Open Studios

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.

Visit the Open Studios website

Arts Education

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.

Learn more about our Arts Education programs and services
Watch a recent video from the classroom
Read a recent article about one of our Arts Ed initiatives, Family Arts Nights


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.

Apply for a grant
View our list of current grantees

Tannery Arts Center

The Tannery Arts Center is home to 100 affordable live/work artist lofts, 20+ artist studios, Tannery World Dance and Cultural CenterRadius GalleryJewel 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.

Visit the Tannery website, sign up for the Tannery Newsletter-ARTicles and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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.

Watch a video about Ebb & Flow
Learn more about County Building exhibits, or apply to participate