Unite to Light, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit, is planning a unique fundraiser, Unite to Light the Night, Oct. 6-8. The inaugural event merges art, culture, and social impact into immersive experiences over the course of three evenings.
Unite to Light manufactures and distributes solar lamps and solar chargers to people living without electricity.
The basis of the benefit is an art exhibit focused on the theme of light, and the unique aspect is that it will run for three-consecutive days, giving the organization, its supporters, and artists the opportunity to connect with a broader community. People of all ages are invited to participate in at least one of the evenings.
“Including local artists stemmed from the wish to celebrate the power of light,” said Megan Birney, CEO of Unite to Light. “An art exhibition is the perfect way to showcase light as not only an essential aspect of life, but also a creative medium that can bring people together.”
The exhibition will feature 33 local artists, ranging from art students to globally recognized professionals. Some 40 artworks will be on display, including projection art, light mapping, sculptures, paintings, and photography.
“At The Towbes Group, we often speak of community; about nurturing it; sustaining it and protecting it,” said Rob Skinner, CEO of The Towbes Group ,and presenting sponsor of the event.
“The community that we endeavor to build and support is one that strives to create spaces and opportunities in which all can thrive,” he said. “The Towbes Group is honored to be supporting Unite to Light’s mission to do just that.”
With myriad festivals and fundraising events happening in Santa Barbara, “It was important to create an event that stands out, that’s truly inclusive, and one that offers a lot of value for the cost of participation for guests and sponsors,” said Kate Kubiak, creative director at event agency Vesper Post, which is producing Unite to Light the Night.
All three nights’ events will be held 6-10 p.m. at the Community Arts Workshop (CAW), 631 Garden St., Santa Barbara.
Most of the artwork will be exhibited inside the CAW’s gallery spaces, while all social components will be hosted in the spacious courtyard. Each evening is set to have its own atmosphere, artistic program and entertainment.
For the first night, Unite to Light is rolling out the red carpet for guests attending the Glow Gala, offering dinner and a show. The Glow Gala will unveil the exhibit, and guests will be able to explore and interact with the art. A welcome reception with select artists will kick off the evening, followed by catered dinner and a musical performance.
Guests are encouraged to add glitter and glow to their attire and will be treated to a live show by local band Isla View.
The Bright Bash on the second evening, will be a multisensory dance party. Two house music DJs (SkyPounce and DJ MacIntyre) will be turning up the beats. Tickets include an open bar, light food by Nimitas Cuisine, flow art performances, and a glow-in-the-dark accessory station.
Unite to Light has partnered with AutoCamp on this event. Founder Neil Dipaola said, “AutoCamp is on a mission to connect people to each other and the outdoors. It is also committed to conservation efforts, environmental education that help protect these beautiful places.
“We’re proud to support Unite to Light’s innovative solutions to meet the global need for electricity and climate initiatives.”
The third and final event is the Community Showcase, an evening open to the public. In addition to offering free admission, the organizers teamed with Art From Scrap and Children’s Creative Project to lead a light-based art workshop for all ages. Food by Nimita’s Cuisine and drinks will be available for purchase onsite.
“Village Properties is thrilled to partner with Unite to Light and bring the Community Showcase to the public and support ongoing efforts to uplift developing communities across the world through access to clean light and electricity,” said said Rene Grubb, broker/owner of Village Properties, the evening’s sponsor.
Thanks to the support of local foundations and businesses, 10 artists received grants to bring their artwork to life. Many of the art pieces will be for sale with a portion of the proceeds going to Unite to Light. For information and tickets, visit UniteToLight.org/LightTheNight.
Unite to Light also thanks supporters: The Fund for Santa Barbara, SBCC Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation, Oniracom, Community Environmental Council, WorldViz, Intuizi, Topa Topa, Flying Embers, Figueroa Mountain, Bartlett Pringle & Wolf, American Riviera Bank, Larry Barels, Marci Cohen, and Jason Janzen, CPA.
Thanks as well to Adrienne De Guevara, Sarah Dildine, and The Environment Makers for bringing the exhibition to light.