Members

C3 is a group of leaders from wide-ranging perspectives. We know we all have a lot to learn from each other.

This is our current C3 group for 2017 with a focus on people who are connected to issues facing transition-age foster youth.  C3 2017 includes transition-age foster youth, foster youth advocates, and artists.

You can check out the members from previous C3 cohorts below (2016 focus was cultural bridging, 2015 focus on obstacles and opportunities).

C3 2017 MEMBERS

First Name Last Name Bio
Alan Samani
Amberle McCown
Andrea Arroyo-Flores
Angela Steele The mission of the Smith Renaissance Society is to create a cross-generational community that provides academic, personal, social and financial support to UCSC students who lack the traditional family support afforded to most of their peers. Typically, these students have multiple adverse childhood experiences including, but not limited to, neglect, abuse, abandonment, or homelessness. Students may identify as being current or former foster youth, wards of the court, runaways, orphans, children.
Angelica Glass Former Child Welfare Social Worker/Manager and (way) former foster youth.
Brandy Wright
Brianna Perez
Bridget Henry Bridget Henry is an artist, educator, and CASA volunteer.
Brody Lytle My name is Brodie Lytle I’m 17 years old and live in Concord, CA.
Bryan Miller
Calli Joy Morrow I am a senior at UCSC and a child of addicts who raised myself and been officially on my own since 16. I have been painting for the last year and love it!
Chad Platt
Cita Rasul Cita is the Outreach and Recruitment Manager at CASA of Santa Cruz County.
Clara Modlin I am a senior at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in International and Area Studies.
Crystal Sanchez
Cynthia Jordan Board President, New Families, a private foster care agency in Felton; former board president SC County Child Abuse Prevention Council; co-founder and former board member of CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates; co-founder and former board officer SC County Foster Parent Association; former foster parent.
Cynthia Gutierrez Cynthia Gutierrez is a community organizer, transnational feminist, and social justice advocate.
Dana Forsberg Dana Forsberg is an artist and filmmaker who’s central theme is empowerment of young women in under represented communities. Her work has been featured in the TV series Lost, exhibited at the Denver International Airport, The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu Hawaii, and the Incheon Art Cultural Center in Incheon, Korea, and screened at Hot Docs in Canada multiple other film festivals .   Dana received her BFA in Photography from the University of Colorado at Denver and a Master degree in Social Documentation from University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently work on a project about foster youth.
Danielle Peters I am an artist who works with youth and local organizations to create art that reflects our community and encourages compassion.
Dasha Utenkova
David Gordon
David Brown David is Live Oak resident and career public servant, having contributed his talents to several governmental organizations including: the United States Marine Corps, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, and the County of Santa Cruz, as well as co-founding Coastal Community Preschool, a thriving local nonprofit.
Deborah Bresnick I have worked for the county since 2000 in social services and joined Camp Opportunity (non-profit) in 2006 as the Camp Social worker and a board member.
Decota “Koda” Copelano
Dejon Weldon I’ve worked in higher ed for 12 years, I enjoy helping others and have a passion for art and travel. Program Coordinator at Cabrillo College assisting current and former foster youth.
Destiny Rogers
Ellen Timberlake Ellen Timberlake is currently the Acting Director of the Human Services Department in Santa Cruz County.
Elliot Taylor I’m the studio manager at The Claraty Arts Project, a studio and gallery space dedicated to support and advance the development of a new, positive, collective identity for developmentally disabled adults via arts education, training, expression and production.
Emily Stone Emily is a senior at UCSC majoring in sociology. As a former foster youth, she is so very thankful to the Smith Renaissance Society for always going above and beyond to offer resources and support. She enjoys kayaking, reading science fiction, and having colorful hair.
Emmanuel Garcia I am a visual artist and poet, as well as a facilitator for the arts, empowerment, and social justice. I live and work in Watsonville, CA coordinating after-school arts programs, community workshops, and events for youth and families.
Esther Mares
Hannah Dickey My name is Hannah Dickey and I am currently living in Haven of Hope in Watsonville. I am adopted, my favorite color is green and I have two dogs named Sushi and Justice. The reason why I decided to join was because I want to help my community and learn more about other communities.
Helen Aldana Enjoys long walks on short beaches and coordinating community programs at the MAH.
Irene O’Connell Irene is a visual artist, community organizer, and youth advocate currently working as the Programs Manager for “Food, What?!”– a youth empowerment and food justice organization here in Santa Cruz.
Iris Plascencia
Isabel Martinez
Isaiah Garcia
Jamie Keil I run Youth Programs at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. My passion is to make art and history fun, interactive, educational and accessible to all youth. I also love the forest, the beach, crafting and hanging out with my little dog Annie.
Jamie Lee Evans Jamie is the founder of the Foster Youth Museum. She is a former foster youth, about to turn 50 and stoked to work in community nearly every day!
Janeaya Lucero
Janet Parske I am the Director of New Families, I started and have been the Director for over 16 years. I started and was the Director of another agency for 10 years before that. I worked on the SIP committee with Mark Stone.
Jasmine Yohai Jasmine Yohai works for Encompass as a one on one counselor and facilitates expressive arts therapy and education groups. She is in the process of receiving her PsyD at Meridian University and hopes to further bridge the creative process and the arts with therapy.
Javier Diaz Born and raised in Watsonville and with 9 years of providing services to impact the various barriers faced by our youth in Santa Cruz County, Javier Diaz continues to strive to provide the highest quality work for the improvement of the quality of life for the low income and high risk population in our community. Javier Diaz currently coordinates the Youth Violence Prevention Task Force through the United Way of Santa Cruz County
Jeanie Yoon Jeanie is the Co-Director of Foster Youth Museum and has worked with FYM for six years.
Jeanie Yoon Jeanie is the Co-Director of Foster Youth Museum and has worked with FYM for six years.
Jenna Becker CalWORKs Program Specialist, working at Cabrillo with CW students and other student services programs.
Jess Prudent A community-oriented fem working towards a stable career, equality for all, and a cure for her personal insomnia. When not working and studying, she is working at her second job or in class.
Jessie Camarena Jessie is an 18 year old foster youth, actor, and activist who’s participated in several events for LGBTQ+ youth and women of color throughout central California and the Bay Area.
Joan Miller I am the Division Director of the Family and Children’s Services Division for Santa Cruz County. I hold a Masters in Social Work from California State University Sacramento, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from UC Davis, and a graduate of the BASSC Executive Development Program.
Jorge Savala Jorge Savala is a native of Santa Cruz; has spent the last 10 years serving as a volunteer Community Organizer with a focus on Live Oak. The 2006 Human Service Campaign led to the expansion of the Sheriff’s Activity League into Live Oak, a new Boys and Girls Club, Family Resource Center/Volunteer Center, and Day Worker Center. Today, he serves on the Board for Santa Cruz Community Health Centers, Sheriff Advisory Team and chairs the Santa Cruz County Youth Violence Prevention Taskforce.
Jose Ortiz Hijos del Sol Arts Productions is a non-profit Institution working and advocating for the advancement of all image and product creators allowing habitual studio spaces at no cost.
Jose Nolasco
Joseph Cervantes
Josue Rubio
Justin Collins Justin Collins, leads design at the MAH and will be working with C3ers to design the exhibition. He received a Masters degree in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University and a B.S. in Anthropology from UC Davis. He joined the MAH following several years at the Lake County Forest Preserve District and the Exploratorium.
Karen Anderson-Gray I am the Director of Santa Cruz County Children’s Mental Health and am an LCSW with 34 years of experience providing mental health services to children and their families.
Karen Mestizo I am currently an undergraduate studying Psychology at UC Santa Cruz as a second year. In my free time I really enjoy going to the gym and discovering the beautiful nature that surrounds Santa Cruz. I’m a C3 intern at the MAH.
Kate Teague Regional Coordinator working with CYC members in the Bay Area
Kievan Lieteau
Kim Corneille
Kira Stanley I’m a full time student at Cabrillo College completing my AS degree. I plan to transfer to Humboldt State University next year to complete their wildlife conservation and zoology programs.
Kristen Lindner
Laura LaPorte I am a MAH Trustee, community volunteer, employment attorney and former Board member of Child Advocates (Santa Clara County) with a strong interest in social justice organizations.
Lauren Benetua  I am the Dialogue Catalyst at the MAH and will be working closely with C3ers to elevate their goals and turn ideas into actions for the foster community during Lost Childhoods. I bring with me my background in arts, activism and social justice.
