September 16-25, 2022

Across Santa Cruz County | Mostly FREE

Language of Birds 04

CommonGround is a new biennial festival of place-inspired, outdoor work hosted in locations throughout Santa Cruz County, from downtown plazas and nearby waterways to forested hillsides and local landmarks.

Focused on temporary and performative public art projects in rural, urban, and architectural space, the 10-day event features site-responsive installations and interventions across the area’s natural and built environments, connecting people, stories, and landscapes.

CommonGround is a mostly FREE event. While the majority of works can be visited at no cost, some festival performances are ticketed and there is a small admission fee to the MAH to view supporting exhibitions and installations.

2022 Artist Lineup

LOOM:FIELD
By BANDALOOP
MAH & Abbott Square
Sep 16–17 / FREE

A vertical dance piece set to original live music, that weaves choreography and climbing technology with the art of textiles and ecological stewardship. Experience the museum facade transformed into a giant loom where stories, aerial movement, and athleticism interlace.

Performances:
Sep 16; 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
Sep 17; 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
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LOOM:FIELD
De: BANDALOOP
MAH y Abbott Square
Sep 16–17 / GRATIS
Una pieza de danza vertical ambientada con música original en vivo, que entreteje coreografías y tecnología de alpinismo con el arte textil y el cuidado ecológico. Ven a ver cómo la fachada del museo se transforma en un telar gigante donde se entrelazan historias, movimiento aéreo y atletismo.

Actuaciones:
Sep 16; 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
Sep 17; 1pm, 3pm, 5pm

The Writing on the Wall
By Hank Willis Thomas & Dr. Baz Dreisinger
Davenport Jail
Sep 16–25 / FREE

A collaborative installation made from letters, poems, notes, and stories written by incarcerated people and displayed across a historic jail-turned-museum as a form of verbal and visual intrusion. Co-presented with the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UCSC.

Sep 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 12–3pm
Additional viewings on Saturdays through spring 2023
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La escritura en la pared
De: Hank Willis Thomas y Dr. Baz Dreisinger
Prisión de Davenport
Sep 16–25 / GRATIS

Una instalación colaborativa hecha de cartas, poemas, notas e historias escritas por personas encarceladas. Los materiales se exponen en y alrededor de una histórica cárcel convertida en museo como una forma de intrusión verbal y visual. La instalación es presentada con el Instituto de las Artes y las Ciencias de la UCSC.

Instalación abierta: septiembre 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 12–3pm
Visitas adicionales los sábados hasta la primavera de 2023

Photo / foto: Cameron Blaylock

TRANSBORDER
By Daniel Ruanova & Ignacio Ornelas
Farmers’ Markets
Sep 21–25 / FREE

A mobile installation featuring large-scale reproductions of 1950s-era photographs of Braceros, Mexican farm and railroad workers imported to the U.S. during World War II. The project gives new light to the images of citizens on their journey to the land of opportunity.

Farmers’ Market Tour:
Sep 21; 1–6pm / Downtown Santa Cruz
Sep 23; 2–7pm / Watsonville
Sep 25; 9am–1pm / Live Oak
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TRANSFRONTERIZO
De: Daniel Ruanova e Ignacio Ornelas
Farmers’ Markets
Sep 21–25 / GRATIS

Una instalación móvil que presenta reproducciones a gran escala de fotografías de la década de 1950 de braceros, trabajadores agrícolas y ferroviarios mexicanos que llegaron a los EE. UU. durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. El proyecto da una nueva luz a las imágenes de los ciudadanos en su viaje rumbo a la tierra de las oportunidades.

Tour de Farmers’ Market:
Sep 21; 1–6pm / Centro de Santa Cruz
Sep 23; 2–7pm / Watsonville
Sep 25; 9am–1pm / Live Oak

Photo / foto: Ernesto Galarza Collection, courtesy of Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries.

