I Madonnari Art Festival

Santa Barbara’s I Madonnari, the first street painting festival in North America, was started in 1987 by Kathy Koury as a fundraiser for the Children’s Creative Project. Each Memorial Day weekend the plaza of the Santa Barbara Mission is transformed with over 200 brightly colored, large-scale chalk street paintings created by over 400 artists and young people. The artists begin working on Saturday morning of the Memorial Day weekend and continue drawing throughout the three-day festival or until their street paintings are completed. For 25,000 annual visitors, the festival also features live music on the front lawn of the Santa Barbara Mission with free evening concerts in the church, authentic Italian cuisine and a special street painting area for children. Viewers of this video might also enjoy the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.