Despite the lingering effects of COVID 19, and repercussions from the CZU fire, the Santa Cruz Mountains Arts Center had a very successful year in 2022. We were able to carry out our mission, “To support and encourage art through education, exhibits, and cultural events,” with mostly volunteer staff and management. Here’s a recap of what we accomplished in 2022.
Accomplishments & Changes:
Classes are the Art Center’s greatest source of income. As we came out of the worst of COVID this past year, it seemed like everyone was ready to get back to making art! With several new instructors coming on board, we were able to greatly increase the number of classes we offer. Currently our Ceramics Program includes two wheel-throwing classes, one hand building class, weekly independent clay labs, and monthly soda firings.
Our Adult Art classes now include an oil and acrylic painting class, a pastels class and two weekly life drawing sessions. This past year, we’ve also offered classes and workshops in various other media.
Our Youth Art program has always been a big part of what the Art Center offers to our local community. This past year, we were finally able to restart this program by offering children’s classes at the Art Center – including week-long summer sessions. To get the program back on its feet, we reinstated our Youth Art Director position. This will facilitate bringing back our long-running Art After School program at San Lorenzo Valley Elementary and Boulder Creek Elementary schools starting this winter. We are very thankful to the San Lorenzo Valley’s Women Club for being a cosponsor and donating much-needed funds to help run our Youth Art program. We will also continue to offer scholarship opportunities for children, as well as a generosity fund for adults.
Exhibits in the Thomas Gallery are the face of the Art Center. It was wonderful to be able to show that face to the community with six in-person shows this past year, including a wonderful Youth Art show, a recycled materials show, and a much talked about figure exhibit. Happily, participation and sales were way up from the years 2020 and 2021!
To help market and manage the increased program, we were awarded a substantial grant from the California Arts Council. This grant helped with administrative cost and allowed us to hire a Social Media Coordinator to work with our Marketing Team. This has greatly expanded our social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor. Marketing also started a monthly email newsletter highlighting upcoming classes and events, and helped to promote our participation in the county wide First Friday Art Tours.
Along with all this growth we have incurred increased costs as well. The Art Center’s teachers must all now be employees. This adds significant costs. The facility and equipment are in need of maintenance and repair, including a couple of large projects which should be addressed this coming year. To help offset these increased costs, the Board of Directors has voted to increase the individual membership fee to $50 and the family membership to $70 (From $45 and $65, respectively). This fee increase will start in January for new memberships. Existing memberships will increase with renewal. Ceramics will also raise the fee for Clay Lab to $20 per session.
Our Vision for the Future:
We hope to continue offering our members, students, artists, and visitors a welcoming, lively, community-focused Art Center for many years to come. To make this possible, we are looking for new members to join the Board of Directors, and we would like to increase committee participation. The SCMAC is led by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. This Board manages and chairs many of our programs and committees. If you are interested and want to learn more about joining the Art Center’s Board, reach out to a current board member, or send a request to be included in the monthly Board Meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org. This request should be made at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting (the second Monday of each month). All SCMAC members are welcome to attend these meeting by ZOOM. We will also continue to participate in the monthly San Lorenzo Non-profit Roundtable Zoom meetings.
In closing I would like to say how grateful we are for the support we receive from several individuals, business and organizations in our community. And I would also like to thank the Board of Directors, the staff, teachers, and the many volunteers who make the Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center possible!
Board Chair, Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center