The Language of Birds
By Carolyn Chen, Natalie Jenkins, & Indexical
Evergreen Cemetery & Wagner Grove
Sep 22–24 / FREE & Admission

An immersive piece that takes visitors on a guided tour through Evergreen Cemetery, transformed by the mythology of birdsong and heightened by site-specific sculptures. Performances include a world premiere composition inspired by early music.

Viewings: 12–5pm (free)
Performances: 5–6pm (ticketed)
$25 general; $15 MAH or Indexical members; limited seating
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El lenguaje de los pájaros

De: Carolyn Chen
Cementerio Evergreen y Wagner Grove
Sep 22–24 / GRATIS y con entradas

Una nueva pieza envolvente inspirada en la mitología del canto de los pájaros de todo el mundo con una partitura original. Las obras visuales se pueden ver sin costo durante el horario público, mientras que el concierto de una hora requiere un boleto para entrar. Presentado en conjunto con Indexical.

Obras visuales: 12–5pm (gratis)
Concierto: 5–6pm (boletos)
$25 general; $15 miembros del MAH o de Indexical; asientos limitados

Photo / foto: Crystal Birns

ReflectioNNN
By MCXT (Monica Canilao & Xara Thustra)
Soquel Creek, Capitola Village
Sep 24; 7:30 pm / FREE

A handcrafted sculptural raft—part art boat, part performance stage—that pays tribute to the Santa Cruz Venetian Water Carnivals, a Victorian-era spectacle that took place on the San Lorenzo River from 1895 to 1927. Part of the Capitola Beach Festival’s Lighted Nautical Parade.
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ReflexióNNN
De: MCXT (Monica Canilao y Xara Thustra)
Soquel Creek, Capitola Village
Sep 24; 7:30pm / GRATIS

Una balsa escultórica hecha a mano, en parte un baro artístico, en parte un escenario de espectáculos, que rinde homenaje a los carnavales acuáticos venecianos de Santa Cruz, un espectáculo de la era victoriana que tuvo lugar en el río San Lorenzo de 1895 a 1927. Esto es parte del Desfile Náutico Iluminado del Festival de la Playa de Capitola.

Photo / foto: Tod Seelie

The Land of Milk and Honey
Solari Gallery, MAH
Sep 1–Dec 31 / $10 Suggested Admission

A traveling multidisciplinary and multilingual arts and culture program focused on the ideological concept of agriculture in the regions of California and Mexico. Co-presented with the MexiCali Biennial.
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La tierra de la leche y la miel

Galería Solari, MAH
Sep 1–Dec 31 / Entrada sugerida de $10

Un programa itinerante de arte y cultura multidisciplinario y multilingüe centrado en el concepto ideológico de la agricultura en las regiones de California y México. Co-presentado con la Bienal de MexiCali.

Weaving Aso Ofi
By I.B. Bayo
Atrium, MAH
Sep 16–25 / FREE

A textile installation exploring the art of weaving and ecological implications of fashion.
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La tejeduría Aso Ofi

De: I. B. bayo
Atrio, MAH
Sep 16–25 / GRATIS

Una instalación textil que explora el arte de tejer y las implicaciones ecológicas de la moda.

Refocusing Ecology
By Martabel Wasserman
Location TBA, Downtown Santa Cruz
Sep 16–Dec 31 / FREE

A multimedia project investigating the complex history of photography and conservation.
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Reenfocando la ecología

De: Martabel Wasserman
Ubicación TBA, Centro de Santa Cruz
Sep 16–Dec 31 / GRATIS

Un proyecto multimedia que investiga la compleja historia de la fotografía y la conservación.

Festival Brochure

Brochure (in English)
Browse the festival program.
View Now
Folleto (en español)

Navegar por el programa del festival.

Admission

CommonGround is a mostly FREE event. While the majority of works can be visited at no cost, some festival performances are ticketed and there is a small admission fee to the MAH to view supporting exhibitions and installations.

Museum Admission

Adults: $10, Children (12 and under): $5

MAH Members: FREE

Become a MAH member!

