After two years of being virtual, event will be in person at Santa Barbara Mission
More than 100 street paintings will come to life when the I Madonnari Street Painting Festival returns this month as an in-person experience.
The longtime, popular festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 28-30 in front of the Santa Barbara Mission, where paintings will be created live with chalk pastels.
The festival was virtual in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s in-person experience will mark the festival’s 36th anniversary.
This is the first festival of its kind in North America, presenting the performance art of street painting. This event is produced by and raises funds for the Children’s Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office.
New local vendors at the festival include United States of Espresso, Dave’s Dogs, and Rascal’s Vegan Pop-Up. Not to be forgotten are old favorites such as lemon-rosemary roasted chicken, pizza, gelato and more produced by the Children’s Creative Project board with volunteers from National Charity League and Boys Charity League.
All proceeds from sales benefit the Children’s Creative Project.
This year’s festival will celebrate local champion of the arts, Kai Tepper, who is in her first year as the executive director for Children’s Creative Project. The festival will also honor founder and former executive director Kathy Koury for her 44 years of service.
“As someone who benefited directly from Children’s Creative Project’s programs while growing up in Santa Barbara, I know firsthand the value that they can bring to our students,” Ms. Tepper told the News-Press Wednesday in an email.
“The arts have the ability to transform lives and can be used as a tool for positive social change,” she said. “As a program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, we are eager to evolve in ways that provide equitable access to the arts for every student TK-12 throughout Santa Barbara County. We are grateful for our community of artists, sponsors and partners who help make our programs possible.”
“After a two-year hiatus of I Madonnari at the Old Mission Santa Barbara, we hope the community will help us celebrate the return of this exciting festival to heal and come together in support of the arts,” Ms. Tepper said. “Our organization believes the arts are critical to the success of every student. The community’s support of our annual festival helps us build pathways for critical student opportunities that create vibrant and lasting impacts into their future.”
Music performances include several local favorites such as Mezcal Martini, Jackson Gilles and several exceptional youth performers such as SB Piano Boys and local high school jazz bands.
An expanded area for children to create street paintings will be located at the west side of the Mission.
Throughout the three-day event, more than 600 Kids’ Squares can be purchased for $15, which includes a box of chalk.
Onsite parking will be available this year for $5 per car.
For more information, go to ccp.sbceo.org/i-madonnari/welcome.
To register for the festival, go to events.humanitix.com/the-art-of-mass-gatherings-in-santa-barbara.