Some Thoughts on #GivingTuesday


By Leslie Dinaberg, Managing Editor

Tuesday, November 28 is designated as #GivingTuesday, when those who are able are urged to make donations to support local nonprofits. Now entering its sixth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving—as a counterpoint to Black Friday and Cyber Monday buying—that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy and is fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Here’s something to consider when you make those donations: not only is art good for the soul, it’s good for the wallet.

Did you know that Santa Barbara County’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations comprise a $200 million industry? According to a recent national study—Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, conducted by Americans for the Arts—which collected data from 250 regional partners, including Santa Barbara County, this number supports the equivalent of 5,857 local jobs and generates approximately generates $20 million in local and state tax revenue.

As Randy Cohen, Vice President of Americans for the Arts stated, in a recent presentation at the Santa Barbara County Arts Symposium, “When you invest in the arts you are not investing in a frill, you are investing in a healthier Santa Barbara.”

“Art is not the cherry on top of the split, it’s one of the bananas,” said Keynote Speaker and Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu, sharing how the arts revitalized New Orleans post-Katrina.

According to the Americans for the Arts study section on Santa Barbara County:

  • Nonprofit arts and cultural event attendees spend an average of $28.25 per person (excluding the cost of admission).
  • Event-related spending by arts and cultural audiences totaled $72.3 million (excluding the cost of admission).

And if those numbers don’t grab you, there are some heartfelt stats that support the arts. According to another Americans for the Arts survey by Ipsos Public Affairs, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the arts improve the quality of our personal lives and our communities.

  • 63% believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences.”
  • 73% say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”
  • 64% feel “pure pleasure to experience and participate in the arts.”
  • 67% percent believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race and ethnicity.”
  • 62% agree that the arts “help me understand other cultures better”

For more information about the Giving Tuesday initiative and to search participating nonprofits in the Santa Barbara area, visit

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 26, 2017.

Don’t Miss Small Business Saturday in Downtown Santa Barbara

Small Business SaturdayKicking off the holiday season this is a relatively new retail holiday: Small Business Saturday (November 29). Nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

This year, Downtown Santa Barbara is promoting Small Business Saturday as a way to kick off the Holiday season.

 A complete list of participating locations are listed on the Downtown Santa Barbara website ( As of press time, participants included: 33 Jewels at El Paseo (814 State), Aveda (304 Paseo Nuveo), Bella Rosa Galleries (1103-A State), The Book Den (15 E. Anapamu), Churchill Jewelers (1015 State),The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (811 State, #A), Crazy Good Bread Co. (38 W. Victoria), Culture Counter (38 W. Victoria), Distinctive Framing ‘N’ Art (1333 State), Flagstone Pantry (38 W. Victoria, #108), Foragers Pantry (38 W. Victoria) and  Green Star Coffee (38 W. Victoria).

Courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara

Courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara

Also participating are Hampstead Village (1100 State), Harlequin’s Theatrical Supply (17 W. Gutierrez), Imagine (11. W. Canon Perdido), Indigo Interiors (1321 State), Industry Home (4 E. de la Guerra), Italian Pottery Outlet (929 State), Kernohan’s Toys (18 W. Anapamu), Kitson (651 Paseo Nuevo, #101), Oliver & Espig (1108 State), Plum Goods (909 State), Salt  Cave Santa Barbara (740 State), Salt Boutique (1-A W. Canon Perdido) and Samy’s Camera (530 State).

Additional participants include:  Santa Barbara Arts (1114 State, #24), Santa Barbara Public Market (38 W. Victoria), Santa Monica Seafood (38 W. Victoria), Sojourner Cafe (134 E. Canon Perdido), State & Fig (1114 State, #18), The Pasta Shoppe (38 W. Victoria, #122), Viva Oliva (651 Paseo Nuevo, #207), Wendy Foster State Street (833 State), Whistle Club (819 State. Suites A + B) and Wine + Beer (38 W. Victoria)

DSB staff will be on hand at Marshalls Patio (900 State), giving out Shop Small tote bags, balloons and dog bandanas. “We’re encouraging Shop Small customers to post or tweet where they are shopping or dining throughout the day, using #shopsmall and #DowntownSB,” says Kate Schwab, Downtown Santa Barbara Marketing & Communication Director.

“We have such a diverse and unique blend of small businesses downtown. It is a pleasure to support our many small business in Downtown Santa Barbara and give them an opportunity to show off great places to shop, eat or visit.”

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 26, 2014.

Black and Blue Friday

Photo by stockimages

Photo by stockimages

My mom, my sister and I have a longstanding Black Friday shopping tradition- which doesn’t include getting up at the crack of dawn with all the crazy doorbusters armed with ad circulars, shin guards and Purell. The 6 a.m. bargains may be great but we’ll still be sleeping off our turkey hangovers till at least 10 a.m., and will make our way over to the mall at the more civilized hour of 11 a.m.-ish. By then, the early morning bargain hunters will have exhausted themselves and be clearing out of the prime parking spots just in time for our Black Friday festivities.

While Hurricane Consumer wafts its way through downtown Santa Barbara, we’ll be sipping our lattes and people watching. Sure, the promise of $5 Fleeces at Old Navy and $19.99 DVD Players at Macy’s might lure us into the stores for a minute or two, but mostly we’ll be there to marvel at the frenzied shoppers and chat with old friends who have come to town for the holidays.

Black Friday-which, for those of you miraculously untouched by the incessant newspaper, television, radio and Internet ads, is the Friday after Thanksgiving and the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season-will be looking a little bruised this year, if my unscientific survey of my friends’ shopping plans is any indication.

When I asked if they planned to head for the stores or head for the hills this Friday, an overwhelming majority said they’d avoid the shops like the plague. “There is no way that anyone is dragging me into the throngs of crazed shoppers,” said Tammy. Angie said her family has strict rules not to leave the house the day after Thanksgiving. “Stay home and enjoy your family, not the malls…. they are there all year round,” she advised.

While some just hate the crowds, others have a more philosophical objection to shopping on Black Friday. “I can’t think of a better way to wipe out any feelings of gratitude than to go to the mall,” said Carly.

Dave said his parents flavored his lack of enthusiasm for the shopping tradition. “I was raised by ‘I don’t even want to THINK about the traffic!’ on one side and ‘You shouldn’t have to wait in line for someone to take money from you,’ on the other,” he said.

So who are these people frothing at the mouth to bargain shop on Black Friday? The National Retail Federation said it expects as many as 152 million people to be out shopping between Friday and Sunday, up 10% from last year and the biggest expected turnout ever.

A report by the International Council of Shopping Centers even showed that Black Friday is fast becoming Black Thursday, with an unprecedented number of stores and entire shopping centers opening at midnight or earlier on Thanksgiving night.

I’ll be thinking of them when I hit the snooze button on the $2.99 doorbuster sale- priced bright yellow happy faced alarm clock I bought late in the afternoon on Black Friday last year.

Then again, there might be something better to dream of this holiday season. At midnight on Thanksgiving night, Abercrombie & Fitch reportedly will place its famed, shirtless male greeters at every U.S. Abercrombie and Hollister store. “They are iconic symbols of our brand,” says spokesman Eric Cerny. “They generate buzz whenever they’re out.”

And I don’t think it’s the buzz of my alarm clock that he’s talking about.

When Leslie’s not hunting lazily for bargains, she can be reached at For more columns visit Originally published in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on November 25, 2011.