Recently moving to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles, Travis Kranz has established a deep connection to her new home. She was drawn to Santa Barbara for its reputation as a kinder, gentler place, and has enjoyed connecting to her family roots in the area. Her passion for art and interest in Spanish Colonial Revival architecture provided an instant connection to Casa del Herrero, and was the catalyst for her appointment as the Casa’s newest board member. “I was introduced to the Casa by friends, and immediately connected to the warmth and special quality of this place,” said Travis. “When you visit the estate, you feel very welcomed into the Steedman family’s life and personal history.”

Travis is driven by a desire to make an impact in the world of historical preservation. She is specifically attracted to the role education plays in preservation, an interest that has grown out of her time spent as an art history professor. During her time as an educator, she took remarkable care to connect with her students, and to share the power of art as a tool for storytelling. “During my career, it was important for me to connect to my students on a human level,” said Travis. “I am particularly proud of a moment I witnessed between two students in a Pre-Colonial Colombian Art course I was teaching at Pasadena City College. A Latina student defended the difficulty of my assigned reading material to another student because she did not want the teaching of the art of her ancestors watered down but rather taught with the same academic rigor as any European art class.”

Casa del Herrero is steeped in cultural heritage, which is seen in both the George Washington Smith designed house and the collection of fifteenth and sixteenth-century art objects from Spain. Travis is looking forward to acquiring a deeper appreciation of the art objects at the Casa as she learns more about the unique collection. “The Casa has some very interesting pieces in its art collection,” said Travis. “I am looking forward to learning about these in more detail as I further my education on the museum.”

As Travis and her husband Tom continue on this latest chapter in their lives, they remain excited for the adventures to come in their new community. And for Travis, as the newest Casa trustee, this includes pursuing education and preservation with great hope for the Casa’s future. “I grew up in a Spanish Colonial style home in Bel-Air, and have great memories visiting Santa Barbara with my family,” said Travis. “My career has led me to the importance of historical preservation, and now at this time in my life, the Casa is just a natural fit for me.”