Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Children’s Creative Project has struggled under the pandemic’s strains. While it still provides arts education, COVID-19 has brought new challenges.
SBCEO Superintendent Diana Rigby contacted CCP’s executive director Kathy Koury at the start of the pandemic to schedule Zoom lessons. CCP hopes next school year will bring in-person performances.
“Arts education is a major component in the cognitive and emotional development of our students. It was critical to continue it as part of our core curriculum,” Superintendent Rigby said in a news release. “We are so grateful for CCP and look forward to having in-person lessons next year.”
Resident artists held workshops at 25 school sites this school year, reaching 11,668 students. In 2019, artists reached 33,500 students at 74 school sites — almost triple the exposure.
Multicultural companies performed 208 times through CCP this year, reaching 18,920 children at 39 schools. Last school year, they had 400 performances for 44,400 students at 86 schools.
“For a true education, you need art, music, theater, and dance experiences from the highest levels of artists. It’s as important as math and language arts,” Ms. Rigby said. “With the resident artists provided by the Children’s Creative Project, our elementary students enjoy a robust, consistent arts experience.”
Schools received their annual $200 credit to offset performance fees, but the annual Santa Barbara Bowl performance was canceled.
The pandemic has also hurt CCP’s funding, but the organization has hopes for the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival.
The festival will be virtual again this year, held May 29-31. As always, chalk artists will wow attendees with their vivid artwork.
Photos of the chalk squares will be posted on the festival website, Facebook and Instagram pages.
There are opportunities for businesses, families and individuals to sponsor a street-painting square.
Participants can call (805) 964-4710 ext. 4412 for more information and to register. To be included in all advertising, sponsors must sign up before May 7.
— Annelise Hanshaw