Isla Vista Chills Out, Promotes Community and Sustainability at Chilla Vista


Cheyenne Johnson
Staff Writer

Photo by Caitlin Griffin

Isla Vista residents and enthusiasts celebrated the community’s annual music and arts festival, Chilla Vista, on May 11 as local bands, clubs, organizations, and businesses filled Anisq’Oyo’ Park. The festival encouraged people to come together in celebration of IV’s unique style and culture while also supporting Chilla Vista’s core ideas of sustainability and recyclability.

“Chilla Vista’s grown over the past few years,” said Elizabeth Ackman, the external chair of the Isla Vista Community Relations Committee. “In the beginning, it was supposed to be just a space for people to sort of stray from the norm of the binge drinking, of the couch burning, and all the crazy stuff that happens on DP. It’s supposed to just be a space for art and music and sustainability.”

Ackman said that version of Chilla Vista is what she wanted the 2013 event to be.

“It’s grown and evolved over the years and this year,” said Ackman. “I just really wanted to bring it back to its roots, bring it back to a celebration of all things Isla Vista.”

Part of this homage included ensuring the involvement of the community. Four local bands took over the Chilla Vista stage; the Isla Vista Food Co-op donated ice cream, dried fruit, and other food that was distributed to attendees for free; and local organizations and committees tabled at the event, distributing information about their groups and entertaining patrons with games and activities.

The IVRC promoted the Native Talent project, which initially got its start as a calendar but is now switching to an online photo competition.

“This is our revamped version,” said Nicolai Safai, a member of the IVCRC. “We still get the students to submit pictures and the community get to enjoy them, and the best part about this that we really love is that everybody gets to see all the pictures and not just the 12 pictures that a committee decided on [for the calendar]. So that’s Native Talent.”

Each organization presented their own version of the sustainability theme. One table taught Isla Vistans how to make thread bracelets; another taught them how to grow their own plants. Still others, like the local restaurant Silvergreens, promoted healthy eating and healthy living. Carla Ni, one of Silvergreens’ marketing directors, said she enjoyed the inclusion of the community both within and beyond just University of California, Santa Barbara students.

“There are all ages; a lot of parents came for Mother’s Day weekend,” said Ni. “Little kids are here. It’s just a really great experience and atmosphere.”

General member and volunteer at the IV Food Co-op William Easlea said that the Co-op was there to help UCSB students make better and healthier good choices.

“The reason why the IV Co-op is here at Chilla Vista,” said Easlea, “is to cater to these youths who need to eat fresh and healthy food for their own well-being and the planet’s.”

The UCSB Associated Students Food Bank also carried out the theme of healthy eating, and distributed bags of vegetables to patrons who stopped by.

“I’m enjoying Chilla Vista,” said Desirée Poland, a fourth-year biology and psychology major who took advantage of the complimentary food. “I got all this free stuff. I got some vegetables, a shirt, water bottle…It’s nice outside and sunny…I like how it’s a community event. There are all these tables from different organizations.”

With activities and projects covering all aspects of IV life, Chilla Vista succeeded in bringing together the community.

“Our mission as IVCRC is to enrich and to educate all of the Isla Vista community,” Ackman said, “and I think that this festival really does all of that in one.”