The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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Volunteering with School Programs

Empower youth through art and history!

Lead energetic, interactive school field trips that fuse Santa Cruz history with dynamic art making. Come build community by volunteering with School Programs!



What is a Community Builder?
Community Builders are like tour guides, but so much more. You’ll empower youth with immersive explorations throughout our entire museum, integrating both art and history to help them build a stronger, more connected Santa Cruz. It’s an unpaid volunteer position, and is also available as an internship.

What does it take to be a Community Builder?
You’re enthusiastic. Comfortable with public speaking. You’ve got experience with youth, and you’re excited about Santa Cruz art and history.

What are the field trips like?
This isn’t your average field trip. As a Community Builder, you’ll sometimes step into the shoes of an important figure in Santa Cruz history. Lead dynamic scavenger hunts. Share interactive zines with teens. You will energize students through passionate recreations of moments in Santa Cruz history, and bridge this through art. You’ll empower dozens of students to emerge with a better comprehension of the things that matter most in our County.

Why Community Building?

Our missi25490805870_9ec48b132a_zon at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History is to ignite shared experiences and unexpected connections. We accomplish this mission when we bring people together around art and history through dynamic exhibitions, events, partnerships, and programs. The heart of this mission is rooted in building bonds between people who share experiences, and bridges between people who make unexpected connections. When we build social bonds and bridges, we build social capital. We build community.

We strongly believe in including young people as meaningful contributors to community building.  Communities are not built by architects or city planners. Communities are built upon connections with one another, positive relationships, and a sense of belonging.

When students become involved in the design, creation, and exploration of a place, they develop a vested interest in using and improving it. We hope that our school program can inspire youth to feel a sense of ownership, responsibility, and connection both at the MAH and throughout our County.

Dates & Time Commitment:

Training requires about 8 hours, You  must facilitate 2 field trips per month minimum and attend monthly meetings.

Specific Dates TBD.

Time Commitment:
Times and dates are flexible, but generally school trips happen Tuesday-Thursday between 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. We have TBD monthly training and meeting days on Monday and/or Friday mornings.

Levels of participation:
VOLUNTEER: Minimum requirements of 6 hours per month (2 tours/month)
INTERN: Minimum requirements of 6 hours per week (4 tours/month & prep)

We accept volunteers and interns on a rolling basis.

For more information email


Community Builder Application