From rotating biennials to annual community gatherings, join the MAH for a series of innovative, multi-day events to celebrate the creativity, history, and traditions of Santa Cruz County.

Understanding our history is vital to moving forward. Together, contemporary art, heritage, and cultural expression have the capacity to help us better comprehend our current moment by creating portals—visual, textual, or experiential— that connect the past, present, and future.

To do this, practitioners need access to research, materials, time, space, and financial support. The MAH’s residency program empowers interdisciplinary thinkers and makers—visual artists, writers, historians, ethnographers, folklorists, cultural anthropologists, and more—to pursue current or new projects of their design during a 3-6 month residency.

During their time with the museum, residents can make full use of the MAH’s resources, personnel, and exhibition platforms—whether indoors, outdoors, or online—with opportunities to share out, prototype, and solicit feedback. Our aim is to support research-based process via a non-transactional residency that contributes to the development of a concept or body of work connecting local history to broader themes of contemporary significance.

The program is currently invitation only. To learn more or express your interest in consideration for future residency opportunities, please contact Marla Novo at



September 15–18, 2022 | FREE

CommonGround is a biennial festival of place-inspired, outdoor work hosted in locations throughout Santa Cruz County. Focused on temporary and performative public art projects in rural, urban, and architectural space, the 4-day event features site-responsive installations and interventions across the area’s natural and built environments, connecting people, stories, and landscapes.

Stay tuned for more information.

Luna for website

Dia de los Muertos

November 2021

For the past 5 years, our team here at the MAH has had the opportunity to experience, grow, and share Día de los Muertos with more and more of Santa Cruz County. This growth is thanks to our community partner Senderos, a local organization that centers on supporting youth to excel in education and honor their cultural identity. This November look forward to another vibrant gathering as we collectively celebrate life and death.

Stay tuned for more information.

Andrew Smith 01


Andrew C. Smith
Andrew C. Smith is a composer and keyboardist living in Santa Cruz. His music often involves just intonation tunings, repetition, and language at the threshold of making sense. In addition to his work with language, Andrew uses computers in his everyday artistic practice, often using electronic means to manipulate sound and text, using the results of these manipulations in his work. He has been producing concerts and recordings since 2011, and is currently the executive director of Indexical, a local nonprofit organization.

Andrew will be organizing a number of programs for the MAH during his residency, including: The Language of Birds, part of the inaugural CommonGround festival; the 2023 lineup of Beyond the Grave, a series of site-specific performances at Evergreen Cemetery; and multiple in-gallery performances at the museum.

Visit the MAH Archives

Search historical documents, photographs, images, and other artifacts related to Santa Cruz County.