Wheels of Life – First Friday May

April 10, 2016

wheels - 1 - blog

First Friday, May 6
Artist Reception: 6-8 p.m.

“Wheels of Life” includes the work of two artists: June Glenn and Brescia Rose. They will be showcasing contemporary street photography centered on the current cultures of skateboarding and vintage cars in Santa Cruz County.

Tooth & Nail – First Friday April

March 12, 2016

Artist: Allison Garcia
Reception: First Friday, April 1 – 6-8 p.m. 


Nature seems cruel. A hunter has nothing but its teeth and claws to survive. There is nothing to protect the prey but it’s ability to hide. The artist’s goal with this show is to explore the darker side of the circle of life in this dog-eat-dog world.

Artist reception will include sale of originals, metal prints, buttons, stickers, tiny canvas board paintings, and free high fives.https://www.instagram.com/blindperson/ or blindpersonart.etsy.com

First Friday, March 4

February 27, 2016


PicMonkey Collage

Artist Reception: Friday, March 4 – 6-8 p.m.

Monica Calsbeek and Summer Stiegman both grew up in San Diego, California without acquaintance. Serendipitously, they both attended the university in Santa Cruz in the fall of 2012. Since then, they developed an artistic, feminine, and personal relationship in which they influence one another both materially and ideally.  Enmesh is a photographic series where the human form and inanimate materials create a dialogue. The subject matter of the photographs are female bodies interacting with textiles. Ranging from natural landscapes to studio lighting, Enmesh explores photographic techniques by means of experimental digital alterations. The layering process suggests that relationships with the self and objects are bound to be multifaceted and tangled.

KZSC Local Brew

January 13, 2016

KZSC Local Brew

Attention bands:

If you are not already tuned one of the best local music show in Santa Cruz, check out Local Brew on KZSC (88.1 FM) on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – Noon.  If you have new music or upcoming shows to share, contact the show via their  Facebook page or by emailing localbrew@kzsc.org.

In the meantime, tune in this Saturday and spread the local music gospel.

First Friday: Emerson Murray: Shadows on the Wall

December 12, 2015

We are kicking off 2016 with an amazing new First Friday artist.

Emerson Murray: Shadows on the Wall

Artist Statement:
Painting is an emotional endeavor for me. Each piece is a distillation of a story, a theme, or a myth, boiled down to an emotional experience. Whether or not the viewer understands my meaning is irrelevant, as long as the viewer feels something, anything. I paint figures, abstracted into form and color set in abstract landscapes. The figures do not occupy the space volumetrically and light and shadow are generally not part of my tool set. I work in both acrylic and oil paint, the oil paint I mix from raw pigment in order to create my own colors. I generally work with a palette knife and my hands. I oftentimes throw and drip paint onto the canvas. The colors are selected on demand, I do not work from a predetermined palette of colors, but mix the colors as I paint, sometimes mixing colors right on the canvas. I am a disciplined painter and show up for work every day. I may stare at a work in progress for nights on end, but I am in the studio working.


One Night Stand

December 5, 2015


Music videos are expensive and it takes a special set of skills to make them. Our town has epic local bands and film makers, but weirdly not a lot of local collaboration between the two of them – until now.

Gadgetbox just launched applications for their new One Night Stand live music series. Each month a local band and filmmaker will collaborate under our roof to produce a music video in 24 hours.

Applications for bands and filmmakers open now.

Santa Cruz Music Festival 2015

October 10, 2015

Untitled design

I am honored to have asked to participate on the music panel for Santa Cruz Speaks 2015, part of the 3rd annual Santa Cruz Music Festival. I’ll be talking about some untapped resources for musicians based on this top 5 list.

