First Friday Santa Cruz
Another way to see art in Santa Cruz (at this rate, at least) is to hit the streets on the first Friday of every month. Step into coffee shops, restaurants, salons, clothes stores, and even banks to take in the finest local creations. First Friday Santa Cruz turns all establishments into a free walk-in museum for all.
Ebb and Flow
Aiming to reconnect the Santa Cruz community to the river that runs through it—San Lorenzo—the Ebb and Flow Arts Collaborative is one you should check out. The nonprofit plans events including river-themed art activities with a focus on educating the community about the important water source. Through them, RiverWalk turns into a thriving public space, a unique blend of environmentalists and artists (a collaboration we didn’t know we needed by the way) that brings people together over the shared love of local flora.
Santa Cruz Shakespeare
Founded in 2014, Santa Cruz Shakespeare is now into its 40th year celebrating bold productions of Shakespeare and other great playwrights. Throughout their run, hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, have been enthralled by what SCS brings to the community—you should totally check them out.
Open Studios Art Tour
Ask any artist living in Santa Cruz about Open Studios Art Tour, and they’ll rave about how important it is. Presented by the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County, the three-weekend October event features way more artwork than a person can possibly take in at once (explains why it spans three weekends). Creations from local painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, graffiti artists, metalworkers, printmakers, and much more allow you to connect with Santa Cruz’s art community. Plus, this is a great way to see parts of the county you never knew existed.