HELP SANTA BARBARA MARITIME MUSEUM CELEBRATE ITS 20TH BIRTHDAY ON July 29–VIRTUALLY!
“From a Preview Center in a small room to a healthy, (almost) accredited Museum in just twenty years. Amazing! Glorious! And we just keep getting better.”
– Andy Cooper, Founding Volunteer & Docent and Current Board of Directors member
The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) first opened its doors on July 29, 2000, with the unique mission to present and interpret the rich and diverse maritime history of the Santa Barbara Channel including important environmental issues. Now, SBMM is turning 20 and setting sail for new horizons, growing by leaps and bounds, expanding, and improving its many exhibits and educational activities for all ages.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, SBMM had planned a busy year, submitting its application for accreditation by American Alliance of Museums and renaming its collections facility the Kieding Collections Chandlery to honor of one of its founders. But then came the Covid-19 pandemic and required museum closures. Due to the mandated limits on public gatherings, SBMM has had to change its plans—no live birthday party with cake and members of the community to join in the fun–and find new ways to celebrate its anniversary, which is now less than a week away.
Like so many others, we have learned to use technology more creatively than ever before—for presentations, fundraising, and to transform the museum’s programs and educational offerings. We have brought more new content and entertainment than ever before to the public via Facebook, Instagram, and email; and we have added new pages to our website, most notably “SBMM at Home” (https://sbmm.org/at-home/), which features games, projects, articles, videos, and virtual guided “tours” of the museum for all ages, allowing users to access museum resources from their own homes. In addition, the Museum has moved its monthly lecture series and other events to online formats, such as free Zoom Webinars and Facebook Live, and made all previous and recent lectures available as easily accessible videos (https://sbmm.org/santa-barbara-lectures/). And that brings us almost to July 29…and our birthday celebration!
Kicking off our celebration, the museum is unveiling its first online collection, the Brooks Ship Models, 32 large-scale, fully operational model ships and boats (https://sbmm.org/sbmm-online-collection/brooks-ship-models/). Members of the community and researchers will be able to see photographs, model specs and stories about these models. Next, the museum is hosting the first-ever SCAPE Virtual Art Show & Sale (July 25-August 7) featuring 150+ paintings from local artists (https://sbmm.org/20scape/). Then, on July 29, we will hold an online birthday party featuring surprise announcements and activities including the kickoff of a virtual cake recipe contest…and this is just the portal to our next 20 years and ever more growth and excitement! Members of the public are invited to join us on our voyage by buying a SCAPE painting, sending in a cake recipe and photo, becoming a member, sharing memories and birthday wishes, or making a donation (https://sbmm.org/support/).
For more information about SBMM’s 20th anniversary, history and events that are planned as part of the Museum’s celebration, visit our website at: https://sbmm.org/santa-barbara-events/ or call (805) 962-8404 for details. SBMM is located at the historic Santa Barbara Harbor at 113 Harbor Way, Suite 190, Santa Barbara, CA 93109.