About

Arts Council Santa Cruz County fuels our community’s creative ecosystem

Our work serves thousands of youth, artists, and arts organizations across Santa Cruz County every year. We invest in arts education programs, provide grants and professional development to artists and arts organizations, produce annual events like Open Studios, and support thriving artist communities at the Tannery Arts Center and Watsonville Center for the Arts.

We believe art transforms society

When people express themselves through their art, they feel more empowered to share their voice. When we enjoy art together, we feel more connected to one another. When kids use art in their school day, they develop communication and critical thinking skills. 

A stronger Santa Cruz County

Our mission is to generate creativity, vibrancy, and connection. Together, we’re building a stronger Santa Cruz County, where creative expression thrives and the arts are integral to all aspects of our diverse community.

We’ve been doing this work since 1979 as a private, non-profit agency with an incredible team. Our tax ID is 94-2600140 and you can see our most recent 990 form here.

A commitment to equity

We seek to deliberately and continuously address systemic barriers to opportunity and are committed to promoting equity and inclusion for all Santa Cruz County residents. We believe our impact is enhanced when people from different backgrounds with unique perspectives are engaged in our activities and decision-making processes. We strive to increase equitable opportunities and outcomes by building a board and staff that reflects the communities we serve.

We acknowledge that historically and currently, institutions and systems of power grant privilege and access unequally, especially on the basis of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status, socioeconomic status and disability status. The more that these barriers converge, greater limitations to opportunity exist. We recognize our role in supporting large and pervasive disparities in access to the arts and are committed to taking the actions required to eliminate these disparities and advance equity in our organization and in our community.

2022-2027 Strategic Plan

View a summary of our strategic plan here.