At its inception in 1972, a small group of the Children’s Creative Project (CCP) volunteer artists served 200 children at Franklin Elementary School in Santa Barbara. In 1975 the CCP acquired non-profit status and became a program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office under then-Superintendent William J. Cirone.
Now the CCP reaches more than 50,000 children annually, in 100 Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County Schools.
We are dedicated to the following:
To provide arts experiences for underserved children not normally exposed to the arts
To include the visual and performing arts in a child's basic education
To collaborate with school districts, artists, and arts organizations to develop arts education programs
To expand work opportunities for professional artists in the schools
To provide workshops and performances addressing Calif. State Dept. of Education Visual & Performing Arts Content Standards
To provide arts experiences as a positive alternative to drugs, vandalism and violence
To develop funds to support arts education programs
Kathy Koury was one of the founding artists of the Children’s Creative Project and has served as the executive director since 1977. She created the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival in 1987—the first festival of its kind in North America. The annual Festival held at the Santa Barbara Old Mission is a fundraising event benefiting the CCP arts education programs.
Kate has been involved with the Children’s Creative Project since 2006 when she began as a parent volunteer with the Arts Network. Kate’s involvement grew in 2015 when she accepted the position of Treasurer for the CCP’s Board of Directors. She officially joined the Children’s Creative Project staff in 2017 as Program Associate, bringing her enthusiasm for arts education and professional experience as a teacher. She has worked with every aspect of the CCP and will bring a fresh perspective to the organization.
Shelley has worked with the Children’s Creative Project since August 2006. With primary and secondary schools, she designs artist residencies who conduct a series of participatory workshops in dance, theater, visual arts and vocal music. Shelley has worked as a teacher, librarian and therapist at both grammar schools and high schools.
In 1999, the CCP was among 91 nationwide model arts education programs recognized by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in a report, Gaining the Arts Advantage: Lessons from School Districts that Value Arts Education. The report was a study by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and Arts Education Partnership. It is the first national study to examine the success strategies of school districts in building and sustaining strong district-wide arts education programs.
In 1999, the CCP received The Creative Ticket Schools of Excellence award from the California Alliance for Arts Education, a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network.
The CCP & Kathy Koury received the 2015 Leadership in the Arts Award from the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.