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Orcutt Children’s Arts Group Looks to Chalk Up Success with More Family-Friendly Events

After inaugural street painting festival, nonprofit sees a roadmap to expand membership and support

An Orcutt nonprofit organization that helps fund arts in local schools is turning to smaller events to generate cash instead of relying solely on an annual spring gala.

The Orcutt Children’s Arts Foundation, which was founded 10 years ago to fund arts in the Orcutt Union School District, is making an effort to create more family-accessible events in addition to its gala to garner more members and donors.

Hannah Rubalcava, OCAF executive director, said the group hosted an inaugural Old Orcutt Street Painting & Art Festival in September that raised quite a bit of money.

A recent Sunday event hosted in conjunction with a Lompoc winery also raised awareness and dollars, added Debra Hood, an Orcutt parent and OCAF member.

“We just had a really successful Chalk Art Festival,” Hood said last week. “We’re trying to broaden our opportunities for people. We are really in the midst of our membership push. We’re just always trying to get the word out.”

OCAF kicked off a campaign to raise $20,000 in September. So far, $6,500 has been raised in membership donations, Rubalcava said.

The organization, which boasts 185 members, is also in the process of recruiting some of last year’s 460 members to renew.

This year’s membership still significantly outnumbers the 40 members two years ago, Rubalcava said.

Orcutt Children’s Arts Foundation officials believe their inaugural chalk festival had just the right touch for the organization's future growth. (Amber Litzinger / Joyful Life Photography photo)
Orcutt Children’s Arts Foundation officials believe their inaugural chalk festival had just the right touch for the organization’s future growth. (Amber Litzinger / Joyful Life Photography photo)

“We’re looking at new ways to get more membership,” she said, adding that members can pay anything from $5 to hundreds of dollars to join. “Like everyone else, times are just hard. The need for us continues to grow. The cost of everything is going up.”

Rubalcava explained that OCAF funds eight professional artists in classrooms each year in addition to offering four-week Orcutt Arts Academy classes that students can pay for throughout the year.

She said the group might plan more events similar to the chalk fest, and it also may change up its annual spring gala after nine years of offering the same program in the same Santa Maria venue.

“It was affordable, it was fun, it was art,” Rubalcava of the chalk fest. “Most families we’re serving are joining. This year we’re kind of reevaluating what we’re doing.”

OCAF will continue its campaign until $20,000 is raised, she said. Last year, the group brought in $12,000.

Click here for more information on the Orcutt Children’s Arts Foundation, or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 805.938.8966.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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