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Thu, Nov 14, 2019

Newcomers Guide to the MAH

Welcome! If you’re reading this page, that means you are hopefully looking to stop by the museum soon and we could not be happier about that.

First a little bit about us... our mission is to ignite shared experiences and unexpected connections all in the name of building a stronger, more connected Santa Cruz County. We bring this mission to life by uplifting the voices, art, traditions, and stories of our community through one-of-a-kind event and exhibition experiences.

Not your normal museum mission statement, huh? You're right. This is your museum. Yes, you. We open up every day to create a space for you to share your creative and civic voice.

We want to set aside any doubts you have that this isn't your space; so, take a look at the questions below and please read this message as a formal invitation for you to visit the MAH very soon.

Kind of - all we ask is that you wear clothes. Being comfortable and expressing yourself in the way that feels best for you is the only thing that matters for our dress code.

No way! We encourage talking, sharing, and connecting about what you are seeing, what’s resonating with you (or not), things you’re learning, or any feelings that the galleries spark.

Absolutely. We are a participatory museum, meaning that all of our exhibitions have in-gallery activities for you to add to, make, or take home with you! Some artworks are only made for viewing though and this is usually indicated with signs or boundaries on the floor. If you have any questions as you move through the space, feel free to ask a friendly staff person at the front desk for specifics.

Most folks take about 45 minutes to an hour and a half to go through the museum. Admission allows for ins and outs, so you can break up your visit with a coffee at the market next door and then come back for more.

General admission is $10. Students, teachers, and veterans are $8. About the cost of lunch and a latte or a trip to the movies. Plus, you can feel great about supporting a more connected and creative Santa Cruz County while you’re at it.

Absolutely. Kids love the Screaming Hand elevator, making crafts inside the galleries, and being able to run around freely. Plus, stop by on a First Friday to enjoy a free kids corner with blocks and play mats.

Yes! Strollers are welcome throughout the Museum but if you'd prefer to leave them on the first floors ask the friendly front desk staff where you can store them safely.

Yup. Food and drinks (there are great options next door at Abbott Square Market) are allowed in the atrium as well as the sculpture garden on the 3rd floor. No food or drinks are allowed in the galleries, but there are tables outside each one to leave them while you look around.

Thank you for asking. Our full name is the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center. But you can call us The MAH. Insider tip: MAH rhymes with spa.

There are 3 ways into the museum. Enter through the big glass doors looking out on Front Street (facing Woodstocks Pizza), through the inside of Abbott Square Market, or around the back from the market plaza through the Secret Garden.

The address is 705 Front St. Downtown Santa Cruz, CA 95060

No prior knowledge is needed. But if you are curious about our exhibition philosophy you can read that here. To sum it up though, we believe that great exhibitions–– the ones that are welcoming, accessible, and co-created with our communities–– can make Santa Cruz County grow stronger and more connected. We are committed to creating exhibitions that inspire diverse audiences to engage deeply with contemporary art and Santa Cruz County history.

There are 2 parking garages located nearby on Front Street, on either side of the museum. Parking is $1/hour and disability parking is available at both. Getting Here.

Very friendly staff welcoming you in when you arrive. A big, open, light-filled lobby with windows as walls. Stories of local issues and people. Creative activities to do alone or with someone else. Opportunities to share your voice. And so much more!

Aw, we love dogs, too. Unfortunately, they are only allowed in the main atrium of the museum. Only service dogs can accompany you in the galleries.

Wow! We like where your head is at. Check out ways you can get involved with us here... Get Involved. We welcome your wild ideas and creative energy. Let's create something special together!

We are very committed to making its facilities and programs accessible to all visitors. Museum galleries and entrances are wheelchair accessible. Restrooms are located on each floor and are equipped with handicap stalls. All-gender bathrooms are on the 2nd floor. All exhibition labels and signage are in English and Spanish.

We hope not! At the end of the day, this is your space to enjoy, share, explore, or critique. We hope you feel empowered to share your feedback with us directly so we can know how the MAH can better serve you. You can always reach us at info@santacruzmah.org

Have a question that’s not answered here? Send us a message on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or by email, so we can make sure this list addresses any sticking points that may keep you from swinging by to say hello.