CommonGround: A Festival of Place-Inspired, Outdoor Work

Explore the adventurous terrain of the MAH's new biennial arts festival.

Artboard 1

September 16–25, 2022

Learn More

Across Santa Cruz County

Learn More

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 historical 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.

Artists & Schedule

Sep 16, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
Sep 17, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
MAH & Abbott Square / FREE

The Writing on the Wall
By Hank Willis Thomas & Dr. Baz Dreisinger
Sep 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 12–3pm
Additional viewing on Saturdays through spring 2023
Davenport Jail, 70 Center Street, Davenport / FREE

The Land of Milk and Honey

Sep 16–18, 12-6pm
Sep 22–25, 12-6pm
Additional viewing through December 31, 2022
MAH Solari Gallery / Suggested Admission $10

Weaving Aso Ofo
By I.B. Bayo
Sep 16-18; 12-6pm
Sep 22-25; 12-6pm
MAH Atrium / FREE

Refocusing Ecology

By Martabel Wasserman
Sep 17-18, 1-4pm
Sep 20, 4-7pm
Sep 21, 10am-1pm
Sep 22, 4-7pm
Little Giant Collective, 115 River St / FREE

By Daniel Ruanova & Ignacio Ornelas
Farmers’ Market Tour
Sep 21; 1–6pm / Downtown Santa Cruz / FREE
Sep 23; 2–7pm / Watsonville / FREE
Sep 25; 9am–1pm / Live Oak / FREE

The Language of Birds
By Carolyn Chen, Natalie Jenkins, & Indexical
Sep 22, 23, 24
Viewings: 12–5pm / FREE
Performances: 5–6pm / TICKETS
Evergreen Cemetery & Wagner's Grove


Sep 24; 7pm
Capitola's Lighted Nautical Parade, Soquel Creek
Esplanade Park / FREE

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.

Related Exhibitions

Oct 14, 2022 – Feb 24, 2023


A new installation by Monica Canilao and Xara Thustra (MCXT) that reimagines the local Venetian Water Carnivals, a Victorian-era spectacle on the San Lorenzo River.

Support the MAH

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