

Jeff Kennedy
Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show

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