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Santa Cruz, California

The Museum of Art & History @ the McPherson Center

705 Front Street

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The Museum of Art & History (MAH) at the McPherson Center is committed to creating exhibitions that inspire diverse audiences to engage with contemporary art and Santa Cruz County history. Located in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, the MAH provides art and history exhibitions along with an extensive archive and library filled with documents and information about the history of Santa Cruz. The museum publishes books on subjects of local interest, as well as exhibition catalogues which can be purchased at the Museum Store.

World-renowned museum consultant Nina Simon recently took over the Director position, and the MAH is in the midst of a major transformation. Attendance for programs and regular visits increased 57 percent in 2011 over the previous year, and new membership sales were up 27 percent.

Actively soliciting local engagement and input to make the facility more centered on the community, the MAH offers extensive education programs and a myriad of interactive exhibitions. Their current goal is for all new events and experiences to be created in partnership with community collaborators. With a dense exhibition schedule, and revamped education and outreach programs, the museum promises many new things to come. (KCE)

The Museum of Art & History @ the McPherson Center Information

  • Public Transportation: Very Good (a short walk from SCMTD buses 4, 8, 10, 30, 35, 35A, 66, and 71 at Front Street/River Street, and a 5-minute walk from several buses at the Santa Cruz Metro Station)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., open until 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Closed Mondays
  • Admission: $5 General Admission; $3 Adult Students (18 and older) and Seniors (62 and older); $2 Children (12-17); and Free for Museum members and children under 12
  • Free Day: The first Friday of each month
  • Tour: The free ‘Art for Lunch’ tour is held on the first Friday of every month at 12 p.m., and highlights one of the current exhibitions usually with the artists on hand to talk about their work. Docent-led group tours are also available by reservation for groups of ten or more. Tours last one hour, and must be reserved a minimum of three weeks in advance
  • Membership: Individual membership is $40 (Student/Educator $20; Seniors $30; Senior Dual $50; Dual/Family $60). Member benefits include free admission; invitations to members-only exhibition previews; quarterly calendar of events and annual report; and discounts to MAH public programs