Grants – a.k.a. – free money. A lot of musicians think “arts” grants are limited to the fine arts like painting, sculpture, etc. but there is a significant amount of grant money available to all artists, including musicians. If you have the motivation to apply, locally, check out the Arts Council Santa Cruz County, specifically their site for Grant Seekers. Musicians should check out the Develop Grants – for individual artists and arts organizations seeking support for their professional and business development activities. Guidelines here. Applications are accepted in Fall and Spring. The program is open to all Santa Cruz County artists. Example proposals: A pianist taking a technique class to help recover her playing ability after an injury, A visual artist creating a website to promote his work, An installation artist creating a Kickstarter video to fund their next project. Locally, also check out the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.

Nationally there are also grants that revolve around music. Check out the California Arts Counsel Artist Calls. Music focused grant sites include:

New Music USA provides over $1 million each year in grant support for the creation and performance of new work and community building throughout the country. Lists current funding, as well as past awardees. Includes knowledge base.

Musical Online | Funding Resources features a compilation of funding resources including foundations and associations, grants, scholarships, and organizations.

Community – There is a lot of art in Santa Cruz and a good deal of infrastructure built in to support it, but somehow musicians don’t always “join” and can miss out on natural opportunities that arise from being part of a group of like minded individuals. Some examples include:

Arts Council Associates – Arts Council Associates are a group of local artists and representatives of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations interested in mutual support, collaboration, and the promotion of arts events and programs. We meet every other month to chat, network, and catch-up, but also to share our challenges and triumphs, and figure out where partnerships can strengthen our community.They also co-produce the Gail Rich Awards each January, which celebrates local creatives and philanthropists who enrich our artistic community. Due are only $35 year.

Event Santa Cruz – Event Santa Cruz is a monthly happening that showcases thriving local businesses, and the people behind them. Our events provide valuable (and fun!) networking opportunities, delicious bites and drinks from local vendors, and live shows by talented local musicians. If you’re interested in volunteering or speaking at our next event, or if you’d like to showcase your artistic or culinary talents for the Santa Cruz community, please contact Matthew Swinnerton at Matthew@EventSantaCruz.com. We’d love to have you at our next event!

Balanced Breakfast San JoseBalanced Breakfast is a music industry meet up, the local chapter to Santa Cruz is San Jose (currently over 900 members) – a group of Bay Area music industry professionals that meet every week to create community in our the music industry. Our topics change, but often relate to actions we can employ that will help the scene become a place where musicians & industry professionals can make money doing what they love. (Music). Next mtg. Sat. Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. – Noon – Rockbar.

People will to help you: We have many talented local music writers willing to help the community. One is Cat Johnson who recently did a free workshop at SCRS on how to to write a band bio. Notes on that workshop will be up soon. Cat Johnson is a freelance writer focused on community, the commons, and music. She’s a regular contributor to Shareable and Good Times and has been writing about music since 2010. Publications include Yes! Magazine, Launchable Mag, Utne Reader, LifeHacker, Mother Jones, Mother Earth News, and Triple Pundit. She writes about freelance writing and blogging at The Freelance Cat. Follow her on Twitter: @CatJohnson

She is also building a Get Press For Your Band mini course, sign up here and she will be in touch.

Other cool ways to make money and get the word out locally include:

The Downtown Busker Fest – an ongoing series, on the 1st Saturday of each month in outdoor locations in Downtown Santa Cruz. The Downtown Association will promote the events and the individual performers, will provide access to posters and flyers for performers, and will arrange with the City of Santa Cruz for permits. Performers will receive a small stipend for their participation. Performers can accept gratuities during their performance time.

SoundSwell – a streaming database of Santa Cruz local music that library cardholders can download for free. It was created through a partnership between the Santa Cruz Public Libraries and the Santa Cruz Rehearsal Studios and is growing to become a comprehensive discovery tool for finding local music as well as a robust historical archive of the local music scene in Santa Cruz County. Under the licensing agreement, the library will pay you for a 2 year non-exclusive license as follows: $100 for a full length LP consisting of 9 or more songs, $75 for an EP consisting of 6-8 songs, and $50 for an EP consisting of 4-5 songs. During the term of the license, only those users with a valid library card will be able to download licensed songs. If you meet the criteria and wish to submit your work, please review, fill out, and sign a license agreement form. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to meet in person to go over any aspect of the agreement prior to signing please email Project Manager Diane Cowen at VirtualServices@santacruzpl.org or call Library Administration at 831-427-7706.

