Staff Report

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s 19th Annual Mission Creek Gala, Phenomenal Santa Barbara, will take place Saturday, May 5.

Inspired by exhibits in the new Santa Barbara Gallery, the event will celebrate the region’s phenomenal biodiversity and habitats.

“The gala committee is looking forward to celebrating an evening of generous community support for the museum’s science and nature education programs,” said Stacey Byers, museum gala chair.

The gala committee, together with event planner Gillian Valentine, seeks to create a night of beauty, delight and the unexpected with a goal of raising $350,000.

The main décor will inspire guests to journey from the depths of the ocean floor to the top of Figueroa Mountain, while enjoying dinner by Duo Catering & Events.

The evening will conclude with a live auction for a private viewing party at the Sea Center during the Dec. 16 Boat Parade of Lights.

The annual Mission Creek Gala sustains the museum’s education program that touches the lives of 20,0000 schoolchildren annually through school tours, classes, storytelling, camps, the Nature Collections Lending Library, and outreach at the Museum and Sea Center.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History was founded in 1916 by noted ornithologist William Leon Dawson as the Museum of Comparative Oology.

Soon after, the board of directors expanded the museum to include other aspects of natural history. In 1923, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History opened its doors at the current campus.

In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the museum began a $20 million Centennial Campaign to raise funds to support the improvement of the visitors’ experiences.

This includes new exhibits, refurbished permanent galleries, improved universal access, landscape beautification, and more effective site interpretation to unlock the historical and natural richness of the museum’s grounds.

For more information about the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, visit