The Santa Barbara-Kotor Sister City Committee is holding a fundraiser via Zoom on Sunday to support the KotorArt International Music Festival.
For the past two years, UCSB students have gone over to the coastal town of Kotor, Montenegro, to play in its classical music festival, which like many arts and entertainment events, has been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Montenegro is located on the coast of the Balkans in southern Europe.
Santa Barbara-Kotor Sister City Committee chairman George Lilly told the News-Press that he hopes the digital event will raise between $15,000 and $25,000.
The KotorArt International Music Festival is entirely funded by government money, according to Mr. Lilly. Public funding has diminished since COVID-19 significantly impacted tourism for Montenegro.
Santa Barbara musicians performing in the Montenegrin town and music students from the Balkans attending the Music Academy of the West Summer Fellows Program have created a strong musical bond between this town and Kotor. Because of this connection, the Santa Barbara-Kotor Sister City Committee felt a need to help the festival.
“With these bonds, we felt compelled to step in,” Mr. Lilly said.
With or without the added money generated from Sunday’s fundraiser, Mr. Lilly assured that the festival will go forth either way. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, this summer’s KotorArt festival will have fewer performers than previous years.
Scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. PDT, Sunday’s Zoom fundraiser will include a review of the musical collaboration between Santa Barbara and Kotor, videos of past Kotor Art festivals, and live performances from musicians who have performed at the festival and in Santa Barbara.
Among the fundraiser’s live performers will be UCSB graduate student and cellist Katrina Agate, who performed in the 2019 KotorArt festival.
Earlier this year, she performed in the Santa Barabara-Kotor Sister City program’s “Strings & Keys” concert at the Music Academy of the West with UCSB violin performance masters graduate Sara Bashore and Montenegrin pianist Andrija Jovovic and violinist Natasja Vojinovic.
Ms. Vojinovic will also play a song during the fundraiser.
Classical pianist and KotorArt International Music Festival co-founder Ratimir Martinovic will also perform in the online event. According to the Santa Barbara-Kotor Sister City Committee’s website, Mr. Martinovic performed in Santa Barbara in 2012 at the SBCC Fe Bland Forum and in 2013 at the Music Academy of the West.
In addition to live performances from musicians who have played in exchanges between Santa Barbara and Kotor, the fundraiser will also feature an excerpt of saxophonist Sapphire Adizes playing his original composition “The Wild Boar” at the 2019 KotorArt festival.
To receive a Zoom link to Sunday’s fundraiser, send an email requesting the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. The online event begins at 3 p.m. PDT.