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Museum of Art & History (MAH)

Organization Mission

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) brings people together through art and local history to explore our diverse cultures, and is guided by five core values:

• Engagement and collaboration
• Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility
• Innovation and experimentation
• Excellence and rigor
• Accountability, integrity, and responsibility

The Big Idea 2022:
Without Walls: MAH Outdoors

The MAH seeks support for an initiative featuring multi- and interdisciplinary collaborations in outdoor public spaces across Santa Cruz County. Curated around themes of history, heritage, and place, this rotating series of open-air activations is important because it helps us reconnect following the pandemic through shared experiences that are catalysts for dialogue, learning, and social action.

The centerpiece project will be a new biennial festival organized by the MAH entitled CommonGround, debuting September 16-25, 2022. This 10-day, admission-free event will occupy sites in broader Santa Cruz County, from downtown plazas and waterfronts to unique historical landmarks, with temporary and performative public artworks in rural, urban, and architectural space.

Highlighting local and international artists, CommonGround will feature site-responsive installations and interventions across the area’s natural and built environments, connecting people, stories, and landscapes. Join us!

The MAH is a focal point in our Santa Cruz community and a leader in rethinking the space and role of museums in our world. They increase access to public art by introducing audiences to intriguing, high-quality work beyond the museum walls, in community spaces throughout Santa Cruz County.


Irena Polić, Managing Director, The Humanities Institute, UCSC