Friday, August 14, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 24

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on July 8th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 19

County Arts Commission, Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation launch artist awards

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission announced it will award up to 20 stipends of $500 each to local artists who have created work in response to circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Arts Commission is partnering with the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation to present these awards “in recognition of artists’ essential social contributions,” according to a press release. 

Back in May, the two organizations also partnered on a pandemic relief program to benefit county-based arts and culture nonprofits.

“The Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation is honored to participate in supporting our vibrant arts community in [Santa Barbara] County with these stipends,” Karen Kerns, vice chair of the foundation, said in the release.

As part of a lease agreement with the county, the Santa Barbara Bowl supports an arts subsidy fund, which designates $0.50 per ticket sold toward arts- and culture-related grants. 

Funds from the Bowl’s 2019 concert season will contribute to the new awards program, which was formed partly in response to a recent report from the state of California that indicated 85 percent of California-based artists have experienced work cancellations—performances, shows, commissions, freelance projects, etc.—since March this year.

“We believe that artists deserve to be paid for their labor. It is our hope that these honoraria will support the selected artists and help enable them to continue to create and connect,” Dennis Smitherman, chair of the County Arts Commission, said in the release.

The awards program is open to practicing artists and cultural practitioners (ages 18 and over) across various disciplines—landscape arts, literary arts, culinary arts, visual and performing arts, etc.—who reside in Santa Barbara County. Submissions are due by Aug. 3. Applications are available online at

Artworks submitted for consideration must have been created after March 13, 2020. Submissions will be evaluated on artistic merit, uniqueness of perspective, and relevance to the current context of the pandemic. Visit to find out more about the program.

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Should the Foxen oil pipeline project receive more environmental review?

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