The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

Today is Thursday, July 28: Open 11am – 5pm
Directions & Admission

School Programs

Welcome to School and Teacher Programs!


General Tour Information

  • All tours support Common Core State Standards by encouraging critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration.
  • Community Building through Art & History tours are scheduled from Tuesdays through Thursdays beginning at 9 am, 9:30 am or 10 am.
  • Tombstone Tale tours at Evergreen Cemetery are scheduled on Fridays and begin at 10am.
  • All tours accept a maximum of 30 students.
  • A minimum of one chaperone for every 5 children is required, except for Self-Guided Tour Option; there is no charge for teachers or chaperones.
  • NEW: Request a bilingual (Spanish/English) docent for your class! You can do this by filling out the tour request form online, emailing or calling.
  • Tours must be scheduled three weeks in advance by requesting a tour online, calling the Youth Programs Department at (831) 429-1964 x 7020 or emailing 





SUMMER Self Guided Tour Experience!

Carmina Eliason, ReMexico

Currently Featuring : Artworks

Price: $40

Duration: 1 1/2 hours MAX

All Ages

This self guided group experience can happen Tuesday – Sunday between 11 am- 5 pm.*

Explore the museum with a dynamic self-guided tour for you and your summer group. On a self-guided tour, your group will get a personal introduction from a staff member, you will engage with participatory, all-ages activities on all three floors of the museum and you are welcome to enjoy lunch in the back patio space.We will provide tour materials about each exhibit which includes discussion topics and questions for group leaders to help facilitate dialogue in the exhibitions.We can provide these materials in advance if requested.

If you are interested in bringing your summer group on a self-guided tour please email or call:
Jamie Keil, Youth Programs Catalyst, ,    831.429.1964 ext 7020
*We can accommodate tours of the museum before 11 am if requested. We cannot accommodate tours on the first or third Friday of each month after 2 pm.
*If you have over 30 people in your group, we suggest splitting into two or three groups and explore each gallery in those smaller groups to ensure safety of students as well as museum art/artifacts….Price will rise after 35 people.



Evergreen Cemetery Experience:


Tombstone Tales at Evergreen Cemetery13762998053_5fe1ac4312_k

Price: $50     Duration: 1 1/2 hours

Grades: 3rd – 5th

Offered: September – June

Want to know the stories behind the tombstones? Established in the 1850s, Evergreen Cemetery serves as the final resting place of some of the Santa Cruz County’s earliest settlers. Our community’s history is uncovered as docents tell stories and share memories of those buried at Evergreen. Your group will get to explore the cemetery and Santa Cruz History by going on a scavenger hunt, presenting learned information to the class and experience the fun of gravestone rubbings. Each tour is an hour and forty five minutes.

All Tombstone Tale tours at Evergreen Cemetery are on Fridays and begin at 10 am.

Click Here to Request a Tour




MAH Field trip Experience:

Community Building through Art and History


Price: $50     Duration: 2 hours

Grade level: 3rd- 5th

Offered: October – June


an integrative art & history experience

Students coming to the museum on a school field trip will have the opportunity to bridge art and history in a fun full-museum immersive adventure with a focus on community building.

Using art and history as the driving force, students will unpack Santa Cruz history to build a more connected and meaningful community. Taking on specific identity roles from Santa Cruz past, students will rebuild a stronger and brighter future through collaborative creative projects.

Here’s How:

  • Students will break into teams of three and be provided an identity relevant to Santa Cruz history and culture
  • Each group will receive a kit and guide for their identity that includes costumes, props  and a map to explore the museum. The map will lead students to investigate the past in order to collaboratively build a better future.
  • Along the way, students will encounter additional characters from Santa Cruz history, participate in interactive activities, complete a scavenger hunt, all in preparation for a final collaborative project
  • To conclude, groups will build and re-shape our community based upon the identity they explored by crafting their own structures to be displayed here at the museum.

 Art & History tours are scheduled from Tuesdays through Thursdays beginning at 9am, 930am or 10 am.

  • NEW: Request a bilingual (Spanish/English) docent for your class! You can do this by filling out the tour request form online, emailing or calling:                                                                                 Jamie Keil,, (831) 429-1964 x 7020

 Click Here to Request a Tour


IMG_0897Why Community Building?

Our mission 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.