The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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3rd Friday: Artivism





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Discover creative resources that inspire people of all ages to make a difference in Santa Cruz County.

Co-presented by MAH’s Teen Program Subjects to Change, Artivism blends art and activism and the way youth create local change.

Make seed bombs with “Food, What?!”. Listen to local youth poets and hip-hop duos perform. Chat with local African-American artists about their work. Try out your hand-sewing skills while reducing textile consumption in a ‘slow fashion’ art activity.



6:30: Music by Bananarchy 

7pm: Poetry for the People in a Time of Change: Poetry Performance by students enrolled at Cabrillo College

7:30pm: Mesha L & Spc-Cdt- Who is America: Mesha L+ Spc-Cdt are a Santa Cruz-based experimental hip-hop duo with powerful poetry & meaningful messages to drop! They write to empower youth and adults alike.

8pm: The Most Open Mic. Sign up to perform or share anything from your favorite plant you grew to a recent magic trick you learned. Or just share a poem, beat or rhyme.



Conversation with Local African American Artists facilitated by the NAACP Santa Cruz County branch: Join a conversation with local African American Artists who will discuss their creative experiences and how art intersects with activism.


We Are Each a Sneetch with Project Pollinate: People of all ages will be able to learn valuable lessons about discrimination through Dr. Seuss. Illustrating the message that race and ethnicity do not need to be dividing lines in our society and that we can coexist peacefully, you will get to experience the realities of discrimination based on external differences.


Seed Bombs with FoodWhat?! Have you ever wanted to help a neglected roundabout or empty lot to make a neighborhood look better? FoodWhat?! will share their seeds and teach how it’s possible to grow a garden without a time commitment. Learn how to become a guerrilla gardener by making bundles of soil containing live vegetation (a.k.a. a seed grenade).


Rock the Vote with the Coastal Watershed Council: What rocks your world? What changes the way you interact with your environment? Explore the way you see your drinking water source, your public spaces, your alternative transportation routes and your river. Cast your vote for what most impacts you.


Printmakers for the Ayotzinapa 43 with the Peace United Church of Christ: In early 2015, local printmakers recruited other printmakers to make a print in the honor of one of the 43 young teaching students who disappeared in Sept. 2014 near Ayotzinapa, Mexico. Together with Peace United Church of Christ, a special exhibit was built to display the prints to the Santa Cruz Community. You will be able to view these prints and discuss them with others, as well write and draw your responses to this tragedy.


 Books As Activism! with Bookshop Santa Cruz: What does activism look like in literature? Read and look at selected picture books about social justice, activism, and visions of equality. Write your thoughts on paper strips to form a paper chain, linking with others’ interpretation of literary activism.


Youth Success with the Santa Cruz Youth Violence Prevention Task Force and Youth City Councils: Join YVPT & Youth City Councils as we capture what Youth Success means in our community via photo & sign making.


Power Mapping with students from UCSC Oakes Service Learning & Community Justice Program: map out both forces of oppression and those that uplift you through a self empowering exploration. 


Rainbow Renaissance with the Queer Youth Task Force: Help create decorations for the annual QYLA using trans* flags colors of blue, white and pink to help celebrate trans* teens and their allies!


 Full Spectrum Youth Fashion Show Photography Showcase by Faces For Equality: Faces for Equality is an art based youth led organization that hosts an annual summer fashion show that gives LGBT and queer youth space to create and showcase body positive fashion in a safe and inclusive environment. These youth lead events are open to the community to build solidarity between queer youth and their community.


 Bike Spin Art with Greenways to School


 Bury Your Secrets with Youth in Revolution: In the second half of the 20th century, girls in Communist Poland would take little trinkets like candy wrappers, leaves, colorful beads, pills and arrange them like collages or shrines on pieces of foil. They would seal their creations under a piece of glass, and bury them underground, where they would become secrets to keep (or to share with a few trusted friends). The Secrets stood the test of time and made it through the democratic transformation of the early ’90s. Join us in recreating this craft!


Weave a web of action with Gail McNulty. How might LOCAL HEROES (like you and I) unite to create collective impact in Santa Cruz and beyond? Complete an activity that will map your heroic qualities and see where and how you can take action here in Santa Cruz.


 Get out of this world and explore what is means to create a safe space with Subjects to Change. Cozy up in a spaceship and learn what you can do to create safe spaces that foster diversity and encourage deep conversation. Explore an outer space themed installation while reading about safe spaces in an zine created by S2C members. Immerse yourself in the outer space theme with related alien art activities.


 Make a Pump Up Playlist with Subjects to Change! What songs amp you up when you  wanna get out there and make a change? What do you listen to when you want to boost your confidence and get excited? We all have a pump-up playlist of some kind. Listen to some of our favorite motivating tunes, share your beats & add to S2C’s first ever collaborative soundtrack.


Hear our silence! with The Diversity Center:  Day of Silence is a student-led day of action against LGBTQ harassment and bullying in schools. Our project visually represents the silencing experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies.


 Contribute to the Promise Tree with the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. Make a promise to the Earth for a sustainable future. Activism
 begins at 
home. And home for Paul Fleischman, award-winning author of Eyes Wide Open, is Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is a place whose changing climate, traffic, and natural assets, make it a perfect site for seeing the global in the local. 


Take a stand and make a patch with Santa Cruz High’s Latino Student Union. We have all seen protest and peace gatherings. Some of us have even joined in gathering together to advocate for our ideas, beliefs, and rights. Using handcarved stamps, Santa Cruz High’s LSU students will share how art can be a carrier of messages and questions for everyone.


 Button Making with Subjects to Change


Adventures in Time Banking with LinkAges: Come learn about a new community network that connects generations to build healthy communities. Play a fun game where you match your skills and interests with those of other Santa Cruz members and discover how we together can make a difference in our community!


 Slow Fashion Patches with Trinity Esola: Develop your hand sewing skills and explore different visible mending techniques. Reduce textile consumption and waste through creating patches that can be used to extend the lives of your garments.


Power Pose Photobooth with Natalia Cortes: What poses make you feel powerful? Inspired by contemporary artists such as Kahinde Wiley, the Power Pose Photobooth will  encourage participants to explore various poses used throughout art history. Choose to pose after figures like Queen Elizabeth of England or Frida Kahlo, and share how that pose empowers you.  


 Collaborative Malala Yousafzi Paint-By-Number Portrait with April Riddle: Help create a giant paint-by-number portrait of teen activist Malala Yousafzai. Share your support for the education of all, and contribute to this portrait which will grow as the night continues.  


Find your inner Santa Cruz Activist with MAH’s School Programs Interns, Rebecca, Meg, Stephanie and Hanna: Take part in an interactive personality quiz throughout our History Gallery that will match you up with someone who has made an impact in Santa Cruz.

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