The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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Our Event Philosophy

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History is dedicated to producing dynamic and innovative programs that actively engage local community members as partners. Our programs strive to represent and serve the diverse, talented and multifaceted communities in Santa Cruz County based on their needs, assets and interests. Our programs are greatly inspired by your comments, ideas, and requests, and we want you to be involved.

Collaborations are fundamental in our program design. Our events are co-created with dozens of community collaborators who volunteer their time to work with us to create fun, content-rich, participatory, multidisciplinary and intergenerational events. By collaborating with diverse groups, we are working to build social capital in our community.  By intentionally bringing together collaborators and their different audiences to create events together, we are hopefully not just creating exciting programs but also building new relationships and deeper connections among all involved. We believe relationship-building is fundamental to growing strong, creative, active and vibrant communities.

We have developed five main goals which drive all of our community engagement. We want to share them so that we all may more clearly understand why and how we are creating Community Programs at the MAH.

For us, successful community engagement is:

  • RELEVANT: Connected to compelling needs, assets, and interests in Santa Cruz County. Connected to our core content of contemporary art and regional history.
  • SUSTAINABLE: Provides important resources to help the MAH thrive financially and organizationally.
  • BRIDGING: Brings community members together across differences. Celebrates diversity and encourages unexpected connections.
  • PARTICIPATORY: Invites diverse community members to make meaningful contributions as co-creators, collaborators, and energized constituents.
  • IGNITING: Inspires excitement and curiosity about art and history. Expands opportunities for deeper engagement beyond the museum.

We invite and welcome your help in meeting these goals and strive to continuously refresh our learning and efforts towards their fulfillment. We see these goals as part of an open community dialogue. If you are interested in collaborating for an upcoming program or have feedback about a previous event, please feel free to email Stacey Marie Garcia, stacey@santacruzmah.org.