Guadalupe artist hoststhe city’s first fashion show through a new grant program

Guadalupe resident Arnulfo Navarro III was always drawn to fashion as a form of personal expression

“That’s where I think I’m breaking through the most. I’m showing up as myself and people are taking that at face value,” he said. “I’m just trying to enjoy life and enjoy my everyday life, and … I’m trying to practice creativity. This makes me feel good and it’s worth my time.” 

click to enlarge Guadalupe artist hoststhe city’s first fashion show through a new grant program
Photo courtesy of Arnulfo Navarro III
CREATIVE EXPRESSION: Through a Central Coast Creative Corps grant, Guadalupe resident artist Arnulfo Navarro III plans to host a fashion show in Guadalupe on April 20, where he will highlight some of his work. He hopes to find more artists to join.

Navarro III began pushing his boundaries with fashion in high school where he realized he was saving his best clothes for the weekends or days he knew he’d be with his friends, he said. 

“Why don’t I wear my best clothes every day?” he asked. “What do I like to wear and have fun with? It’s such a personal thing.” 

Navarro III later learned how to sew and began putting together his own pieces, but he never had a place to display them, he said. As a Central Coast Creative Corps resident artist, Navarro will be collaborating with the Santa Barbara County Family Services Agency to host a free fashion show at Guadalupe City Hall on April 20. 

“This is the first fashion show in Guadalupe as far as I could tell. This has never happened before,” he said. 

The Central Coast Creative Corps is a new grant opportunity funded by the California Arts Council with the goal of investing in artists across disciplines to partner with nonprofits, government agencies, and tribal governments to advance civic engagement, public health, social justice, and climate resilience across the Central Coast. The grant provided $140,000 to 23 year-long projects, including the Family Service Agency’s collaboration with Navarro III. 

“This is a pilot program,” Navarro III said. “I really enjoy the opportunity to not have any precedents. It’s just based on what we want to do for the community, what would feel right, and what [we feel would] engage with the community.” 

The all-ages fashion show will be packed with fresh florals and greenery, and it will also highlight other artists’ work, including one who paints migrant workers on local produce boxes to pay homage to those who help drive the agriculture industry in town, Navarro III said. 

Alongside showcasing his own work, he said he’s looking for fellow seamstresses, creatives, and designers to participate in the free community event to show that fashion can be a part of anybody’s life. 

“There’s not one style that needs to be reflected. As long as you worked on it and you can wear it, put it in if you want to put it in,” he said. 

By keeping it a casual, community gathering that includes other artists’ work, Navarro III said he hopes that people can see that fashion and the creative arts are inclusive to his community. 

“That’s really exciting—being able to shift those concepts of fashion and modeling into my community members because most people don’t think of themselves. They think of catwalks, crazy outfits, an insane kind of music,” he said. “I just want people to understand that this is fun, by us, for us. These are our stories told by us.” 

The fashion show will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Volunteers and artists are scheduled to show up at 8 a.m. Email [email protected] if interested in participating.


• The Santa Maria Public Library will host free adult craft workshops during April in the Library’s Learning Loft—421 S. McClelland St. Residents can decoupage gardening pots on April 13 at 10:30 a.m.; make bee baths on April 20 at 2 p.m.; create watercolor bubble art on April 22 at 4 p.m.; or craft lightbulb air balloons on April 27 at 2 p.m. All materials will be provided, but space is limited and registration is required. Register at or call (805) 925-0994, Ext. 8562

• The Lompoc Parks and Recreation department is offering the Jr. Giants Summer Baseball program free for children between 5 and 13 years old. The program is a noncompetitive baseball league sponsored by the San Francisco Giants Community Fund. Kids will learn about baseball, leadership, teamwork, integrity, and confidence. Lompoc Parks and Recreation is also looking for volunteer coaches. The summer league is scheduled to begin in mid-June. Register at

Reach Staff Writer Taylor O’Connor at [email protected].

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