Santa Cruz Museum Month
THANK YOU for reconnecting with museums and galleries in the Santa Cruz area throughout the month of May.
A summer of inspiration awaits, and our doors are OPEN!
Explore participating organizations below and learn how to visit these places that connect and inspire children and adults alike.
Agriculture History Project
School groups and families from Santa Cruz County and all over the US spend hours exploring our educational exhibits and historical archives.
We are located at the entrance to Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, CA. As you discover the rich agricultural history of Santa Cruz, Monterey and Pajaro Valley, you will learn about the crops, people, artifacts and farming practices that have made the Central Coast of California what it is today. Over 80 crops are grown in this area as a result of a unique combination of soils and climates. From potatoes and wheat to lettuce and strawberries, the Central Coast has supplied the world’s tables for over 150 years!
Capitola Historical Museum
For over fifty years the Capitola Historical Museum has been preserving and sharing the rich history of Capitola—the oldest seaside resort in California.
This year’s exhibition is titled “Capitola Then & Now.” Historical and contemporary photographs show how the town has changed since its founding in the 1870s. Rare photographs of the beach, railroad trestle, old theater, and village are sure to rekindle memories for longtime residents and visitors alike.
The museum’s website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel offer many more resources for anyone curious about the town’s past.
Curated by the Sea
A contemporary art gallery established in Capitola Village in August of 2019 to showcase the work of regional artists. In March of 2020, the global pandemic caused us to rethink our business model. We enhanced our digital presence and in August of 2020 moved to an expansive, light filled 4,600 square foot pop up location in Downtown Santa Cruz where we have set up an exhibit space focused on inspiring, encouraging and supporting our creative community.
Pajaro Valley Arts
Pajaro Valley Arts (PVA) has been successfully carrying out its mission of “bringing the community together through the arts” since 1984. PVA fosters and promotes the arts in this community with professional visual art exhibits in partnership with guest curators, schools, city government, and local organizations. PVA encourages all art forms and helps connect the community to the artists and their work at no cost to the public. PVA believes every person deserves to have access to the arts and conducts year-round programming to fulfill this vision. Visit us online to schedule a time to visit.
Pajaro Valley Historical Association
Established in 1940, the Pajaro Valley Historical Association in six buildings preserves, interprets and promotes the history of the diverse cultures that shaped California’s Pajaro Valley.
The Bockius-Orr House has been our headquarters since 1997, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and displays a unique collection of period clothing. Our Archive houses a historical treasure trove for the community along with displays of historic local memorabilia.
We welcome visitors, school groups, researchers to tour the house and garden, to research in the archives, attend functions sponsored by PVHA, or rent house and garden for special events.
Radius Gallery is located at the Tannery Arts Center, Santa Cruz California, striving to exhibit stellar art that allows visitors of all ages to think and wonder; move one deeper into humanity through this powerful form of expression. Exhibitions are curated year-round and present all disciplines of contemporary art.
For the entire month of May, Radius staff will lead visitors through a FREE guided tour of the Tannery Arts Center, an 8-acre historic property. Each tour will include art studios, the History Exhibition, the Tannery story, public art of Ebb & Flow, and a hands-on activity.
San Benito Historical Society and Museum
The mission of the San Benito County Historical Society is to collect and preserve materials pertaining to the history of San Benito County. The Society will promote an interest in, and appreciation of, the County’s past, through programs presented at meetings and community events. The Society will bring together for exchange of ideas those interested in history, especially that of San Benito County.
Artifacts and agricultural implements on display at the Wapple House Museum and Historic Park, from the late 1800’s and on, including the buildings are from many locations within San Benito County.
San Lorenzo Valley Museum
The San Lorenzo Valley Museum is owned and operated by the San Lorenzo Valley Historical Society, founded in 1976 with a mission to preserve and share the history of the San Lorenzo Valley.
The Museum operates two galleries; the Grace Episcopal Gallery in Boulder Creek and the Faye G. Belardi Memorial Gallery in Felton. Both buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Museum hosts multiple temporary exhibitions each year, both onsite and offsite, including national and California traveling exhibitions, and locally curated history, natural history, and contemporary art exhibitions, often in partnership with other institutions.
