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Santa Cruz County Art & Culture Digest


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AAPI Heritage Festival to Premiere May 21

Santa Cruz’s first Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Festival, organized by the Santa Cruz AAPI Collective, will be hosted at The 418 Project in downtown Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History also provided support for the event.

(May 19, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
Aptos Branch Library Demolition Ready to Get Under Way

The Aptos Branch Library has been standing for more than 40 years. That’s about to change as the demolition phase of its reconsruction is set to begin. Completion of the new library is expected in the summer of 2023.

(May 16, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
MAH’s ‘Strange Weather’ Explores Humanity’s Predicaments Through Art

“Strange Weather,” an exhibition running through Aug. 14, marks a collaboration between the Museum of Art & History and UC Santa Cruz’s Institute of the Arts & Sciences.

(April 26, 2022) → Read the full Lookout Local report
‘Blindspotting’ Crew Shooting at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Add yet another title to the “Filmed at the Boardwalk” list. STARZ film crews were in Santa Cruz filming scenes for the second season of “Blindspotting” at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

(April 25, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
MAH Goes ‘Beyond the Grave’

The Museum of Art and History and Indexical combine forces to present a contemplative and provocative artistic experience at Santa Cruz’s historic Evergreen Cemetery.

(April 15, 2022) → Read the full Lookout Local report
UCSC Quarry to Debut Summer Music Series

Newly announced concerts by indie pop singer Carla Morrison and electronica band STS9 portend the arrival of Quarry Amphitheater as a new concert venue.

(April 12, 2022) → Read the full Lookout Local report
How a Near-Death Experience Inspires Tim Eagan’s New Graphic Novel

Tim Eagan, creator of “Subconscious Comics” and a longtime Santa Cruzan, turns an injury from his youth into a meditation on fate and mortality.

(March 24, 2022) → Read the full Lookout Local report
Watsonville’s First Poet Laureate Wants to Spread the Spoken Word

Bob Gómez, who is serving as Watsonville’s first poet laureate for a two-year term, talks about his background and future plans for his tenure in the position.

(March 16, 2022) → Read the full Voices of Monterey Bay report
A Guide to UCSC Cryptids

As you walk through the UCSC campus, you hear a sudden stir in the dense forestry. You stop and think, “It’s probably just another deer.” But what if it was something stranger? Illustrator Jordan Moore lets his imagination run wild.

(March 14, 2022) → Read the full City on a Hill Press report
Playwright Shares Ups and Downs of a Curving Career

California playwright Josefina López talks about being honored at the Watsonville Film Festival—a commemoration of the 20-year anniversary of her play “Real Women Have Curves.”

(March 10, 2022) → Read the full Voices of Monterey Bay report
New Book Highlights Indigenous Rebellion in 19th Century

Historic moments of local Indigenous resistance to colonization are highlighted in a new book by Martin Rizzo-Martinez, “We Are Not Animals: Indigenous Politics of Survival, Rebellion, and Reconstitution in Nineteenth-Century California.” The book includes a forward by Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman Valentin Lopez.

(March 9, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
K-Squid’s Staying Power

KSQD launched at 90.7 FM in 2019, at a seemingly inauspicious time for radio. But the community-focused station has carved out a niche in Santa Cruz, Wallace Baine reports.

(Feb. 13, 2022) → Read the full Lookout Local report
Watsonville Author Meets Debut Novel Success

Jaime Cortez has published a paperback collection of stories that is garnering positive attention from NPR, the New York Times, and other media outlets.

(Dec. 3, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
The Secret of Success for Santa Cruz Hip Hop

For nearly four decades, the Santa Cruz hip hop scene has thrived. What once started as an underground movement has now flourished into something truly notable.

(Nov. 23, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Steven Kessler’s ‘Last Call’

Santa Cruz literary figure Stephen Kessler talks about his new poetry book, “Last Call.”
Published by Black Widow Press, it is the local writer’s 12th collection of poems.

(Nov. 18, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Scotts Valley Community Theater Guild Prepares for Performing Arts Center Opening

It’s taken about $80,000 of concrete work and hours of volunteer sweat equity, but finally the Scotts Valley Community Theater Guild is nearing completion of a performing arts center at the site of the old roller rink.

(Nov. 1, 2021) → Read the full Press Banner report
County Selects Guillermo Aranda as Artist of the Year

Every year the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission honors a local artist for achievements in performing, visual or literary arts, as well as contributions to overall cultural enrichment. For 2021, the county has named multimedia artist Guillermo “Yermo” Aranda as Artist of the Year.

