The Society of Fearless Grandmothers-Santa Barbara, Sunrise-Santa Barbara, the UCSB Environmental Affairs Board and 350 Santa Barbara hosted Chalk Art Action with Elders and Youth over the weekend, in support of the Green New Deal. The event took place at the Fiesta 5 Theater, 916 State Street, and Metro 4 Theater, 618 State Street, during the 2023 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).
“It went great. We had a great turnout with positive energy and a lot of people of different ages and demographics. There were students engaging with community members. It was a fun event with great discussions and I think we did a lot of great work today,” Alyssa Jain, a senior at UCSB and a student leader for Sunrise-Santa Barbara, told the News-Press.
Ms. Jain estimated that there were about 70-80 who came through during the three hour window on Saturday, which was followed by a similar three hour window on Sunday.
“It was a nice sunny day with music playing. It was pretty festive, people were excited and enthusiastic. Everyone was engaging in this cross-generational event. Overall the vibe was festive and energetic,” said Ms. Jain.
The event involved creating chalk art on State Street to entertain and inform people who stood in line for SBIFF-featured films using what organizers called climate crisis storytelling.
Students wrote messages about their vision of a green future, calling for passage of the Green New Deal.
“The Green New Deal is a congressional plan for addressing the climate crisis by ending use of fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable energy, while providing good paying jobs and protecting our hardest hit communities. The deal calls on the government to invest in clean energy, protect front line communities, end all forms of oppression and ensure clean water, air, food and all forms of housing as human rights,” said Ms. Jain.
The News-Press asked Ms. Jain if she felt the event was successful: “ I think so. I think we really wanted to bring the community together and engage in the deal personally by thinking about what they want for the future and their communities. People were creative in expressing themselves for a just and clean future through chalk,” she said.
Drawings included winter vines, free flowing rivers with fish, urban farms, local agriculture, earth, compost, animals and plants.
“We want a national green new deal. There is lots of power at the grassroots level. Communities have knowledge of what they need and the ability to make it happen. We really want to encourage people to get involved with climate organizations and push for climate justice at the grassroots level,” said Ms. Jain.