MAH members get FREE entry into the museum and discounted tickets to select festival performances:

  • Friend ($60) | Includes MAH entry for up to two adults
  • Family ($80) | Includes MAH entry for up to two adults and four children under the age of 18
  • Fan ($125-999) | Includes MAH entry for up to two adults and four children under the age of 18, plus two additional guests

Sign up today and enjoy free admission, special viewing access, exclusive programming, and other member benefits.

Venues & Locations

Abbott Square and Museum of Art & History (MAH)
725 and 705 Front Street, Santa Cruz
A public plaza next to a three-floor museum in downtown.

Davenport Jail
70 Center Street, Davenport
A decommissioned jailhouse and historic landmark built in 1914.

Evergreen Cemetery
261 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz
A historic site and one of the state’s first cemeteries founded in 1858.

Farmers' Markets
Downtown Santa Cruz: 700-798 Cedar Street
Watsonville: Peack and Union Street
Live Oak: 21511 E Cliff Drive

Soquel Creek
124 Cliff Drive, Capitola
A coastal stream that flows into Monterey Bay, near Capitol Beach.

Wagner Grove
261 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz
A redwood clearing located in Harvey West Park, near the cemetery.

CommonGround FAQs

CommonGround is a new biennial festival of place-inspired, outdoor work presented by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) from September 16–25, 2022.

Focused on temporary and performative public art projects in rural, urban, and architectural space, the 10-day event features site-responsive installations and interventions across the area’s natural and built environments, connecting people, stories, and landscapes.

CommonGround takes place Friday, September 16 through Sunday, September 25, 2022 at different times and locations throughout Santa Cruz County.

CommonGround is a mostly FREE event. While the majority of works can be visited at no cost, some festival performances are ticketed and there is a small admission fee to the MAH to view supporting exhibitions and installations.

Museum Admission

  • Adults: $10, Children (12 and under): $5
  • MAH Members: FREE

MAH members get FREE entry into the museum and discounted tickets to select festival performances:

  • Friend ($60) | Includes MAH entry for up to two adults
  • Family ($80) | Includes MAH entry for up to two adults and four children under the age of 18
  • Fan ($125-999) | Includes MAH entry for up to two adults and four children under the age of 18, plus two additional guests

Sign up today and enjoy free admission, special viewing access, exclusive programming, and other member benefits.

You only need a ticket for select performances in the festival, which are noted on this website. However, if you choose to visit the artworks inside the museum during regular hours of operation, the cost of admission—if you are not a MAH member—is processed onsite at the time of the event. There is no advance ticket purchase option, other than purchasing or renewing a membership to provide a limited number of museum admissions.

Museum Admission

  • Adults: $10, Children (12 and under): $5
  • MAH Members: FREE

For events happening downtown or at the museum, we encourage attendees to visit the food and beverage vendors at Abbott Square Market, immediately next to the MAH. There are also many downtown restaurants in close proximity to the museum. Please keep in mind that food and drink are not allowed inside the MAH or its exhibition galleries.

Generally, CommonGround is a rain-or-shine event, although some outdoor performances may be delayed or rescheduled due to inclement weather. Dress appropriately and bring an umbrella if necessary!

The MAH continues to implement pandemic restrictions during CommonGround including masking recommendations, social distancing guidelines, and venue capacity limitations (both indoor and outdoor).

For the safety of our guests, staff, and community, the MAH continues to encourage masking, social distancing when possible, hand hygiene, and other preventive measures. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please visit the festival another time.

How nice to hear you would like to volunteer! Please email us to express your interest.

CommonGround is made possible with the support of many partners and collaborators. To read more about partnership opportunities and how to get involved with us, visit our sponsorship page. You can also email Nikki Patterson for more information.

Artist submissions for 2022 are currently closed. Please keep an eye on the MAH website and social media channels for updates about opportunities to get involved in future festivals and projects.

You can also join our mailing list for the most up-to-date information on how to showcase your work at the MAH.

Presented with support from

With additional funding provided by
City of Santa Cruz; Creative Work Fund; Indexical; New England Foundation for the Arts; The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz; and the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UC Santa Cruz as part of its Visualizing Abolition Initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.