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Philanthropy 831 Blog about the people and organizations invested in the future of Santa Cruz County.


Our Appreciation for the Arts Runs Deep
By Susan True / July 27, 2018

What would Santa Cruz County be without its arts scene? It is impossible to imagine life here without the diverse cultural and artistic offerings our community provides. Arts, culture, and creative expression are so core to who we are. The arts educate and delight us. They celebrate our rich history and diversity. They bring us together to foster dialogue and shape responses to issues we face.

Diverse Offerings Inspire

In recent months I’ve been moved by the latest from Maestro Daniel Stewart’s refined Santa Cruz County Symphony and the 60th Anniversary performances. I’ve enjoyed the finest gypsy jazz with a full house at the Kuumbwa. What a thrill it was to march in the high energy jazz procession to an innovative outdoor exhibit as part of Arts Council’s amazing Ebb & Flow River Arts Festival.

Cabrillo Fest Season Kickoff

One of the highlights of the summer arts calendar is Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. I hope you can join me at the preseason Donors Concert this Saturday, July 28 and Opening Night on August 3rd. We’re taking the entire Foundation staff to open rehearsal to see firsthand how composer, conductor, and orchestra fine tune their craft and create dynamic works of art as a team. August 9th the doors to the Civic Auditorium will get thrown open for Community Night, with a pay-what-you-can model and an accessible set of special new music.

Summer Season in Swing

But the swarm of summer arts happenings doesn’t stop there! In August, we’re looking forward to Pajaro Valley Arts’ Movable Murals project, showcasing four large-scale public paintings in Watsonville. Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s season is in full swing. You can join me at the August 30th production of Venus in Fur; it promises to be another captivating performance in the Grove. In celebration of Pajaro Valley Pride, Watsonville Film Festival is screening the academy award winning film Una Mujer Fantastica with an audience dialogue to follow. I’ll be eager to take in the latest immersive installation at the Museum of Art & History that engages audiences on indigenous folklore and our relationship with nature and technology.

Investing in a Vibrant Community

Over decades, local artists, advocates, and community donors have endowed this county with a wealth of artistic and cultural assets. Today, we get to enjoy the richness they offer, but we must continue to invest in the vitality of the arts scene. It’s a critical driver of our local economy. It offers families a chance to see, hear, learn, and create together. This summer, and every season, I hope you’ll join me in supporting the arts institutions that make up a fundamental part of our healthy community. 

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