Charles Donelan has lived in Santa Barbara since 2001. He writes about visual art, music, theater, and books for the Santa Barbara Independent, where he is the arts editor. Prior to his arrival in Santa Barbara, Donelan lived in New York City, where he earned his Ph. D. in English at Columbia University while pursuing his lively interest in New York’s wide variety of cultural offerings, from the Metropolitan Opera and the Museum of Modern Art to the Mudd Club. Donelan has at various times been employed as an elevator operator at the nightclub Danceteria, a visiting professor of Literature at Tufts University, the Director of New Media at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and an exercise rider for polo ponies in Millbrook, New York. He enjoys Santa Barbara’s extravagant ratio of cultural opportunities to minutes in the day, and looks forward to helping artbound become a leading source for great stories about the arts in Southern California.
LOCATION: Santa Barbara
WHAT INSPIRES ME: People who pay attention to lots of things, and who do what they do because they love it unconditionally and feel responsible for it inspire me. I’m also inspired by the sacrifices I see people make every day in order to be part of something bigger than themselves.
FAVORITE PLACE TO GET AWAY IN MY AREA: Mountain Drive
FAVORITE WRITERS: James Ellroy, D. H. Lawrence, James Baldwin, George Orwell
ARTIST/CREATIVE YOU’D WANT TO HAVE LUNCH WITH: Dave Chang of Lucky Peach
MOST OVER-HYPED ARTIST: Not thinking too much about this
PERFECT SOUNDTRACK FOR WRITING: Is often what I am writing about.
WHY I LOVE WHERE I LIVE: The balance and combination of factors—great climate, beautiful geography, vibrant culture, delicious food, warm and interesting people.
ART YOU MAKE (IF YOU MAKE ANY...): I wouldn’t necessarily call it art but I love to cook.
California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.
Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.
Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.
At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.
Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.
Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.
A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.
Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.
Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.