The Santa Barbara Project Podcast aims to tell stories from all walks of life. Unflinching, raw and inspirational. Here, we all have a voice and can make a difference.



In this episode, Nathaniel Gray talks with Angie about life in an abusive household as a child and the vicious cycle she faced as a result of her upbringing. Angie is a proud birth mother who is raising awareness around adoption and compassion towards others. We are deeply honored to have such a powerful woman in the Santa Barbara Project and also on our Podcast.

“I am a birth mother. When I tell someone, I am a birth mother, the reaction are varied. Some make snap judgments based on poorly written made-for-cable-television movie, baseless judgment, and fear, or from a place of pity. I am tenacious, resilient, and a seeker of justice. I am a survivor.”



In this episode, Nathaniel Gray talks with Maggie Yates about the theater, acting, and writing. Learn more about the creative force that is Maggie Yates!

Maggie Yates is a writer, editor, and theatre artist. She has a BA in theatre and performance studies from UC Berkeley and an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco.

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Wallace PIATT | EPISODE #4

In this episode, Nathaniel Gray talks with Wallace Piatt about his history as a local artist and his distinct look into fashion.

A man that needs little introduction. Wallace is an pop artist, vintage Americana picker for decades, denim head, and an old school Chevy lover! He is a business owner, huge supporter of sober living, and an all around good guy.



In this episode, Nathaniel Gray talks with Patrick Lyra Lanier about the beautiful LGBTQ+ community here in Santa Barbara and the important work of the Pacific Pride Foundation.

Patrick Lyra Lanier is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist specializing in LGBTQ+ populations and in Somatic Psychology. “Patrick Lyra” is a two-name first name like “Mary Beth.” PL uses they/them pronouns, identifies as transgender and queer, and is the LGBTQ+ Program Manager of Pacific Pride Foundation — the largest LGBTQ+ Center between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Prior to working at PPF, PL taught preschool for ten years, beginning at Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center.

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Sally Cook | episode #2

In this episode, Nathaniel Gray talks with Sally Cook about sex trafficking and its tight grip on the youth here in Santa Barbara. Sally, is the co-founder of Hope Refuge.

It is the vision of Hope Refuge to provide for one of the greatest needs for these girls; a safe place where they can be restored and healed. In view of this goal, Hope Refuge is in the final process of obtaining our Community Care License and opening one of the largest facilities specifically for trafficked youth survivors in America. This will allow us to run a full-time “Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program” for 12-17-year-old girls who have been sex trafficked in the USA. Hope Refuge plans to open up its doors to 24 survivors who for six months or more will be part of our full-service, live-in center and be provided with counseling, and therapeutic care, as well as education, all in a fun and loving environment. All of this will take place on our beautiful mountain facility located on 214 acres in the mountains of Santa Barbara, California filled with oak woodlands, rolling hills, and stunning ocean views.


VICTORIA STRONG | episode #1

In this episode, Nathaniel Gray has the distinct privilege to sit with a community leader, and pioneer of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (GSF) - Victoria Strong.

The GSF was born out of Bill and Victoria Strong’s firsthand experience with their daughter, Gwendolyn, who was diagnosed with SMA Type I at 6-months-old. Their passion to make a difference quickly grew well beyond just two people and within a short time, the GSF and its supporters were having a material impact on SMA. The GSF is the strong families around the globe affected by this devastating disease, is other SMA organizations collaborating together, and the GSF family is the people who want to change the future of the leading genetic killer of young children. To learn more about the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation or to donate click here