Collage Full

Mon, Dec 06, 2021

Robb Woulfe

Robb Woulfe - Executive Director

Opening Doors. Creating Space.

As the year 2021 comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on how much we have come through—from the COVID closures that kept us home, to that long-awaited day when we were able to open the museum’s doors once more.

Even when the MAH was closed, we as an institution remained open—open-minded, open-hearted, and open to all people. A spirit of openness defines how we think and act every day, as we make and share space with our community.

For us this year was a time to refocus, reset, and reflect. Together with a team of community stakeholders, we wrote MAH 2026, the strategic plan that will be our roadmap for the next five years, and agreed on a mission to bring people together through art and local history to explore our diverse cultures. We also celebrated our silver anniversary—25 years of impact in Santa Cruz County!

There is no doubt that art and history experiences improve our community’s quality of life, and provide opportunities for artists, designers, writers, performers, and other creative professionals. Creativity itself sparks innovation and entrepreneurship, in turn driving economic development. By nurturing cultural vibrancy, we attract and retain people and businesses, cultivate belonging and connection, and grow our community identity.

For all of these reasons and more, the MAH is proud to offer a lineup next year of inventive offerings—many co-presented with partners and collaborators—we believe will breathe new life into our cultural scene and public spaces. In this way, we do our part to help Santa Cruz and neighboring communities emerge from the pandemic, reconnect, and rebuild.

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Upcoming Exhibitions:

  • Atmosphere, on the phenomena of fog and atmospheric rivers by artist and filmmaker Enid Baxter Ryce
  • A showcase of the 2020-21 Rydell Visual Arts Fellows Ann Altstatt, Marc D'Estout, Cid Pearlman, and Edward Ramirez
  • Strange Weather, from the UCSC Institute of the Arts and Sciences, pairing works by influential 20th and 21st century artists
  • Freak Power, exploring the art of Hunter S. Thompson’s political movement
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  • The Land of Milk and Honey, a multidisciplinary traveling program with the MexiCali Biennial on the ideological concept of agriculture
  • A project centered around the concept of kincentricity—kinship between humans and all other lifeforms—to celebrate a new multi-year initiative with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
  • An outdoor and in gallery work by artist duo MCXT that reimagines the local Venetian Water Carnivals, a Victorian-era spectacle on the San Lorenzo River, through a contemporary lens
  • CommonGround, a new festival of place-inspired, outdoor work in rural, urban, and architectural settings throughout the county
MAH Beyond The Grave Performance

Upcoming Programs & Events:

In 2022 we will introduce our new research-based residency programs, which this year support the work of mixed-media artists/activists Monica Canilao and Xara Thustra, and historian/culture bearer Luna HighJohn-Bey. We bring back Beyond the Grave—our popular new performance series at beautiful Evergreen Cemetery, as well as after-hours programming with Late Night @ the MAH, literary readings, film screenings, and artist and historian talks at the museum.

We also plan to present beloved favorites like Día de los Muertos along with our full slate of programming—from K-12 field trips and bilingual family offerings to our history podcast and Blue Plaque Landmark Awards. In May, the MAH hosts the Santa Cruz History Fair, followed by the return of our popular Appraisal Day fundraiser.

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“We are proud to offer a lineup of inventive offerings we believe will breathe new life into our cultural scene and public spaces.”

Robb Woulfe, Executive Director

We hope there is something meaningful and inspiring for each and every one of you—that you find experiences to nurture the heart, feed the mind, spark the imagination, and infuse your year with joy. Creating space for individual expression, community sharing, and life-long learning is what the MAH is all about.

To learn more about our plans and how to get involved, please read our latest institutional case for support.

As we close out a year of listening, learning, self-reflection, and growth, we are confident that the experience we have gained, through successes and challenges alike, has clarified our value to, and impact on, the Santa Cruz County community. That understanding illuminates a path forward, empowering us to better serve the needs and desires of all our residents and guests.

Thank you to everyone who supported us this year or plans to do so in the future. To make a gift that will touch thousands of lives, please click here.

—Robb Woulfe, Executive Director

Support the MAH

Help fuel a strong and resilient MAH by becoming a member or making a donation. Your contribution directly supports the future of the museum and connecting our community through art, history, and culture.