Museum of Contemporary Art to Close in August

By the edhat staff

After 47 years, the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCA) plans to close this August citing financial struggles.

The MCA sent a press release Tuesday afternoon notifying the community of its pending closure.

The museum opened in 1976 as the Contemporary Art Forum and in 1990 moved into its current home above the Paseo Nuevo Mall in downtown Santa Barbara.

“A safe space, supporting the voices and views of our community members, MCASB has provided a critical platform for the investigation of our pasts and our potential futures. From grassroots gatherings of artists and activists to educational programs created to support previously underserved communities within our county, MCASB has held at its core a person-first approach to service,” the MCA announcement stated.

MCA cites financial difficulties following the pandemic with repeated efforts to reach necessary operational goals falling short.

In 2019, the museum lost more than $1.2 million and $1.7 million the following year, reports The Independent.

“We are honored to have been able to serve thousands of individuals from the Central Coast and beyond for almost fifty years through the support of our fellow art lovers, artists, educators, non-profit leaders, government officials, and curious passersby. Our team is deeply grateful for the genuine appreciation expressed daily by our members, visitors, supporters, artists, and collaborative partners,” the statement read.

The museum will close its doors to the public on August 28, 2022, although it has begun conversations with community partners and supporters to evaluate the feasibility of preserving its Emerging Leaders in the Arts and Teen Arts Collective programs.

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