Carousel Horse by Gustav Dentzel 1885.
Carousel Horse by Gustav Dentzel 1885. (Santa Barbara Historical Museum photo)

The holiday season is upon us, and the spirit of giving is alive! What better way to give back to our community than participating in this years #GivingTuesday by donating to the local organizations in Santa Barbara. Join Noozhawk this #GivingTuesday and make a donation to a local nonprofit.

Noozhawk is teaming up with local nonprofits to encourage you to take part in the international day of giving, which takes place on November 30th, 2021.

It is no secret that this past year and a half has been full of challenges. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, local nonprofits need your support now more than ever.

Our Good for Santa Barbara Nonprofit Section provides all the resources you need to donate this holiday season, including a full Giving Guide with a list of local nonprofits who need your help this Giving Tuesday. 

In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Dacia Harwood, Executive Director at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, to learn more about how the nonprofit is dedicated to inspire meaningful connections to Santa Barbara history. 

Santa Barbara Historical Museum

Question: What is the name & mission of your nonprofit?

Answer: The Santa Barbara Historical Museum’s mission is to inspire meaningful connections to Santa Barbara history.

Q: How long has your nonprofit been in service?

A: The Museum was founded in 1932 by a voluntary association consisting of representatives from a number of local organizations.

Q: What was the inspiration behind your nonprofit?

A: Santa Barbara leaders created the Museum to preserve, interpret, and celebrate our collective cultural legacy.

Q: How is your nonprofit primarily funded and what are your greatest needs?

A: The Museum is funded by a variety of sources, including memberships, admission income, Museum store revenue, fundraising events, foundations, and generous donations from individuals. General operating support and education programming are our greatest current funding needs.

Q: How has COVID-19 impacted your nonprofit?

A: We are open and enjoying visitors back in our galleries! The Museum shifted to a virtual model when the pandemic began, pivoted to a hybrid model, and is now open for in person visits. We continue both our in person and online programming to reach history lovers near and far.

Old Spanish Days 1941.

Old Spanish Days 1941. (Santa Barbara Historical Museum photo)

Q: What makes your nonprofit different from others?

A: This Museum’s collections represent more than 500 years of diverse cultures, including Chumash, Spanish, Mexican, and American. The vast archival collection is comprised of 80,000+ exceptional fine arts pieces and irreplaceable historical objects, and is complemented by 40,000+ research documents, maps and photographs, the restored Fernald Mansion, and three historically significant adobes.

Q: What is one best kept secret or fun fact about your nonprofit that not everyone knows?

A: The intriguing backstory of the Museum’s founding can be found by visiting under the “About” section

Q:  How does the work of your nonprofit get communicated to the public?

A: Please subscribe to our enews at

Q: Why should donors trust your organization and are there other ways to help outside of donations?

A: The Museum has been an area cultural institution for more than 85 years, serving local, national, and visitors from around the world with the stories and artifacts behind our area’s unique history. Although the pandemic has changed our volunteer efforts and roles, please contact the Museum for the latest opportunities.

Q: Can you tell us one short-term goal AND one long-term goal that your nonprofit has for the next year?

A: Short and longer term goals include securing funding for our general operations and expanding our educational programs while working toward upgrading our galleries, collection vaults, and overall museum sustainability to best offer broad public access while protecting our collections for the future.

Click here to support the Santa Barbara Historical Museum’s mission to inspire meaningful connections to Santa Barbara history.