Santa Barbara Historical Museum Preserves and Celebrates the Regional History of Santa Barbara | Good for Santa Barbara


Posted on November 18, 2021
| 4.30 p.m.

As one of the oldest cultural institutions in Santa Barbara, the SBHM houses the vast archival collection of documents and artifacts within our Gledhill Library and Vault.

Carousel horse by Gustav Dentzel 1885. (Photo from the Historical Museum of Santa Barbara)

The holiday season is upon us and the spirit of giving is alive! What better way to give back to our community than to participate in this year’s #GivingTuesday by donating to local Santa Barbara organizations. Join Noozhawk this #GivingTuesday and donate to a local association.

Noozhawk is partnering with local associations to encourage you to participate in the International Day of Giving, which takes place on November 30, 2021.

It’s no secret that the past year and a half has been full of challenges. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, local nonprofits need your support more than ever.

Our Good for Santa Barbara Nonprofit section provides all the resources you need to donate this holiday season, including a comprehensive giving guide with a list of local nonprofits that need your help. help this Tuesday I give.

In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Dacia Harwood, Managing Director of Santa Barbara Historical Museum, to learn more about how the association is dedicated to inspiring meaningful connections with the history of Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Historical Museum

Question: What is the name and mission of your non-profit organization?

Responnse: The mission of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum is to inspire meaningful connections with the history of Santa Barbara.

Question: How long has your association been in operation?

A: The Museum was founded in 1932 by a voluntary association made up of representatives of a number of local organizations.

Question: What was the inspiration behind your non-profit organization?

A: The leaders of Santa Barbara created the museum to preserve, interpret and celebrate our collective cultural heritage.

Question: How is your non-profit organization primarily funded and what are your greatest needs?

A: The Museum is funded by a variety of sources, including memberships, admission revenues, revenues from Museum stores, fundraising events, foundations, and generous donations from individuals. General operating support and education programs are our greatest current funding needs.

Question: What is the impact of COVID-19 on your non-profit organization?

A: We are open and appreciate the return of visitors to our galleries! The museum switched to a virtual model at the start of the pandemic, switched to a hybrid model, and is now open for in-person tours. We are continuing our programming in person and online to reach history buffs near and far.

Old Spanish Days 1941.
Click to see larger

Old Spanish Days 1941. (Photo from the Historical Museum of Santa Barbara)

Question: How is your nonprofit organization different from others?

A: The collections in this museum represent more than 500 years of diverse cultures, including Chumash, Spanish, Mexican and American. The extensive archival collection includes over 80,000 exceptional pieces of art and irreplaceable historical artifacts, and is complemented by over 40,000 research documents, maps and photographs, the restored Fernald Mansion and three adobes of historic significance.

Question: What’s the best kept secret or fun fact about your nonprofit that not everyone knows?

A: The intriguing backstory of the Museum’s founding can be found by visiting in the “About” section

Question: How is the work of your non-profit organization communicated to the public?

A: Please subscribe to our news on

Question: Why should donors trust your organization and are there other ways to help besides giving?

A: The museum has been a cultural institution of the region for over 85 years, serving local, national and worldwide visitors with the stories and artefacts behind our region’s unique history. While the pandemic has changed our efforts and volunteer roles, please contact the Museum for the latest opportunities.

Question: Can you tell us a short term goal AND a long term goal that your nonprofit has for next year?

A: Short and long term goals include securing funding for our general operations and expanding our educational programs while working to modernize our galleries, collection vaults and the overall sustainability of the museum to provide at best, broad access to the public while protecting our collections for the future.

Click here support the mission of the Historical Museum of Santa Barbara to inspire meaningful connections with the history of Santa Barbara.

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Patrick F. Williams