Press Releases

video thumbnail of drying artwork outside a VADA classroom

Multi-million dollar project in the works for Santa Barbara High School’s Visual Arts & Design Academy

SANTA BARBARA, Calif, - It's considered "a school within a school."

"I have a daughter who’s now a sophomore in the program ... I just fell in love with this everything this program is doing for students … she’s able to launch with her skills and experiment and try new things."

"Students at the The visual arts and design academy … known as VADA … will soon get to enjoy a whole new building," said president Andy Beall of Friends of VADA.

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VADA at Santa Barbara High School Receives Approval to Move Ahead with New Building

With a contractor selected, construction will begin in December

Santa Barbara, CA (November 16, 2022) – Construction of a new state-of-the-art building for Santa Barbara High School’s Visual Arts & Design Academy (VADA) was approved by the Santa Barbara Unified School Board Tuesday night.

The new building’s aim is to help students prepare more fully for their future through a modern, flexible approach to classroom organization and support an improved curriculum for visual arts, design, and creative studies. The new building encompasses 3,350 square feet and includes a digital design lab, indoor/outdoor studio workspace, shop areas for new technology, photography, and integrated exhibition space.

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vada front view

Progress continues on Santa Barbara High’s new VADA facility

By Kaitlyn Schallhorn | Thu May 12, 2022 | 2:06pm | Santa Barbara News Press

A new building for Santa Barbara High School’s Visual Arts & Design Academy is in the works.

As it’s imagined, the facility will include administrative office space as well as a conference room and two studio classrooms.

One design lab will be utilized for all digital design and photography — and be equipped to handle equipment like 3D scanners, industrial sewing machines, vinyl plotters and more — and the other will be a more traditional analog art studio, Daniel Barnett, the VADA program director, told the News-Press Wednesday.

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vada front view

Santa Barbara High’s VADA to Build New Design Lab, Art Studio

By Delaney Smith | Thu Jun 10, 2021 | 2:06pm | Santa Barbara Independent

Ben Weininger, an alum of the Visual Arts and Design Academy (VADA) at Santa Barbara High, recalled the program as being the “underdog of the academies.” Though the academy changed his life and steered him in the right direction to build a successful company of his own, it was underfunded, he said, and many didn’t take the academy as seriously because of its arts focus.

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