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Santa Barbara County Arts Commission Awards $15,450 in Arts Enrichment Grants

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission has announced the grant recipients of its Fall 2013 Community Arts Enrichment Grants cycle. On Sept. 30, the Arts Commission received 18 grant applications for proposed projects throughout Santa Barbara County. The grants were reviewed by a panel made up of County Arts Commissioners from the 2nd, 4th and 5th Supervisorial Districts, a member of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation and Arts Commission staff. Fourteen grant applications were approved for funding in amounts ranging from $750 to $1,700. The $15,450 available this grant cycle is the result of a strategic partnership with the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, its Education Outreach Committee and the County Arts Commission. Funds come from an established Arts Subsidy fund that earmarks 25 cents of every Santa Barbara Bowl concert ticket sold going to support the program.

Community Arts Enrichment (CAE) Grants are intended to support artists and arts and cultural organizations by funding projects and a variety of activities that serve to enrich the lives of residents in Santa Barbara County.

"The Cultural Arts Enrichment grants have done much to improve and expand access to arts and arts education opportunities in area schools,” said Ginny Brush, executive director of the County Arts Commission.

Current CAE Grant funds will support a variety of new and innovative projects, joint and collaborative efforts that leverage community resources, and provide greater and more diverse participation in the arts countywide. Among the grant recipients are Boxtales Theatre Company, which will be providing multicultural performances to 1,200 students in the more remote rural communities of Guadalupe, and Cuyama, and in Lompoc, free of charge. UCSB Arts and Lectures’ VIVA el Arte! Program, which will be providing in-school assemblies, community workshops, lectures and demonstrations that engage more than 14,000 low-income, Spanish-speaking youth and multigenerational families in the communities of Isla Vista, Guadalupe and Santa Barbara.

“These cultural performances and family-friendly programs that are provided free to our underserved communities have helped fuel imagination and enhance quality of life for our residents,” Third District county Supervisor Doreen Farr said.

Sandy Stahl, co-chairwoman of the Santa Barbara Bowl Education Committee, shared the excitement and support of the Community Arts Enrichment Grant program.

“The Santa Barbara Bowl has a long history of supporting youth in arts education and this partnership with Santa Barbara County Arts Commission helps to provide great experience throughout the county,” she said.

$1,500 in CAE Grant funding will support an oral history video project Cuyama Valley led by Jane Slama.

“The Cuyama Valley oral history project is an excellent example of how Community Arts Enrichment grant funds can serve as a catalyst in engaging and unifying the community,” explained Herman Parker, director of the county's Community Services Department.

CAE grant funds also encourage programs that maximize community resources through strategic partnerships. The Carpinteria community will be using CAE grant funds to expand programming at the Plaza Playhouse, increase community involvement and fuel volunteer efforts to support this great venue and community resource.

Other CAE Grant funded programs will provide instruction in dance, music and performance for youth in and after school; those struggling with mental illness; and Arts Career guidance at a day-long conference for aspiring, and talented youth.

These are just a few of the community projects supported this grant cycle. Project grantees will be required to provide a final report at the end of each program to the Arts Commission outlining the impact of this funding on their community. The next Cultural Arts Enrichment Grant Cycle will take place in the Spring of 2014. Click here for more grant information.

The Arts Commission is a division of the county’s Community Services Department. Formed in 1977, the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission is a 15-member county commission appointed by the Board of Supervisors, with three members from each of the five supervisorial districts who make recommendations to the board on cultural arts policy. The Arts Commission serves as an umbrella for county arts projects, assists communities in raising funds for art programs and provides technical assistance and coordination to arts organizations, artists and local government. The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission is the regional cultural development agency, a state and local partner of the California Arts Council and manager of the County Percent for Art Program.

Click here for more information on the programs and resources of the Arts Commission.

— Lyn Semenza is a department business specialist II for the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.

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