How to Write a Band Bio: Presentation and Working Session with Freelance Writer Cat Johnson

July 11, 2015

July 27 Poster - updated

Monday, July 27 from 7-9 p.m.
Santa Cruz Rehearsal Studios (RS. 3)
118 Coral Street

Nothing helps sell out a show like a good write up. Come down and find out what a working music writer needs to write about your band. Presentation followed by Q&A and working session. Bring your current bio, laptop, notebook, or just a blank sheet of paper to finally start your band’s official bio.

About Cat Johnson:
Cat Johnson is a freelance writer focused on music, community, and the commons. Publications include Utne Reader, GOOD, Yes! Magazine, Shareable, No Depression and Lifehacker. She blogs about freelancing, coworking, and thriving in the new economy at TheFreelanceCat.com.

Locally, Cat is a music writer for Good Times Santa Cruz, a long-timer at Streetlight Records, and the mastermind behind the Santa Cruz Freelancers, an open community working toward creating a thriving, supportive network of freelancers in Santa Cruz. https://santacruzfreelancers.wordpress.com/

June First Friday – Maddie Amelia Lewis: Dreamscaping

May 16, 2015

Skulls and Bottles

Artist Reception: Friday, June 5 – 6-8 p.m.

Bio: Maddie Amelia Lewis is a 2D artist with a fondness for acrylic paint and ink. She is a recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz. She is fascinated by fantasy, the arts, and textures.

Paintings will be on sale from $20-$85, and lithographic prints will be selling from $5-$15. See artist website for preliminary prices: www.noxkitarts.com

Artist Statement:

I like making huge gestural brush strokes, circular voids reminiscent of black holes, drips, and fine lines. I paint abstracted landscapes and attempt to embody concepts like death, anxiety, love, daydreams, and imaginary places. I will go through great lengths to actualize an idea. I try to draw from the beauty and emotion in my life for my art so I can’t forget it. Each of my pieces is a space I create to reflect, and after I take my time with each one, I let it go.As an acrylic painter, I am a texture junkie. I love acrylic mediums—glass beads, resin sand, modeling paste, black lava—I’ve tried them all and I make full use of them. My paintings ensure dynamic and varied surfaces. I tend to work very quickly and use a lot of aggressive mark-making techniques. The larger the canvas, the more energetic I become while I paint it. For small works, I can be more delicate, but the restlessness remains.  They say that drawing from live models gives the drawing itself more life, so I try to instill the energy, emotion, and intensity into my paintings by embodying those feelings as I paint.In the end, it all comes down to an obsession. I paint because I can never get paintings out of my head. A painting will tell me what it needs to be real, and I oblige it the best I can. It’s a piece of the world inside of me—it has always been, and will never cease to be.

HOMEGROWN – A Benefit for the Santa Cruz Public Libraries SoundSwell Local Music Collection

May 9, 2015

Poster for the Homegrown Concert

The HOMEGROWN benefit brings together two stellar local bands to help raise awareness of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries Soundswell Local Music Collection. The SoundSwell project is one of kind in California, allowing library patrons to download and stream free local music with their library cards. This win/win project not only introduces Santa Cruz residents to their new favorite song, it also fairly compensates bands for their music and talent, and serves as a historical local music archive. A model for libraries across the country, our local library once again helps put Santa Cruz on the map as a forward thinking arts destination. Special Guest Emcee Kim Luke will be handing out great local raffle prizes too!

All proceeds from this event benefit the Santa Cruz Public Libraries SoundSwell Local Music Collection, a growing contemporary and historical local music archive that library cardholders can download for free. Tickets available at BrownPaperTickets.com.