Santa Barbara is known for its rich surroundings and is an area filled with history, art, architecture, music, culture, and nature. Its artistic heritage dates back to the 1800s, and in 1906 many artists fled there after the San Francisco earthquake.
Santa Barbara offers an abundance of world class visual, performance, and literary arts related programs through organizations such as Santa Barbara Museum of Art, USCB’s Arts and Lectures, The Santa Barbara Bowl, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Arts Fund, and more.
Brad Nack and Marcello Ricci of The Arts Fund aim to continue to advance the arts in Santa Barbara. The Arts Fund, located in the Funk Zone, has been an incubator for emerging artists for more than 30 years. It offers art education, professional development, and gallery environments for students.
“The Funk Zone, Santa Barbara’s burgeoning arts district is the hottest arts-related event happening in Santa Barbara. It is home to 20+ venues that exhibit art, from galleries and studios to restaurants, tasting rooms, bars and even the telephone poles,” says Nack, “The Funk Zone Mural Program is a new program that we are excited about.”
The program will seek to bring top-notch street artists from near and far to do large scale murals on over a dozen and counting approved sites, throwing Santa Barbara into the mix of the world-wide cultural movement of street art. “We have just completed our first mural with San Francisco based artists Zio Ziegler,” says Nack.
“Our Community Gallery is unique in Santa Barbara in that we are the only exhibition space dedicated to showcasing emerging and mid-career artists from Santa Barbara County only. We are proud to say that we exhibited over 300 artists last year,” says Nack.
One of Nack and Ricci’s proudest accomplishments is the Teen Arts Mentorship program. “It has provided in-depth arts-education opportunities for teens for more than 20 years” says Nack. “Many of our students have received scholarships from their work and gone on to top art schools such as the Chicago Arts Institute and RISD. However, beyond acquiring specific art making skills, one of the other important aspects of the program is the professional networking opportunities and exposure to the various career choices available to people in the creative fields.”
The next time you have the opportunity to visit Santa Barbara, be sure to soak in all the creative spirit that makes it such a unique and beautiful town.