Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative

Artist Residency Pilot Program

at the Community Arts Workshop

The arts have a unique ability to bridge barriers of politics, class, and culture, to reorient perspective and open up dialogue about entrenched societal issues.


In this belief, the Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative (SBAC) invites Santa Barbara County-based artists to apply for their artist-in-residence program, based at the Community Arts Workshop (CAW), for artwork that meets community needs, bridges societal barriers, and fosters civic engagement with local issues.


Projects will be awarded grants of between $3,000 and $6,000, receive a month of large workshop space at the Community Arts Workshop, and support from the Project Coordinator to facilitate community collaborations. The SBAC will fund 2-3 residency projects to take place in 2018.


January 2nd,


Funding for the arts residency is generously provided by the Santa Barbara Foundation

The residency included: A Kickoff and Conversation at the Community Arts Workshop featuring:


  • A presentation on the CAW Residency and civic engagement through the arts.

  • A panel discussion featuring Kim Yasuda, speaking about her work using art in community development in Isla Vista and elsewhere; Michael Morgan, speaking about the Odyssey Project's work with youth in detention centers; Audrey Lopez, speaking about takepart/makeartJoe Velasco speaking about his work with youth, including as the past director of City at Peace; and Ming Holden, talking about her theatre work with refugees in Kenya.


  • The residency focused on:

    • Projects that used the arts to meet community needs, bridge social barriers, and/or facilitate discussion and civic engagement on pertinent local issues like poverty, segregation, inequality, and homelessness

      • Selected artists were experienced in arts-based civic engagement, and selected specific organizations and community groups to partner with.

    • Projects requiring large workspace, like murals, theatre, large sculpture, collaborative projects, etc, were encouraged.

  • Artists will received:

    • Stipends between ($3K and $6K) depending on the scope of the project, extent of community engagement, and the number of artists and organizations involved.

    • A month of large workspace at the Community Arts Workshop

    • and dedicated assistance from the Project Coordinator to facilitate collaborations and partnerships.

(Please note, this residency provided workspace only, there is no living space at the CAW.)

  • The CAW project coordinator will worked alongside the artist

    • Connecting the artist with local organizations and community groups relevant to the themes they are exploring in their artwork, and facilitating conversations about how the artist’s work can serve these organizations;

      • For example, a theater artist working with issues of affordability and homelessness could partner with the Housing Authority to interview their residents, or include them in the play development process, or cast them in the performance.

    • Facilitating projects in collaboration with the artist’s work;

      • School groups could be brought to the CAW to create art projects related to the Chumash history and mythology a resident artist is exploring, or a local news outlet could do a story series on the farmers an artist is interviewing.

    • And convening community conversations around the artist’s work.

      • An oral history project could provide a welcoming invitation to elders to more readily engage in redevelopment plans for their neighborhood.



  • At least 25 years of age

  • A resident of Santa Barbara County

  • Be able to cite previous work in the realm of community or civically-engaged art.


Proposals were reviewed by a diverse panel made up of artists, community non-profit leaders, arts educators, non-profit advocates, and Arts Collaborative Board members.


Projects were considered for creative excellence, innovative approach, and potential scope of community impact. Also significant was whether the project was judged to have potential to live on after the residency, if it was scalable, and if it might serve as a model to be replicated in other communities.


  • Ginny Brush, Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative Board Member, former Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Arts Commission

  • Casey Caldwell, Project Coordinator, CAW manager, and theatre artist

  • Gary Clark, Director of Capacity Building, Fund for Santa Barbara

  • Elyse Gonzalez, Curator of Exhibitions, Art, Design, and Architecture Museum, UCSB

  • Rod Hare, Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative board president, co-founder of Notes for Notes

  • Jim Kearns, founder and former Board President of ICAN (The Incredible Childrens’ Art Network)

  • Marcus Lopez, Coordinator of Community/Student Relations at SB Junior High, Captain of the Chumash Tomols, dancer with Danza Mexica Cuaahtemoc, and community activitist, mentor, and educator

  • Sharyn Main, Senior Director of Community Investments, Santa Barbara Foundation

  • Barbara Parmet, Photographer, community artist

  • Kai Tepper, Education Outreach Program Manager at the Santa Barbara Bowl

  • Nathan Vonk, Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative Board Member, owner of Sullivan Goss art gallery


The Community Arts Workshop is two warehouse buildings and four separate spaces on 631 Garden Street in Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative (SBAC) is in the middle of capital campaign to renovate the spaces to provide affordable and flexible workshop, gallery, performance, classroom, rehearsal, and open space to local artists.


Piloting this program allowed the SBAC to develop the CAW’s potential and build its future as a public square for art and dialogue. Since renovations are not yet complete, artists were asked to expect a “no frills” industrial space. However, the CAW has been found to be well-suited by local artists doing theater shows, constructing large art pieces, cross-disciplinary projects, short-run gallery exhibitions, workshops, and classes. We provide large warehouse rooms with abundant natural light.


More about the CAW can be found at You can sign up for our mailing list here.


Interested artists can also e-mail or call (805) 324-7443 with questions.


The following are some resources from Americans for the Arts for planning civically-engaged art projects: