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2020 Awards for Responsive Works

August 3, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

In recognition of artists’ essential social contributions, the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission will award up to twenty $500 stipends to local artists who have created work in response to this unprecedented time.

This call is open to practicing artists and cultural practitioners across disciplines, including but not limited to landscape arts, literary arts, visual arts, performing arts, culinary arts, and traditional cultural practice. Applicants must be 18 or older and county residents. Submissions are due by August 3, 2020.

We encourage artists that have not been severely financially impacted by the crisis to pass on this opportunity so that the funds may support the members of our creative economy who are most in need, as many cultural practitioners are facing tremendous financial hardship right now. *

A recent report from the State of California indicated that since March 2020, 85% of all artists have had work canceled—such as performances, shows and commissions. As freelancers and members of our gig economy, they are often ineligible for traditional benefits that help to offset these losses.

Despite these challenges, many artists are remarkably still creating and sharing work to support the community, often without compensation. We believe artists deserve to be paid for their labor. It is our hope that these honoraria will support the selected artists and help enable them to continue to create and connect.

Artists may submit one artwork/application for consideration, but may upload up to two different file types of the same artwork for review. Artwork submitted for consideration must have been created after March 13, 2020. The Commission may share the work of the selected artists with the greater public, though all artists will retain intellectual property rights to their work.

Submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Artistic merit

Uniqueness of perspective

Relevance of artwork to current moment and context

With gratitude for the artists, makers, creators, innovators and visionaries, this program is made possible through a partnership between the County Arts Commission and the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation.

As part of a lease agreement with the County of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Bowl has an arts subsidy fund with fifty cents per ticket sold designated for arts and culture grants. The Bowl’s contribution to this special grant is from its 2019 concert season.

*Please note: if you are an artist who created responsive work but are not interested in applying for a financial award, you are still welcome to share it with us at [email protected] We would be grateful for the opportunity to learn about everything Santa Barbara County’s talented artists have been producing. Any submissions sent via email only will not be considered for a stipend.

Apply Online Here:


August 3, 2020
8:00 am - 5:00 pm