Miki Garcia knew something was working when Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (aka CAF, as most locals call it) changed its name to MCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art. She was standing outside and heard a couple walk past, on the way from the carpark to the steps leading to the ground floor of Paseo Nuevo. “Oh, there’s a museum here!” said one to the other. Maybe they had passed the Forum many times, maybe this was their first time here, but the point was taken: it’s a museum and everybody knows what that does.
For regular visitors to CAF, the switch may have seemed cosmetic and unheralded. But it’s that couple that Ms. Garcia keeps in mind.