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,


Download Application

Materials Here:

Attach the application to an e-mail and send it to no later than midnight on Tuesday, January 2nd.

If you have questions please e-mail or call (805) 324-7443.

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

Artists, community leaders, and members of the public are invited the Community Arts Residency Kickoff and Conversation at the Community Arts Workshop on October 26 from 5 - 6:30p.m. The event will feature:


  • 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..

Please attend if you are an artist interested in community-engaged work, a community leader or non-profit leader interested in the ways that art and artists can help in your work, or simply interested in hearing from these fascinating local artists. Food and drinks will be served.

Please RSVP for the Kickoff here.


Aside from the public conversations, the CAW will also be open for an informal tour and opportunity for artists to ask questions of Project Coordinator Casey Caldwell on October 31st from 12p-1pm, and November 14th from 5-6pm. 

Attendance at one of the events on October 26th, October 31st, or November 14th is mandatory in order to be considered for the residency.


  • The residency will focus on:

    • Projects that use 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 should have experience with arts-based civic engagement, and name specific organizations and community groups to partner with.

    • Projects that require large workspace, like murals, theatre, large sculpture, collaborative projects, etc, are encouraged.

  • Artists will receive:

    • 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 provides workspace only, there is no living space at the CAW.)

  • The CAW project coordinator will work 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 will be reviewed by a diverse panel made up of artists, community non-profit leaders, arts educators, non-profit advocates, and Arts Collaborative Board members.


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


  • Rick Benjamin, Director of Student Learning & Community Engagement, Humanities & Fine Arts UCSB, teacher, poet, and community organizer.

  • 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

(Please direct all questions about the program to Project Coordinator Casey Caldwell: or (805) 324-7443.)


  • One to two paragraphs describing your proposed project, how it will facilitate discussion about pertinent local issues and bridge barriers between estranged or disenfranchised social groups, and describing the nonprofits, community groups, government agencies, and/or any other groups you will work to partner with on the project, and any steps you’ve taken to build a relationship with those groups.

  • A short paragraph for each lead artist in your project, describing their qualifications for this work and any previous work in the realm of socially or civically-engaged art.

  • A draft project timeline, describing your proposed research, development, community outreach, and creative process. Project funding begins at the start of the development process. Work must take place in 2018, but the timing is somewhat flexible for each individual project

  • Links to three examples of your previous work, such photos, videos, and reviews.

  • A letter of recommendation that highlights your experience in collaboration and/or community engagement.


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 allows 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 should 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: