I want to start this first post by explaining why. Why am I starting a blog when there seems to be a million blogs out there and why am I calling it the museum scout. Well, here's my story: 

Once upon a time there was a college student at a big university. She was a small fish in a big pond. In fact, the computer lab was even nicknamed "The Fish Bowl." There were lots of fascinating things happening on this campus, practically on a daily basis. Unfortunately this college student usually found out about these things the day AFTER they happened, which she found to be extremely frustrating.  Fast forward a decade and she is living in California working at a museum. Throughout the day she receives emails about things happening all over the city. When she starts writing for the museum's blog, she finds herself wanting to share all of the event/exhibits/shows at all of these other places on the blog.  Unfortunately, she could only get away with this every once in awhile. And this my friends is why she (meaning I) wanted to start the museum scout. It's my intention to use this blog to share things - events, exhibits, lectures - happening at local museums. However, I'm also a teacher, so from time to time I might share some kid-related activities or my new favorite books. Southern California is my home base, but my scouting activities won't be limited to here. In fact for this first post I would like to talk about the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. During a recent visit, I stumbled upon a postcard that said, "Santa Barbara is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to leave there." That is exactly how I felt. If I could live there, I would.

And now, the museums. First stop, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. This is the perfect place for lunch. Better yet, pick up a sandwich at PANINO on Santa Barbara Street on your way up there. (Number 28 is my favorite!) See that gorgeous photo above? That's view from the garden. There is a mile-long trail winding around the garden, plus a series to 20-minute hikes that break off from the main path.  Here's an insider tip, the Garden will be FREE on National Public Garden Day on May 10 and I have heard that they will be offering discounts on admission throughout the month of May. For more information on National Public Gardens Day click here or the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden head here.

Next stop, the Santa Barbara Art Museum on State Street. The museum has two interesting exhibits on view right now. The first is titled This World Is Not My Home: Danny Lyon Photographs. The exhibit is a retrospective of Lyon's work and covers over four decades. Lyon's poignant photos of the Civil Rights movement are a must see. The exhibit runs through June 2, 2013. The second exhibit is Myth and Materiality: Latin America Art from the Permanent Collection, 1930-1990. What is interesting about this exhibit is the diversity of the works. I particularly liked a piece called "Message" by Mathias Goeritz. It is a metal panel punctured by nails which creates this incredible radiating texture. This exhibit is on view until May 2, 2013. Also, if you have little ones, don't forget to check out the Family Resource Center downstairs. This fun, interactive space actively encourages creativity and dialogue. I was shocked/delighted to see cups full of brand-spanking new Crayola crayons and colored pencils. I heart Crayola.

Oh Santa Barbara, I'm already dreaming of my next trip...