Prestigious State Fellowship Awarded to 11 Santa Barbara County Artists

By the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture

The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture is pleased to announce that eleven local artists have been recognized as California Arts Council Artist Fellows.

Funded by the California Arts Council, the program is designed to uplift and celebrate the excellence of California artists, to recognize the centrality of artists’ leadership in guiding the evolution of traditional and contemporary cultures, and to elevate their capacity for continued contribution. In addition to statewide recognition, the artists will receive prizes of $5,000- $50,000.

Artist Fellows from Santa Barbara County hail from diverse geographies and represent a range of artistic practices, including writing, filmmaking, music, visual arts, and social practice.

The fellowships are designed to support artists of all disciplines at key career stages— Emerging, Established, and Legacy. Emerging Fellows from Santa Barbara County include Adrienne De Guevara, Spenser Jaimes, Cheri Owen, Tai Rodrig, Tama Takahashi, and Kai Tilley. Jack Forinash, Debra Herrick, Jennifer Reinish, and Emma Trelles were awarded Established Artist Fellowships. Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, former City of Santa Barbara Poet Laureate, received one of only 4 Legacy Fellowships available to the region; this tier includes a $50,000 honorarium.

To increase geographic equity, the California Arts Council updated this year’s program to offer more regional leadership and facilitation.  Silicon Valley Creates serves as the Lead Administering Organization for the 17-county Central California Region, with the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture serving as the Lead Partner for Kern, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Fresno Arts Council and the San Benito County Arts Council also served as Lead Partners in their respective micro-regions. The organizations collaborated closely to increase localize support and access to the opportunity.

The process was very competitive— seventy-one awards were available in the entire 17-county region. All funding is unrestricted and meant to support the Fellow’s continued contributions to the field and state. To learn more about the program, visit Individual Artist Fellowships — Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture (

About the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture:

The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture is a division of the County’s Community Services Department, serving as the local governmental umbrella for arts and culture projects and programs within Santa Barbara County. The Office represents a longstanding partnership between the County and City of Santa Barbara, and serves as the California Arts Council’s State-Local Partner.


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