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Arts Council Santa Cruz County

Organization Mission

We generate creativity, vibrancy, and connection in Santa Cruz County. For 40+ years, we’ve invested in artists, culture bearers, and teachers who contribute to our collective well-being. We do this by:

• awarding $300K in grants annually to dozens of artists and organizations, offering guidance and professional development;
• producing the Open Studios Art Tour, Ebb & Flow River Arts Project, rotating exhibits at the County building;
• generating tomorrow’s creators, appreciators, and leaders through arts education for thousands of local youth; and
• supporting programming at the Tannery Arts Center.

The Big Idea 2022:
Watsonville Movement for Arts and Culture

Imagine a bustling, welcoming, and inclusive space for artists, arts organizations, and the community in Watsonville. A place where we all belong, are rejuvenated, and have fun through the arts. The community’s long-held yearning for a space to create, experience joy, and feel connected to ourselves, and each other is palpable. Together, we’re taking steps to build a home for the arts rooted in
Watsonville’s rich cultural traditions, hopes, and imagination.

Your donation helps artists thrive, brings our community together, and makes art happen in all the big and little ways that make Santa Cruz County a magical place to live. Our work today — making decisions together and building relationships and skills — forges a sustainable foundation for a thriving arts center for all of us.

We’re in partnership with these leaders in the Watsonville Movement for Arts and Culture:

Guillermo Aranda – artist and co-founder of Whitehawk Indian Council for Children
Nick Calubaquib – City of Watsonville
Kathleen Crocetti – Watsonville Brillante
Monica Galvan – Arte del Corazón
Cristal Gonzalez Avila – actress, playwright, teaching artist, and director
Janet Johns and Ruby Vasquez – Esperanza del Valle
Judy Stabile – Pajaro Valley Arts

We need a good space, physical space. In town there is not an ideal space dedicated to the arts. Finding that space is going to be very important. The right space.

Citlali Cabadas, Watsonville

We’re In This Together

Nonprofits are more important that ever in this trying time. Santa Cruz Gives! was created to support the local nonprofit community's Big Ideas (and programs). And thanks to your participation and generosity, Santa Cruz Gives! raised over $1.10 million for 82 local nonprofits in 2021.

SCGives! has now raised and contributed over $36 million dollars since its inception Seven years ago. That’s astounding. And wonderful. Thank you to all our Partners, Sponsors, nonprofit Board Directors, staff and volunteers — and each of our 1,455 donors. We did it, together.

Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November


The 2022 Santa Cruz Gives! RFP (for applying nonprofits) is due by Tuesday, September 7 and organizations will be notified of their application status Sept. 22-24. Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November.