Friday, September 28, 2007

Santa Barbara Visual Arts Alliance

As many local residents and knowledgeable visitors have found, Santa Barbara County, California, is an art lover’s paradise. It is thriving with painters, sculptors, printmakers, and assemblage artists – some world-renowned and others are just emerging. In addition, many galleries, studios, museums, and art events feature the work of both past and present local artists.

I am a co-founder and Steering Committee Member of a local non-profit organization known as Santa Barbara Visual Arts Alliance (SBVAA). It has been around since 2001, and has a mission to promote, locally, nationally, and internationally, the rich local visual arts resources.

Funded in part by Membership fees, it is supported also by a small grant from the Santa Barbara Community Events & Festivals Program, from funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.

Today, its principle contribution is a website with a database recording much of the visual arts activities in the County of Santa Barbara.
There are recorded most local visual arts related events, galleries, museums, art venues of all kinds, organization, and many individual artists, many with their own studios. Thousands of visitors to the area, as well locals, use the listings to plan their explorations of the local art scene.

The organization has until now been run by volunteers. For a long time I have acted as manager and moderator for the website, supported by outside contractors who do the actual online posting of the hundreds of emailed art stories that arrive each month.

For the last few days I have been taken away from my painting to write a grant solicitation to obtain funds to bring on board our very first employee, an Executive Director.

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