Open Studios Art Tour is one of the most amazing art events of the year, connecting tens of thousands of Santa Cruz residents and visitors to more than 300 artists across Santa Cruz County. Artists connect with collectors, neighbors and each other, creating a stronger community and generating more than $700,000 in art sales.
Art, music, dance, creative writing and theater in schools offer students a place to be fully themselves, to belong. Additionally arts classes teach creative thinking, problem solving, teamwork, public speaking and other critical skills. More than 16,000 youth throughout Santa Cruz County participate in our arts education programs, SPECTRA and Mariposa Arts.
We distribute more than $200,000 annually to 80+ artists and arts organizations of all sizes. We also support and develop the creative sector through meetups, workshops, professional development grants and fiscal sponsorships.
Tannery Arts Center
The Tannery Arts Center is home to 100 affordable live/work artist lofts, 20+ artist studios, Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center, Radius Gallery, Jewel Theatre, Bistro 112 and the Arts Council’s North County offices.
In 2016-17, the Arts Council worked with the full Tannery community to create a Tannery Community Plan, designed to help the Tannery thrive. In 2018 the Arts Council stepped into a new role on campus, providing leadership, communications, programming, and community-building support.
Collaborations & Initiatives
We work to strengthen our community through projects with unlikely partners, advocacy efforts, cultural tourism initiatives and more. We facilitate art exhibits at the County Building as part of an initiative to bring art into civic spaces. The Ebb & Flow River Arts Project celebrates and enlivens the Tannery Arts Center, San Lorenzo River and Santa Cruz Riverwalk.