Only In Santa Cruz

Wed, Aug 21, 2019

Ashley Holmes

Ashley Holmes - Marketing & PR Manager

10 Reasons to be Proud of Santa Cruz

The best moments from our community of artists, history buffs, surfers, activist youth, and firebreathers.

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1. When Hawaiian royalty brought surf to the mainland US, they came to Santa Cruz first.

That's no accident. Those three Hawaiian princes back in 1885 convinced a local lumber mill to fashion surfboards from our abundant redwood logs. We even have the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, the nation’s first museum dedicated to preserving, sharing, and celebrating surf heritage.


2. Everyone’s an artist here.

Between co-ops, galleries, and public art you'll find incredible local art around every corner. Plus, over 250 incredible local artists shared their portraits with Santa Cruz County in See, be Seen, the MAH's latest community-sourced exhibition.

P.s. Share your story to be a part of the upcoming exhibition, Santa Cruz Tatoo'd, opening this November.

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3. Our history was written by farmworkers, Brown Berets, and feminists in meat-dresses.

Their stories are now shared in the MAH's Santa Cruz County History Gallery, where curious Santa Cruzans of all-ages can explore the roadmap for how to shape our future.

"The MAH gallery exhibit truly reflects the diverse history of our county. In just over 2,000 square feet this display covers the rich tapestry of our shared community — from the Ohlone to Morgani!" - Donna Mekis, third-generation resident and local historian

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4. It's paradise.

Lush redwoods? Sure thing. Gorgeous coastline? No doubt. Don't even get us started on all the live music, restaurants, breweries, craft nights, and the Beach Boardwalk.

No matter what you are looking for, Santa Cruz has it all. From the outdoorsy to the creative, there's a community here to welcome you with open arms.

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5. We have the best fire and digital artists in the world

GLOW began nine years ago with a passionate Burner bringing fire art to the museum. It has grown into a signature Santa Cruz event, connecting dozens of artists and over 4,000 visitors ignited by amazing art in our downtown.

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6. Local youth are changemakers, community builders, and inspirers-in-chief.

Youth are raising their voices from North to South County. And local organizations like Digital Nest, Subjects to Change, FoodWhat?!, Senderos, and Growing Justice are proudly creating space for the next generation of changemakers to flourish.

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7. Día de los Muertos is so big, it fills the sidewalks with folklorica dancers, music and celebration.

Every year Senderos partners with the MAH to carry this cultural festival from the MAH to Mission State Historic Park, and into Evergreen Cemetery. Join the celebration on Saturday, November 2nd at the MAH.

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8. Our cemeteries are alive with learning, story-telling, and community-building.

Every Friday, volunteers gather at Evergreen Cemetery to restore the resting place for our County’s first community builders.

"I am thrilled to support the MAH volunteers who are transforming Evergreen Cemetery where three generations of my family are buried; they've already done so much more than I'd imagined would happen and have an exciting vision of what role the cemetery can play in our community."
- Dave Newcomb

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9. We love connecting with each other in creative, public spaces.

Abbott Square, the Farmer's Market, Food Truck Festivals, First Fridays, and the Mole & Mariachi Festival all make space for connection and celebrating our epic community. When Santa Cruz people get together, something amazing happens. If you know, you know.

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10. The MAH is becoming a powerful creative home para todos in Santa Cruz County.

Our community. Tu museo. The MAH works with over 300 community collaborators to host bilingual exhibitions, dynamic school tours, all-ages festivals, and community thinktanks.

"What I like the most about the [MAH's] Creative Community Committee is the incredible talent and leadership that comes together under the roof. Community organizers, artists, city officials, students, university staff engage in rich conversations about how to better connect with and providing services to a diverse Santa Cruz community. This year’s theme, Cultural Bridging, is especially relevant to me as a Mexican immigrant doing community work in Santa Cruz as I see the need for an organized and collaborative effort to reach out to and serve those who are marginalized and have been separated from the resources they need." - Edgar Ontiveros, 2016