Santa Cruz County Parks | Fall 2023 • 11 ARTS PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES Santa Cruz County Arts Commission The Mission of the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission is to promote, expand, and plan for the cultural life of Santa Cruz County and to bring artists and arts organizations together with government for the benefit of all county residents. Percent For Art Program: Building A More Beautiful Community In April of 1991, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors took action to establish a Percent for Art Program applicable to County construction projects. Up to 2% of the cost of construction of buildings and parks can be designated to fund the inclusion of public artwork. Projects currently in the works include the Live Oak Library Annex, the Aptos library, the Heart of Soquel Parkway, and Green Valley Rd. Multi-use Pathway. Public art opportunities for artists are listed on the Parks website: Art Exhibitions Paintings, prints, crafts, photographs, jewelry, ceramics, sculpture, drawings, and mixed-media works by local artists and crafts people are exhibited year-round at the County Government Center, 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz. Exhibits typically run for 2-3 months on the first and fifth floors. Artists interested in showing their work at a County facility (Government Center, Simpkins Swim Center, Health Services Agency, and others) can visit the Arts Council website at for more information about the application process. Through the Spotlight Award, the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission publicly recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of excellence and creativity in their work, but who have not received widespread acknowledgment of their talent. This award recognizes younger artists as well as those who are discovering their artistic voice later in life. The 2023 awardees are: visual artists Augie WK and Heejin Lee, photojournalist Kevin Painchaud, and poets Madeline Aliah and Nikia Chaney. The artists will show their work at the County Government Center (701 Ocean St., Santa Cruz) late July through October 20, 2023. More information about the award, the artists, and the exhibition can be found at Artist: Anastasiya Bachmanova Poetry & Music in the Park Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy while listening to live music and hearing local poets read from their work. This free series is hosted by County Parks and 2023/24 Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate Farnaz Fatemi. Time: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Upcoming dates are October 8 at Mesa Village Park with Bob Gomez (Watsonville Poet Laureate) and Magdalena Montagne (third poet TBA), and November 5 at Brommer Park (poets TBA). Visit for more information about the poets and the musicians.

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