Santa Barbara’s Town Council voted to attempt after far more to snatch victory from the jaws of what appeared to be sure defeat of an $8.4 million grant application for a main renovation of the Eastside’s Ortega Park. At problem is the fate of 14 murals — a manifestation of Santa Barbara’s Chicano, Aztec, and Chumash heritages dating back to 1979.

Parks and Rec czar Jill Zachary | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

The discussion has been acrimonious, personalized, politically billed, and culturally uncooked. Some muralists refused to meet with other muralists to even discuss their discrepancies some have refused to meet with Metropolis Councilmember Alejandra Gutierrez, who signifies the city’s Eastside. Famed muralist Manuel Unzueta has indicated he wants 3 of his park murals held in their current situations, on the park’s bathroom walls. (Below the renovation programs, that bathroom would be torn down and rebuilt.)

The other muralists — responsible for the 11 other murals — have expressed a willingness to have their artwork recreated — or new artwork produced — on new partitions of the renovated park they guidance the grant made to aid underfunded parks in underserved communities get new leases on lifestyle. These muralists have expressed an fascination in receiving compensated for their do the job and in supporting mentor a new era of young muralists.

Without having consensus, the metropolis could not implement for the grant, lacking the opportunity to make the desperately needed enhancements. The grant deadline is imagined to be June 12, but with tiny very clear notion how to move forward and little thought how considerably time is truly still left, the council instructed Parks and Recreation czar Jill Zachary to ship the controversial renovation proposal to the Arts Advisory Council for evaluate.

As a failsafe, Councilmember Kristen Sneddon recommended that just about every artist be empowered to say what can come about to their artwork. If that signifies letting the current toilet with Unzueta’s a few murals to remain standing, Zachary reported, that could possibly be a workable compromise.

In addition, the council voted to make a new commission on the murals and to admit Ortega Park as currently being historically and culturally considerable to the city’s Chicano-Chumash heritage. 


Just about every working day, the personnel of the Santa Barbara Independent functions difficult to form out truth of the matter from rumor and preserve you knowledgeable of what is taking place throughout the entire Santa Barbara group. Now there’s a way to immediately enable these efforts. Support the Impartial by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.