(Oct. 21, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Unique Fashion Show Returns to the Runway

Designer Tina Brown and stylist Rose Sellery have produced a different kind of fashion show in Santa Cruz County for the past six years. After last year’s drive-in event, they’re ready to go live again.

(Oct. 12, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Open Studios Tour Returns for Three Weekends

Artists in Santa Cruz County are opening their doors for the annual Open Studios Art Tour, which runs three consecutive weekends. On view will be a wide variety of work: paintings, photographs, assemblage, prints, sculpture, textiles and jewelry.

(Sept. 30, 2021) → Read the full The Pajaronian report
It’s Here, It’s BBQueer, Get Used to It!

Santa Cruz County’s inaugural BBQueer (Black, Brown and Queer) Fest debuts Sept. 30 as a multi-day dance and arts event that showcases BIPOC/LGBTQ talent throughout Santa Cruz County.

(Sept. 30, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Update on the Neighbor From Hell

In this week’s cover story, Good Times writer DNA profiles Santa Cruz’s Lara Love Hardin, who used writing and comedy to crawl from the depths of addiction into the bright light of literary fame.

(Sept. 29, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Scotts Valley Welcomes Found Art Collective

The Found Art Collective celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 16, and the Scotts Valley community turned out to welcome this new addition to the city’s cultural scene.

(Sept. 23, 2021) → Read the full Press Banner report
UCSC Students Use Their Tech Skills to Benefit SLV Nonprofit Group

UCSC’s Baskin School of Engineering started a pilot program that matches up local groups with campus technology resources. The first real-life client is the Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center.

(Sept. 21, 2021) → Read the full San Lorenzo Valley Post report
Interactive Murals Create ‘Sensory Path’ for Watsonville Students

When Amy Thomas, principal at Watsonville Charter School of the Arts, noticed that her students were a bit restless, she began searching for something new to engage them. Thomas reached out to artist Martina Goulart, who came on board for a mural project.

(Sept. 20, 2021) → Read the full The Pajaronian report
Mural Unveiled at Cabrillo College

A new mural designed by Watsonville artist Francisco Alonso was unveiled at a ceremony that began with a blessing by the Pajaro Valley Ohlone Indian Council and included performances by Watsonville’s White Hawk Aztec Dancers, and a poetry reading.

(Sept. 16, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
History Lives on at Henflings Tavern

When it looked like historic Henflings Tavern in Ben Lomond would shutter back in 2018, resident bartender Erin Miller and husband Josh saw an opportunity. And they’ve managed to keep the the iconic live music venue up and running.

(Sept. 13, 2021) → Read the full San Lorenzo Valley Post report
Sea Walls Santa Cruz Mural Project Paints the Town

Local and international artists will create a series of ocean-themed murals from the Westside to Capitola, each one addressing threats facing marine life from climate change.

(Sept. 12, 2021) → Read the full Lookout Local report
Bonny Doon Festival Returns Oct. 2

The upcoming Bonny Doon Art, Wine + Brew Festival is a quaint community event that helps support Bonny Doon’s elementary school art and science programs.

(Sept. 10, 2021) → Read the full Press Banner report
Watsonville Film Festival, Other Groups Celebrate Culture in City Plaza

Mexican Independence Day is Sept. 16, and the Watsonville Film Festival is teaming up with two other organizations for Celebrando La Cultura. Held Sept. 15-18, the four-day fiesta will include film, music and dance.

(Sept. 7, 2021) → Read the full The Pajaronian report
Ben Lomond’s Jesse Daniel Moves ‘Beyond These Walls’

Ben Lomond native Jesse Daniel had a full tour planned when the pandemic hit. While on hiatus, he wrote and recorded the album “Beyond These Walls” with Jodi Lyford, his partner, bandmate, and co-owner of their independent label, Die True Records.

(Sept. 3, 2021) → Read the full San Lorenzo Valley Post report
New Book Explores History of Big Basin State Park

After 10 years of research and interviews, retired professor Traci Bliss has published “Big Basin Redwood Forest: California’s Oldest State Park,” a book that focuses on the efforts of women in the early 1900s to preserve the redwoods.

(Sept. 2, 2021) → Read the full Press Banner report
Symphony Kicks Off Season With ‘Remembrance and Rejuvenation’

The Santa Cruz Symphony returns with its most ambitious season ever as music director Daniel Stewart signs a long-term extension.

(Aug. 31, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report