Wednesday, September 23, 2015

7 Sculptures Worth Seeing in Santa Barbara

Public art serves to brighten a community, engaging both residents and tourists alike. In 1978, Santa Barbara passed a 1% for Art Ordinance and established a County Art in Public Places (CAPP) subcommittee under the County Arts Commission. As a result of these initiatives, murals, mosaics, and sculptures dot the Santa Barbara landscape. The following list highlights seven sculptures that should not be missed on a trip to Santa Barbara:

1. Chromatic Gate

Art enthusiasts can walk through a rainbow just off of Cabrillo Boulevard. The brightly colored square archway serves as a bridge between the mountains to the north and the ocean to the south. Herbert Bayer created this arrangement of cheery color, which was erected in 1991. By 2013, the colors had faded, and a restoration was commissioned that included sanding, resurfacing, priming, and painting. Chromatic Gate engages passersby once more with its bold rainbow color scheme.

2. Windamajig

Kinetic sculpture fans should head up to Goleta Beach Park, where a sculpture installed alongside a playground mesmerizes with movement and sound. The 15-foot tall sculpture by George Rhoads features 20 cone-shaped wind catchers arranged in small clusters that rotate independently, propelled by sea breezes. The movement of the Windamajig sculpture causes mallets to pull back and strike against the pipes that form the structure of the piece, creating bongs and dings that root visitors to the spot as they investigate the origin of each distinctive sound.

3. Good Time Clock IV 1984

The Santa Barbara Airport houses another renowned kinetic sculpture. This one resembles a machine or a clock as the name implies, with a moving ball rolling down metal raceways, engaging different parts of the sculpture to move. The sculpture, which has an electric motor, uses weight and timing to move the ball to each new station. Enclosed in a plastic case, the Good Time Clock IV sits in the airfield courtyard, entertaining travel-weary visitors.

4. Dolphin Family

Formerly known as the Santa Barbara Bicentennial Friendship Fountain, or the Bicentennial Friendship Fountain, this sculpture features a family of dolphins in midair jumping over a dish-shaped fountain. The work by Bud Bottoms was commissioned to commemorate Santa Barbara’s bicentennial in 1982. Replicas of the sculpture were sent to Santa Barbara’s three sister cities as well: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Toba, Japan; and Yalta, Ukraine.

Lost-At-Sea Memorial Whale Tail Benches and a Dolphin Torso, also by Bud Bottoms, sit not far from the Dolphin Family fountain at Santa Barbara Breakwater. For passersby, the sculpture adds whimsy to a beach stroll.

5. Mentor’s Fountain

Three bronze, undulating pillars stand in a fountain at Santa Barbara City College. Created by artist Aris Demetrios, the sculpture was dedicated in 2000. The pillars, which symbolize the importance of the mentoring relationship in intellectual life, overlook an expansive lawn at the college with views to the ocean. Art enthusiasts seeking a tranquil, thought-provoking work juxtaposed against a beautiful setting should not miss Aris Demetrios’ Mentor’s Fountain.

6. Millennium Gate

The Santa Barbara County Administration Building welcomes visitors with an oval-shaped sculpture called Millennium Gate. The shiny steel sculpture, created by Rich Peterson, has an opening in the center that symbolizes birth and new beginnings.

A longtime Santa Barbara resident, Rich Peterson served as the community’s fire chief from 1976 to 1992. When the brand new Station 12 needed a sculpture of a firefighter, the city commissioned Peterson to do it. He created Charge the Line, modeled after Sergio Sanchez, who still serves as a firefighter in Santa Barbara. The bronze statue stands outside Fire Headquarters on Cathedral Oaks Road.

7. The Peace Monument

Public art engages and inspires, and sometimes tells a story. The Peace Monument, which stands in People’s Park, Isla Vista, was the site of a peaceful protest in 1970 by about 1,000 locals who objected to a sunset curfew imposed by Governor Ronald Reagan. Police cleared the area with tear gas and clubs, and arrested 390 protesters. Santa Barbara memorialized the moment by installing the steel and concrete structure in 1993. Four steel archways lead to a center circle, which has a plaque that reads, “In a spirit of remembrance, inspiration, and reconciliation, we commemorate the people who worked for peace, justice, and nonviolence in Isla Vista and elsewhere during the Vietnam War era.”

