The Arts Fund
Funk Zone Charrette Open Forum Minutes
July 27, 2012
Catherine Gee of the Arts Fund and Nathan Vonk welcomed the audience as they began an introduction to the Funk Zone Charrette Open Forum held at Municipal Winemakers (THANKS DAVE!) at 6 pm. Discussion was initiated to open a dialogue and collaboration amongst artists, architects, business owners and interested locals on how to best preserve the Funk Zone.
Laura Inks explained the basic zoning of the Funk Zone district as being between Helena Street and Garden Street extending from Cabrillo Street. Inks explained that over 50 creative business flourish in the Funk Zone district including architectural firms, artist studios, surfboard
shaping rooms, etc. Santa Barbara Foundation funded a survey that reflects the growth in the creative population over the last four years. The study also provides evidence of how this creative population has doubled over the last forty years. This data supports the idea that Santa Barbara must preserve the creative nature of the Funk Zone to help foster and stimulate the artistic energy that thrives there.
Nathan: October 6th will be the next projected event for the Funk Zone. The event taking place on October 6th (see timeline) will be a Funk Zone Open house where people will be able to gain a better understanding of the urban mapping of the Funk Zone. Nathan emphasized the topic of preservation and spoke of how existing businesses already lay a strong foundation for the attractiveness of the Funk Zone. The example of the urban wine trail was used.
Concerns and Expressed Ideas:
Nancy Gifford (local artist and art collector) raised concern of the zoning designations set by the city. Gifford also inquired of specific zoning and brought up the issue of Coastal Commission Zoning being targeted towards tourism. The consensus of the audience seemed to reflect the importance of targeting the best interest of the locals first and tourists second. Gifford stated that the cost of development would most likely be greater than the cost to destroy existing buildings. Other expressed concerns were the need for making parking lot spaces more accessible. Someone expressed a need for a creation of more pedestrian friendly spaces which seems to already be in the works. Although someone discussed the potential for a “Grassroots Funk Zone Association”, Nathan claimed that although it was not traditional to the Funk Zone vibe and has created controversy in the past, some kind of an association may potentially be needed at a later date. Graham Pressley spoke of the cost of creative reuse at $3.50/sq. ft. In the event of development, the project would either need to be committed through an investment of some kind or through funding. Rent should be controlled and somehow be a safe haven from rent increase perhaps through being subsidized. Nathan reminded people that these were complexities to think about at a later date once specific ideas have been developed and become more grounded.
Nathan invited the audience to review the Project Timeline. The objective is to create and agree on teams in which one artist and one architect are a requirement of the group. The teams will come up with inspiring vision statements which will eventually be presented through an exhibition at the Arts Fund Gallery September 28 – October 20. The idea is community involvement, and the audience was reminded that business owners and local residents are an equally important part of the dialogue. Nathan also asked teams not to be concerned with a budget as of yet, but rather come up with ideas first. He expressed that for those who would like more information or who would like to review the minutes from the forum, information can be found on FunkZone.net. Nathan exclaimed that anyone who would like to publicize information through the website could do so through getting into contact with him. The Artist Survey done by the Santa Barbara Foundation showed that a majority consensus that people want to avoid giving the Funk Zone a “State Street” look and rather maintain and embellish it’s “funkiness”. Innovators must keep in mind that they are to design for the locals, not for tourists. Gee of the Arts Fund used a recent “Face Lift Façade Project” as a parallel example to the Charrette project. In “Face Lift” project, 50 submissions of all ages were submitted to the Arts Fund with ideas of changing and re-designing the façade of the Arts Fund gallery space. Gee explained that in some ways this project was a smaller model of what the Funk Zone Charrette Project should be like. She encouraged all to visit the Arts Fund website to see examples of submission and reminded everyone that this project is to engage all demographics.
At the end of the open discussion, the attendees were asked to form teams. The requirement for forming a team was that there must be 1 member of the team who is an artist and at least one member of the team who is an architect. Beyond that, there is no limitation. After several minutes of team formation and discussion amongst the formed teams, the following teams and respected members were recorded:
Team 1: Jack Azar, Scott Ellinwood, and Ed DeVicente
Team 2: Barry Winick, Nancy Gifford, Tracy Beeler, Ron Glover, Mark Goerner, and Clay
Team 3: Brian Hofer, Susan Sherwin, Lindsey Mickelson, Karl Kras, Violet Best
Team 4: Rafeal Perea de la Cabada and Dan Johnston
Team 5: Harold Powell, Jim Foddor, and Skye Gwilliam
Team 6: Jessica Harlin, Chris Halliday, Nick Tharp
Team 7: Johnny Troyna, Catherine Gee, Graham Pressley