Mental Wellness Center Arts Festival is July 13 at De La Guerra Plaza. (Allen Schiller)
The Mental Wellness Center (MWC) will host its 25th Annual Mental Health Arts Festival at De La Guerra Plaza, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 13, honoring the work of local artists living with mental illness, and celebrating the power of creative expression. More than 60 local artists are expected to attend.
In addition to artists exhibiting paintings, drawings, sculptures, jewelry, and arts and crafts, the free festival will feature poetry and music.
The event is designed to raise awareness and reduce stigma of mental illness, while showcasing the talents and identities of people affected by mental health diagnoses.
“Beyond just being an arts festival, this event offers a unique opportunity for individuals living with mental illness to exhibit their creative talents, enhance their self-esteem and be perceived as worthy and valuable members of our community,” said Darcy Keep, MWC Board member and arts festival committee chair.
“All too often, people living with mental illness are marginalized and perhaps not seen through the same lens as those of us who are blessed to have them in our lives as co-workers, friends or family,” Keep said. “While others may see their differences or limitations, we see their attributes, their strengths and their resilience despite the sometimes enormous odds against them.”
“This year marks the 25th anniversary of the festival, which has become a longstanding Santa Barbara tradition,” said Annmarie Cameron, MWC CEO. “Not only does this event raise awareness and reduce stigma of mental illness, local artists are able to display their creativity and connect with our community.”
The MWC is working toward a future where mental health is considered as essential as physical health and stigma is a belief of the past.
For more, contact Amanda Conroy, development and communications manager, 805-845-3298 or [email protected] org.
The Mental Wellness Center, established in 1947, provides direct services, education and support and meet the immediate and future needs of community members.
— Amanda Conroy for Mental Wellness Center