Abbott Square Art Zone

Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

Funding Received: 2014
Santa Cruz, CA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months

Santa Cruz, CA (population 62,000) is home to Abbott Square, an accidental plaza created when the downtown was rebuilt after a 1989 earthquake. Many other parts of the country work to increase the amount of pedestrian traffic on the street; in Santa Cruz, the challenge is to manage and regulate the street activity, which can impede local businesses and create potential public safety issues. A series of new municipal ordinances have restricted busking, chalk art, and other street performances, leading to a calmer, but much less creative and potentially less vibrant street life. Under the leadership of Executive Director Nina Simon, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History proposes reimagining Abbott Square as a safe site for both planned and informal interventions, allowing the creative heart to return to Santa Cruz through a network of partnerships with artists, municipal and business leaders, and social justice organizations.