The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

Today is Wednesday, November 21: Open 10am-7pm
Directions & Admission

Mission and Impact

Our mission 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.

When we are successful, our work helps build a stronger, more connected community. That’s the impact that we seek.

We connect mission to impact through the actions we take as an organization. Click play on this presentation to learn more about the theory of change behind our work. (Note: there is audio, so turn up your speakers.)

We measure our impact in the community by tracking:

  • the number and diversity of people who participate in our various programs. This number keeps rising–attendance has more than doubled over the past two years. In the twelve months that ended in June of 2014, we had over 52,000 visitors to the museum. These visitors reflected the age, income, and ethnic diversity of our County.
  • our reach throughout Santa Cruz County. The Pop Up Museum and other programs allow us to extend museum experiences beyond our walls. In the twelve months that ended in June of 2014, we engaged 5,600 people out in the community, including at Pop Up Museums and art enrichment with Community Bridges in the Beach Flats.
  • opportunities for artists, historians, and community organizations to share their work and learn from each other. These connections are made through exhibitions, collaborative events, and research projects in the archives and the collection. In many cases, artists and community groups were introduced to each other at the MAH and go on to start new partnerships because of their experiences together at the museum.
  • the health of our finances and the diversity of our support. Museum members, donors, and grantmakers all contribute to the museum’s ability to expand our programs. Over the past three years, we’ve been able to double our budget and build up reserves, which allow us to expand our programming in a sustainable way.

This work is exciting, but it’s only as good as our ability to involve you in it. We know lots of people in Santa Cruz County are not currently connected to the MAH, and we’re doing the hard work to engage new participants. We need your help to make this happen. All of our events and exhibitions are created in partnership with community collaborators, and we’d love to find a way for you to get involved.

So poke around a bit. Share your own vision of the future and how the Museum can support your creative, social, and intellectual interests. The MAH is only as good as the members, donors, volunteers, and enthusiasts who support it–and we hope that you will soon count yourself as part of our family.

If you have any questions or ideas about our approach that you’d like to discuss, drop by the Museum Sunday – Thursday 10am-8pm, Friday 10am-10pm, Saturday: 10am-3pm, or contact any of us directly.