Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) advances creativity and inspires critical thinking though meaningful engagement with the art our time. MCASB is the premier non-collecting contemporary arts institution dedicated to exhibiting, commissioning, and documenting the most innovative and compelling art of our time between Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Its world-class roster features solo and group exhibitions of artists of diverse media, ethnicity, geography, and gender, with accompanying scholarly publications serving as critical contributions to the field of art. In the course of a year, MCASB presents 8-10 exhibitions and over 30 special events. Admission to MCASB is free, as is admission to a vast majority of programs and events for people of all ages, including Curated Cocktails, Third Thursday Studios, artist and curator talks, and the hands-on Art Lab that accompanies each exhibition.

MCASB was founded as alternative arts space Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF) in 1976 by artists and art supporters seeking a venue dedicated solely to contemporary art. CAF found its first permanent home in the historic Balboa Building in downtown Santa Barbara, before moving into the current venue in the Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center in 1990. In 2011, MCASB opened a satellite location at the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on lower State Street, near the growing Funk Zone neighborhood, and in 2012 trustees guided the organization toward the next step in its history and CAF became Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) with a refined mission toward education and the arts.

What once began as a grassroots, artist-run organization now serves as the leading contemporary arts presenter in Central California. MCASB became an American Alliance of Museums accredited institution in 2016. Operating as a kunsthalle, MCASB continues to function as a non-collecting, non-profit museum dedicated to innovative and experimental contemporary art and arts education.






653 Paseo Nuevo
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: (805) 966-5373

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Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 11 am - 5 pm
Friday: 11 am - 5 pm
Saturday: 11 am - 5 pm
Sunday: Noon - 5 pm

Holiday Hours
Fiesta Friday (August 3, 2018): Closed
Thanksgiving Day: Closed
Christmas Eve: Closed
Christmas Day: Closed
New Year's Eve: Closed
New Year's Day: Closed

Admission to MCASB and most of its
programs are completely Free of Charge,
however, visitors are welcome to make a donation or
purchase a membership during their visit.


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