In addition to the sculptures featured on this list, other installations can be found in the Santa Barbara area, as well as beautiful murals and mosaics. Channing Peake Gallery in the County Administration building and City Hall Gallery in Santa Barbara City Hall both feature local artists and others. Santa Barbara’s commitment to fostering art has helped to improve the quality of life in the community.

Monday, September 14, 2015

5 Ways the Fund for Santa Barbara Works for Change

“Change, not Charity” defines the Fund for Santa Barbara’s approach to grant-making. Founded in 1980, the nonprofit, community foundation believes that solutions for community problems are most effective when they come from the community itself.

Appropriately, the members of the Fund for Santa Barbara Grant-Making Committee come from within the community, usually spending a few years helping choose which grants to fund and then returning to their work in the area. Because of the rotating nature of the committee’s composition, the group remains deeply connected to the Santa Barbara region’s true needs.

To create political, economic, environmental, and social change, the Fund for Santa Barbara offers the following 5 programs:

1) Grant-Making

Most grants are seed grants that provide new nonprofits with enough money to begin implementing their programs. In addition to funding start-up organizations, the Fund provides grants for general, operational assistance to established, small nonprofits. It also makes target-specific grants to larger organizations.

The Fund provided $19,500 in grants during its first year of operation, with each grant maxing out at $2,000. Today, the maximum grant amount is $10,000, and the Fund awards more than $200,000 in grants annually. Since 1980, the Fund has distributed more than $5 million to over 900 grantees.

2) Bread and Roses

The Bread and Roses auction and dinner raises a fourth of the money needed for the Fund’s grant-making and technical assistance programs. The event takes its name from a quote by prominent labor leader and feminist Rose Schneiderman. During a textile workers’ strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912, she was noted for saying, “the worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.” Members of the Fund for Santa Barbara interpret the “bread” as a living wage and believe the “roses” represent dignity and respect.

More than 25 restaurants, caterers, wineries, and breweries contribute to create the Bread and Roses buffet-style dinner that is now the largest progressive fundraiser in Santa Barbara County, attracting more than 400 guests. Both live and silent auctions contribute to the fundraising effort.

3) Technical Assistance

Grassroots organizations often start with a great idea but have little practical experience in starting and running a nonprofit. To help these groups, the Fund staffs a technical assistance skills-building program that provides the following:

* Grant-writing help—Applicants can submit the grant application draft for a pre-proposal review to receive hints on how to improve the likelihood of acceptance. Twice a year, the Fund offers public workshops on the application process and how to write an effective grant.

* Consulting—This umbrella program teaches a host of how-to’s for grassroots groups, including how to run a community organization, start a nonprofit, develop a working board, facilitate retreats, fundraise, and lobby. Strategic planning, financial management, business resources, and program design help are also available.

* Networking— The offices of the Fund act as a networking center, providing opportunities for activists and organizations to learn about each other.

* Collaboration—The Fund meets monthly with the Foundation Roundtable, a group of 30 local foundation representatives, to share ideas and plan the yearly Partnership for Excellence Conference, which brings together nonprofits and funding organizations for discussions and informational sessions.

4) Youth Making Change

With its Youth Making Change (YMC) program, the Fund hands over the grant-making responsibility to area teens. Two YMC boards, one in Santa Maria and one in Santa Barbara, each award $15,000 in grants to projects led by youth ages 12 to 24. These YMC boards conduct an entire grant cycle with the aid of two youth facilitators who previously served on YMC boards.

In operation since 2008, the YMC program has made grants totaling $157,500 to 90 youth-led groups, giving up to $3,000 per project. Applicants must try to fix a problem that affects youth in the community. The Fund also offers a workshop for YMC grant-writing.

5) Social Justice Award

Since 2000, the Fund for Santa Barbara has partnered with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival to award a Social Justice Award for Documentary films. The 2015 winner of the award was “A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake,” which followed a group of South African actors who brought their country’s story of reconciliation to other war-torn regions.

Previous Social Justice Award winners include Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, Revolution, and When I Rise.