2023 Annual Report to the Membership

The Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center has successfully delivered its Mission To Support and Encourage Art Through Education, Exhibition, and Culture Activities for another year. Three new members were appointed to the Board of Directors in April: Ann Scobie, Regina Firpo, and Henry Burnett. You will find their names and bios on the ballot (see the link at bottom). With deep gratitude, we accepted David Kurtz‘s resignation in April. David has been an outstanding volunteer both on the Board of Directors and as the lead on many of our facility and IT projects.


Our Treasurer, Frank Bauerle, has prepared a report on the state of the Art Center’s finances.


This year marked the 20th anniversary of our wonderful Office Manager, Gretchen McPherson, working for the Art Center. Among her many tasks, she puts together our monthly e-newsletter (along Chris Finnie, our Marketing Director and copy writer). Gretchen also attends many meetings, coordinates our class schedule, manages our website, does the payroll and helps with curatorial, just to name a few!

The Board extended Sarah Orre’s contract as the Youth Art Director for another year. In addition to overseeing the Art After School program’s return to the Boulder Creek Elementary and San Lorenzo Valley Elementary campuses, Sarah raised $1150 in funds to cover materials costs, and forged relationships with GRO Community to provide scholarships, and Ocean Grove homeschool program.

SCMAC has continued to pay Social Media Coordinator, Rae Rodriguez, with money left over from last year’s grant. Rae has done a great job of extending our social media presence and contributing to our marketing in general.


The Art Center significantly increased the number of classes offered this year, as well as the number of teachers. This has increased our income significantly, but also our expenses. Teachers must now be considered employees, with all the associated employee costs, rather than independent contractors.

We continue to offer regular painting and pastel classes, as well as two life drawing sessions each week. Ceramics now has two wheel throwing and two hand building classes. In addition, workshops are offered in raku and soda firing, jewelry making and watercolor. Youth Art now has regular Art After School classes at SLVE and BCE, and three weekly classes after school at the Art Center. The annual youth art show, Spring Into Art, had 84 talented young artists participating this year.


Johanna McCormick has chaired the Curatorial committee and curated the exhibits in the Thomas Gallery for the past two years. We are pleased to report that participation in the gallery shows has increased this year.  We also expanded the gallery hours to Thursday through Sunday in 2023. The gallery is staffed by the participating artists during the exhibits, as well as other volunteers. The SCMAC is a regular participant in the county’s First Friday Art Tour.


The Art Center is fortunate to own our building, which borders on the San Lorenzo River. Despite the heavy rains, we did not experience any flooding. However our fence was damaged by falling tree limbs.  We plan to remove one large, dead tree from our backyard; and are in conversation with our neighbor over other tree concerns. The need for capital improvements on our older facility includes a new roof over the ceramic porch, and addressing the front sidewalk drainage issues.  


The Art Center continues to heavily depends on the efforts of our volunteers. For instance, all the gallery exhibit preparation, installation, staffing, and marketing is done by volunteers. The ceramic program’s volunteers recycle clay, clean and maintain the ceramic area and the backyard. There are many other jobs and tasks we need volunteers to help with; grant writing, putting on events, assisting with social media and fundraising, to name a few. We also need volunteers to search out and write grants. These grants can greatly help with things like procuring art materials for our children’s programs (which keeps costs lower for parents) and making much needed capital improvements to the Art Center.

The members of the Board of Directors are also volunteers. In addition they are a working Board; taking care of fundraising, putting on events, helping with marketing and other administrative duties. At this time have open positions on our Board. If you are interested in joining the Board, or have a specific job or task you would like to help with, please speak to me, or one of the other Board members. We’d love to have you join us!

Please vote for the current Board of Directors by clicking the ballot link below. You may also write in a candidate for the Board.

The Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center is community focused and supported.
To all our members, we thank you very much!

Susan Archibald, Board Chair