Staff Report

With the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty as to when the community can safely gather again, the Children’s Creative Project (CCP) made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival scheduled for May 23-25, 2020. This annual event brings 25,000 people together to enjoy the spectacular street paintings created with chalk pastels on pavement by artists of all ages, live music, and Italian food at the Santa Barbara Old Mission.

“While we are all missing the loss of ‘normal,’ it is important to follow state and local recommendations regarding group gatherings and do our part to continue to slow the spread of this virus,” said CCP Executive Director Kathy Koury. “We look forward to presenting our festival again during the Memorial Day weekend in 2021.”

“The Children’s Creative Project provides dynamic arts programming for 50,000 students in schools up and down Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido. “Our students and school communities look forward to experiencing the vibrant performances, school-based arts education, and hands-on workshops once campuses are re-opened.”

The festival is the annual fundraiser for the Children’s Creative Project, a non-profit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, which provides visual and performing arts education in schools throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. During the 2018-19 school year, 50,000 students received arts education in 107 schools, resident artist workshops in dance, theater, vocal music, and visual arts were offered in 88 schools, and 550 multicultural performances were presented in 95 schools.

This is the first time in its 33-year history the festival has been canceled.