Donors and local leaders in conversation

On the Table: Arts & Culture

Everyone who attended the most recent On the Table event wrote on their name tag what arts and culture mean to them. For Lora, Janis, and Peggy (pictured above) it was JOY. For others, it was community, opportunity, beauty, and education.

Our On the Table event is a series of participatory mealtime conversations that connects our community of donors to current issues and each other. On this warm, late July day, the Community Foundation’s terrace was adorned with locally grown marigolds, zinnias, and sunflowers, as colorful, vibrant, and beautiful as our local arts and culture community.

Speakers from left to right: Dr. Nereida Robles, Chanel Robles, Valéria Miranda, Isabelle Tuncer, and Consuelo Alba.

Sustaining and Advocating for Joy

For the conversation on Arts & Culture we invited

These leaders all nurture a local ecosystem of dance, music, film, and visual art. They spoke about how arts and culture are instrumental in building an equitable and inclusive county that imbues both the audience and performers with a sense of representation and cultural pride.

Art is Vital

As a community, we’re at a critical time where we need innovative, community-driven, local solutions to help keep arts and culture alive in Santa Cruz County.

Together we celebrated the creation of new dedicated arts spaces in downtown Watsonville thanks to PV Arts and the Arts Council. But the conversation also centered around how to help artists and arts administrators make a livable wage, keep funding steady for arts education, and have stable and accessible places for artists to show their work, make art, rehearse, and store instruments and materials.

Dr. Robles shared that Senderos continues to welcome new families however, they are struggling to live and stay here due to the cost of living. "Our families are eager to reconnect and to keep their traditions alive but art and culture feel like a privilege now because so many of our families do not even have time for their kids to join. The adults are working multiple jobs and the students are working too. With COVID impacts we are working on recovery and still searching for support- how do we recover and revive and support our community?”

Dr. Robles emphasized how vital art is both for youth and the larger community. “The arts instill pride in our culture, understanding of our roots, and helps children feel proud of their identity.”

Actions We Can Take Together

Donate general operating support, sponsor events, or become a member:


Attend arts & culture events and invite family and friends to join:

Help Senderos and Watsonville Film Festival find a permanent home in our county.

Put your interest in Arts & Culture in your Memorandum of Charitable Intent (MOCI).

Contact Hilary Bryant at or 831-662-2065