The I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival, held annually during the Memorial Day Weekend in the plaza of the Santa Barbara Mission, has been canceled due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.
The festival, which was going to celebrate its 34th anniversary on May 23-25, benefits the Children’s Creative Project, a nonprofit arts-education program from the Santa Barbara County Education Office, which provides visual and performing arts education in schools throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
As one of the most popular events of the springtime in Santa Barbara, I Madonnari draws thousands to view elaborate chalk drawings done by local artists of all ages.
Street-painting squares are sponsored by businesses, members of the community and artists.
The event also features live music and food.
“While we are all missing the loss of ‘normal,’ it is important to follow state and local recommendations regarding group gatherings and do our part to continue to slow the spread of this virus,” CCP Executive Director Kathy Koury said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting our festival again during the Memorial Day weekend in 2021.”
The Children’s Creative Project provides dynamic arts programming for 50,000 students in schools up and down Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido.
“Our students and school communities look forward to experiencing the vibrant performances, school-based arts education, and hands-on workshops once campuses are re-opened,” Salcido said.