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Only In Santa Cruz

Tue, Dec 08, 2020

MAH Staff's Favorite Event Moments of 2020

In what feels like the last 45 months of 2020, our team here at the MAH has created incredibly healing, inspiring, and educational programs. I know it comes across as you enjoy the content and experiences they create, but their compassion and creativity knows no bounds.

But this isn't just a love letter to my coworkers. It's also a thank you note to everyone who joined us this year from Speed Weddings to Movie Nights to Cemetery History Tours and everything in between. Without your support, feedback, comments, tickets, memberships, follows, and more the museum wouldn't be jumping into 2021 with nearly as much hope as we have right now.

So thank you for being here, and there, and riding this wave with us. If you enjoyed attending or learning more about these programs, please consider making a donation to the MAH. Gifts of any amount help fuel these kinds of events and keep the museum remain resilient in this tumultuous time.

Now, without further ado, please enjoy some of my beloved coworkers' favorite event moments of 2020.

Artes Amores Flores 3

Community Art Markets in Abbott Square

"It was always great to see new and returning artists connecting with one another. We save the last hour for folks to trade with each other and it is a sweet moment of sharing creations, learning about mediums, and bonding about their experience at the market/being an artist in town.

– Helen Aldana, Outreach Coordinator


Speed Weddings & Vow Renewals

"I run a lot of weddings at the MAH but there was something special in seeing these couples tie the knot on Valentine's Day in such a fun way. My favorite part was seeing the couples dance their first dance. You could really see the love in their eyes. I also really liked the card making activity happening at the same time. I even made one for my SO!"

– Claudia Oblea, Private Events Manager

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“Community is key – knowing we have it and that we’re here for folks helps us build it. And that’s what I loved about our events this year, we created space for community.”

Helen Aldana, Outreach Coordinator

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Radical Futurisms Film Screenings

"This series was shown in conjunction with the exhibition Beyond the World’s End and assembled a diverse group of visionary filmmakers who offered points of light in a dark world. It began at the Del Mar Theater and shifted to a virtual screening series after Shelter-in-Place orders. While the setting was different than we intended we were able to share the message of the exhibition with a much larger audience, both regionally and internationally. My dad even got to make it to the screenings. It all felt eerily well-timed for this moment."

– Whitney Ford-Terry, Exhibitions & Projects Manager


Hearts for Art Weekend

"People were excited to vote for their favorite artwork by placing a paper heart next to it. As a unique collaborative experience, it seemed to help guests slow down and really think about what they were seeing and why it connected with them."

– Laurel Maxwell, Guest Services Manager

"This was a fun weekend that my wonderful team of marketing interns led (that's them in the photo). I enjoyed seeing them get creative and lead on such a big project, plus we had a blast throwing hearts around while filming promotional videos for Instagram."

– Ashley Holmes, Marketing & PR Manager

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Never miss another MAH event, exhibition, or opportunity to get involved.

MAH Staff Portraits 2020 Marla Novo6

“Our Queer History Webinars were a wonderful way to make our online exhibition more personal. It was a privilege to learn about our local LGBTQ history from all the trailblazers sharing stories of resilience, love, pain, humor, and advocacy.”

Marla Novo, Director of Exhibitions & Programs

Card making

Card Making Craft Nights

"I enjoyed all the card-making nights this year. People came to the MAH (and then joined us virtually) to share their warm wishes to isolated adults throughout the County and in the most recent covid-era online session we made cards for nurses and frontline caregivers too. Pre-covid, I was able to drop off cards to my mom's senior living center, pictured here, as well. They loved them."

– Jeff Caplan, Community Engagement Specialist

"My mom lives in another city and we never get to go to events together. But, she was able to join the virtual craft nights so it was awesome to finally enjoy a MAH event together!"

– Jamie Keil, Learning & Engagement Manager

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Race Through Time Scavenger Hunt

"We were worried this event would not be as fun as a self-guided activity since it's normally such a lively gathering at the museum, but we were blown away by the participation! Folks really kept the spirit of the event alive! It was also fun to be taken along the ride as folks tagged the MAH on social."

– Michaela Clark-Nagaoka, Graphics & Content Creator

"I signed up my housemates for this event, we all dressed up and it was the highlight of our Covid quarantine. That's us in the photo!"

– Jamie Keil, Learning & Engagement Manager

MAH Staff Portraits 2020 Chance Decker10

“I most enjoyed connecting with the artists and our members during the virtual “Journey to Hokusai” Q&A. Watching, and then hearing from Tom about his journey, helped feed my desire to travel while staying home.”

Chance Decker, Director of Development & Communications


Evergreen at Dusk Cemetery History Tours

“Seeing a grandmother, her daughter, and her grandson gather late in the evening to go on a cemetery tour was unforgettable. Watching people connect to our local history and strengthen their own bonds, amidst a pandemic, made this event a huge success for me."

– Oscar Paz, Education Coordinator

“As a homeschool parent due to the pandemic, I thought this could be an interesting opportunity to learn some history and safely explore a new setting for my kids. It was a huge hit, they loved the maps and flashlights and we even saw a family of deer while taking in the diverse stories of generations of Santa Cruzians who came before us. Those are my girls in the photos exploring the cemetery.”

– Chance Decker, Director of Development & Communications


Día de los Muertos Altar Viewing at Evergreen Cemetery

“I so much enjoyed seeing our reimagined Día de los Muertos celebration come to life in collaboration with our friends at Senderos. It is such a colorful, layered and artful tradition, and I’m glad that, despite some of the challenges, we were able to offer this experience to our community in a safe and hopefully meaningful way.”

– Robb Woulfe, Executive Director

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