Santa Cruz Art League
The Santa Cruz Art League is a vibrant art center that showcases visual and performing artists in Santa Cruz County. We present 10-12 exhibitions annually in a variety of media and themes.
Visual, literary, and performing arts programs take place in our gallery and in the Broadway Playhouse, our 62-seat black box theater, which also features a thriving youth theatre school led by West Performing Arts. We offer art classes onsite and online for any skill level 7 days a week. In Art League’s lobby we have a gift shop that features the work of local artists.
In 2021 we are celebrating our 102nd year of supporting artists at all career levels. The Santa Cruz Art League was founded in 1919 by a group of local artists yearning for a place to meet in order to share their art, to teach, and to motivate one another. The Santa Cruz Art League has been consistently committed and supportive of local artists by nurturing an environment that is supportive not only to the artist, but also to students, and to the community.
The Art League is located close to Downtown Santa Cruz, in the Seabright neighborhood. Come visit us soon.
Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery
The Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery focuses on providing learning support during early childhood and elementary years–especially in language, gross and fine motor development, science, art, technology, and math. We specialize in creating experiences that allow children to learn through social interaction, skill-building, observation, and experience.
Come play to learn with us at the county’s only museum space 100% devoted to children and their caregivers.
Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) is a welcoming, vibrant museum that connects you with the people, stories, and ideas of Santa Cruz County.
Celebrating their 25th Anniversary in June 2021, the MAH focuses on building community through engaging bilingual exhibitions, events, educational resources, and community collaborations. The MAH ignites shared experiences and unexpected connections throughout Santa Cruz County with their participatory approach to museums.
Located in the heart of Downtown Santa Cruz, go to santacruzmah.org to find your space amongst Santa Cruz County’s creative community and plan your next visit.
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History has connected people to the wonders of nature for over 100 years.
Located above Seabright Beach, the Museum highlights the region’s diverse plant, animal, and human communities from the shoreline of Monterey Bay to the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. We strive to fulfill our mission of connecting people with nature and science to inspire stewardship of the natural world through an array of educational programs and exhibits focused on the natural and cultural history of our region.
Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center
The Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center (SCMAC) supports and encourages the arts through education, exhibitions, and cultural activities. Surrounded by giant redwoods and soaring mountains, we’re located in the heart of the San Lorenzo Valley and serve a large region that stretches from Santa Cruz to Los Gatos. We provide a venue for cultural activities, exhibition space, and arts education for our membership and the general public.
Now, after a year-long closure, the SCMAC is starting to reopen! As we originally planned, we started with outdoor activities as weather permitted. We’ve now had several pop-up sidewalk sales and have opened our ceramics studio to members for limited hours and activities. In the coming weeks, we hope to reopen our gallery for our June exhibit with limited days.
Please check our website at www.mountainartcenter.org regularly to see what’s happening. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. And sign up for our weekly emails to get the latest news!
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center at UC Santa Cruz is dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the understanding and conservation of the world’s oceans.
Home of the famous blue whale skeleton, the Seymour Center offers an array of science-based learning opportunities and experiences for children and adults, inspiring a love of nature in the next generation.
Visit the Seymour Center to learn about current ocean research, marine creatures, and much more!
R. Blitzer Gallery
The R. Blitzer Gallery is located on the west side of Santa Cruz in “The Old Wrigley Building”-a large renovated warehouse that years ago manufactured Wrigley gum. The building now houses a variety of art, design, tech, entrepreneurs, marine science research and bicycle companies and organizations. The large gallery space with 17 foot ceilings and natural light is ideal for individual and group exhibits.
In addition to the owner’s metal sculpture and paintings, the gallery features regular exhibits of local, regional and national visual art and usually opens with a reception on the First Friday of the month. Please contact the gallery for an appointment.
Thank you to our sponsors
The Santa Cruz Museums Collaborative
Museums and galleries of Santa Cruz County and beyond have joined together in their call for people to come back to their favorite spots, while also discovering new places. These cultural institutions have worked together throughout the pandemic to stay informed, build effective safety protocols for when their doors reopen, and prepare to meet the needs of the community as things reopen. As a group, they look forward to providing safe, healthy, and enriching experiences for all. Read Press Release.