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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 11:51 am | Fair 63º


Sea Glass Festival To Help Shore Up Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Facility

The 4th annual Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival returns to the Central Coast in September to highlight artists, jewelers and sea glass enthusiasts. It will be held 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 8-9 at Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real.

Since the inception of the Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival in 2015, organizers have annually selected a local nonprofit as their Giving Back recipient.

“Giving back to the community is of utmost importance,” said Louise Sciutto, festival director. “Due to a number of recent local tragedies, our commitment to community is particularly important at this year’s event.”

The 2018 Giving Back recipient is the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN), which rescues, rehabilitates, and returns injured and orphaned animals to their native homes in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties every year.

During the July 6 Holiday Fire, SBWCN nearly lost its facility headquartered in Goleta. The property experienced serious damage, including excessive ash, burnt plastic, and enclosure damage.

Until repairs are completed, SBWCN is rehabilitating 180 injured animals at the Santa Barbara Humane Society.

“We chose the Wildlife Care Network this year specifically because of their work in response to the Thomas Fire and associated Montecito debris flow at the start of the new year,” said Karen Clark, festival art director.

“We saw the critical help they offered land and sea animals that were directly impacted by these events, and it felt important to all of us.”

It was after the SBWCN had been selected as this year’s Giving Back recipient that the Holiday Fire hit.

Due to this new and immediate need, the Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival committee donated $1,000 to the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network to assist with Holiday Fire recovery efforts.

“When we realized the recent fire directly impacted their facilities and operations, we felt the need to jump in immediately with financial support, even before the festival took place,” Clark said.

Additional fundraising efforts to support SBWCN are planned as part of festival activities, including a silent auction featuring this year’s festival artwork by local artist Pedro de la Cruz.

“Being the Giving Back recipient of the Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival is truly a blessing in our time of utmost need,” said Julia Parker, SBWCN’s director of animal care.

“Festival organizers immediately offered us $1,000 once they heard about the Holiday Fire’s impact on our operation, and they have been consistently supportive ever since.”

Rooted in community, the festival will feature local speakers, artists and vendors including Greg Gorga, executive director of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, who will offer a talk on Santa Barbara’s maritime history.

The Santa Barbara Unified School District Mobile Café will be onsite offering plant-based bites with fully compostable serviceware.

Guests will be able to buy artwork and jewelry from local artists such as Silvia Pauletto of Lionheart Jewelry, Tabitha Bergerson of 1247 Studios, and Christine May Brand of Nature + Pigment.  

“Community is woven into every aspect of the festival this year,“ said Sciutto.

“Increasing our engagement with our Santa Barbara neighbors was a conscious choice, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to not only bring the community together, but to also feature local artists and businesses and to give back to key organizations doing incredibly important work," she said.

Tickets to the festival start at $5 for Sunday admission, $7 for Saturday admission, $10 for a two-day pass, and $15 for Saturday early bird admission.

Tickets are available at the door or online at www.santabarbaraseaglassandoceanartsfestival.com/buy-tickets-2017/. Parking at the venue is a $5 charge, cash only.  

For more information, visit www.santabarbaraseaglassandoceanartsfestival.com.

— Giovanna Davila for Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.


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