Tag Archives: featured

2018 Founding Day Festival

Baile de California performs. Photo by Fritz Olenberger.

On April 28, 2018, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation celebrated the 236th Anniversary of the founding of Santa Barbara at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park.

Goleta City Council Member, Roger Aceves, SBTHP Board President Debby Aceves, SB City Council Member Kristen Sneddon, Father Larry Gosselin Associate Pastor Old Mission Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City Mayor Cathy Murillo, La Presidenta Old Spanish Days Denise Sanford, Saint Barbara 2018 Anne Petersen, and Father John Hardin, Guardian Old Mission Santa Barbara. Photo by Fritz Olenberger.

The community enjoyed  a wonderful ceremony, including a reenactment of the founding of the Presidio with the Soldados de Cuera, dancing by Baile de California, the debut of this year’s Saint Barbara (our Executive Director Anne Petersen!), living history demonstrations, local businesses and institutions, and a gathering of Presidio descendants!

Los Soldados de Cuera accompanied by Father Serra reenact the Presidio Founding. Photo by Brittany Myles.

Special thanks go to our photographers Fritz Olenberger, Brittany Myles, Paul Mori, and Suzi Calderon Bellman. For more great photos from the day, visit our Flickr album here.

Local artisans interact with festival guests. Photo by Brittany Myles.
Presidio descendants gather at Founding Day to review a slideshow produced by Suzi Calderon Bellman. Photo by Suzi Calderon Bellman.

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

On Saturday May 12 the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation partnered with the Santa Barbara Public Library to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a program at the Faulkner Gallery and tours of Santa Barbara’s Chinatown and the Nihonmachi Revisited exhibit at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park.  

Anne Petersen presents a summary history of Santa Barbara’s Chinese and Japanese communities at the Santa Barbara Public Library. Photo by Kevin McGarry.

We were pleased and surprised that 100 people turned out to attend the event, resulting in a last-minute scramble to set out more chairs.  Executive Director of SBTHP Anne Petersen made a short presentation summarizing the history of the Chinese and Japanese communities in Santa Barbara, who settled on or near the site of the eighteenth-century Spanish Presidio after that site had fallen into disrepair.  Director of Programs Kevin McGarry followed with save-the-dates for several upcoming programs hosted by SBTHP to honor those communities, including the Asian American Film Series, which takes place every Friday in July at 7pm in the Alhecama Theatre, and the Asian American Neighborhood Festival on October 7, 2018 at El Presidio SHP.

Anne Petersen and Kay Van Horn presenting the Nihonmachi Revisited exhibit at El Presidio SHP. Photo by Kevin McGarry.

After the presentation, most of the attendees walked down to El Presidio SHP and split into two groups. There one group  took a 1/2 hour tour of the Nihonmachi Revisited exhibit in the Visitor Center of El Presidio SHP, hosted by Anne Petersen and Kay Van Horn, whose family resided in the neighborhood.   Van Horn shared wonderful stories about her family’s relationship with Nihonmachi  (Japantown) as well as the challenges they faced preceding and during World War II.   Historian Kathi Brewster hosted a tour of Old and New Chinatown for the second group, covering the first and second blocks of East Canon Perdido Street and the movement of Chinatown to the East after the 1925 earthquake.  After each group finished their first tour, they switched, ensuring that all guests were able to experience both tours.

Kathi Brewster presenting a tour of Chinatown. Photo by Kevin McGarry.

SBTHP is grateful to the Santa Barbara Public Library and to our program hosts for an educational afternoon that fostered a shared sense of community  and empathy for the diversity of experiences among those who helped contribute to the Santa Barbara we enjoy today.

Group of artists gather in the courtyard of Casa de la Guerra

Members of the Flying Colors Art workshop. Photo by Anne Petersen,

We were pleasantly surprised to host a group of artists in the courtyard of Casa de la Guerra on May 2.  The group, hosted by  Brenda Swenson, is with Flying Colors Art, and are conducting painting workshops in Santa Barbara.

Brenda Swenson with Flying Colors Art. Photo by Anne Petersen.

The courtyard of Casa de la Guerra looks out into De La Guerra Plaza, which was once also owned by the de la Guerra family.  Today it holds some of the City’s most iconic architecture, including City Hall and the Santa Barbara News-Press building.  Many of the students watched while one of their members  painted an architectural vista of the plaza, while Brenda herself created a beautiful portrait of the pepper tree in front of City Hall.

Thank you for visiting , Flying Colors Art, and for helping all of us slow down and appreciate the beauty around us in downtown Santa Barbara.