Les Forster Retired school administrator with a long local history of advocacy for greater education around substance use, mental health stigma, youth violence, career readiness, and local collaboration in general.
Lisa Ortiz Lisa Allen Ortiz is a writer and activist.
Luis Aguilar
Marcelo Viana Neto Marcelo Viana Neto is a Brazilian-born artist, game designer, and educator interested in how games can help explore socio-economic relations based on solidarity and mutual aid, reveal illegitimate forms of power, and enable creative expression.
Marjorie Schwarzer Marjorie is Professor of Museum Studies at University of San Francisco.
Mark Stone Mark Stone represents the people of California’s 29th Assembly District, which includes portions of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey Counties. In his second term as a state legislator, Mark has emerged as a leader on environmental protection and child welfare issues.
Marsha Muir
Martha Welden My name is Martha Welden, at Walnut Avenue Womens Center we have been rebuilding our youth and child curriculum and I am looking forward to connecting and collaborating more with other community resources!
Martine Watkins
Mary Cherry
Mary Kashmar
Mary Gaukel As a retired school administrator and the current Executive Director of Your Future Is Our Business, I have commitment to helping young people explore life’s option and reach their fullest potential.
Mary Alice Blymyer
Maryanne Rehberg I’ve worked in many areas of child welfare in the last 25 years as a social worker, supervisor, trainer, consultant and foster parent it; I see working in child welfare as social justice work and thus I tend to be loud and passionate about it!
Maureen McCarty Maureen McCarty serves as District Director for Assemblymember Mark Stone, who is deeply committed to serving the needs of foster youth, and who has authored legislation to transform foster group homes into places where youth can access short-term, intensive treatment, and to make it easier for foster youth to graduate from high school and access special benefits.
Megan Lozano
Melody Overstreet Melody Overstreet is an artist, educator, and youth mentor in Santa Cruz, California whose work explores the intersection of place, story, community, and intergenerational resiliency.
Michael Paynter Michael Paynter is the Director of Student Support Services at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The department strives to help students flourish with programming and staff addressing Alternative Education, foster care, homelessness, work experience, restorative court related practices, mental health support, gang prevention and more. Michael is also a licensed MFT and is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership and has been at the SCCOE for 16 years.
Michael Perkins  Michael is a Foster Youth Museum volunteer.
Michaela Clark-Nagoka Michaela leads graphic design at the MAH. She’ll be working with C3ers on the graphics related to the exhibition.
Miguel Almodovar
Miguel Weinstein Miguel is a youth advocate who works with foster youth at Alameda County’s ILP. He enjoys playing music, dancing, and rollerblading when his advocacy hat is being cleaned.
Monica Martinez Monica Martinez is committed to building a healthy, thriving community that treats all people with dignity and respect.
Nada Miljkovic I am a multi-media artist-activist educator who uses storytelling, video, installations, and web art to create provocative and risk-taking projects that spark dynamic conversations about our changing world and inspire activation on how to make it better.
Nina Simon Nina is the MAH’s Executive Director. She’s an internationally-recognized expert on active community participation in cultural institutions and has been named a “museum visionary” by Smithsonian Magazine for her innovative approach to design. Nina is the author of The Participatory Museum (2010) and the popular Museum 2.0 blog.
Nora Grant Nora Grant is an artist, pie-enthusiast, cat lover, and the Exhibitions Coordinator at the MAH.
Patrick McGrath
Paula Sauceda
Rachel Scott
Ray Bussolari For the past two years, I have worked with Foster Youth Museum (FYM) as an Exhibition Curator and photographer to produce “Lost Childhoods”, “Homeless”, and “Tribute”, exhibitions that are now traveling throughout the United States all addressing specific aspects of life in and out of the foster care system.
Sade Franco My name is Sade Franco I am a current foster youth, I am currently living in Santa Cruz in Haven of Hope. I am a sophomore at Aptos High School and the reason why I chose this program is because I want to make a difference in the foster community.
Salvador McBenttez I am a dancer and laser artist who believes in the transformational power of sharing our stories.
Sarah Robey CASA
Serena Rivera Serena is a graduate of UCSC and San Francisco State and has been a full-time educator teaching bilingual, multicultural, inner city youth for 13 years. She also served for twelve years as a Program Director for inner city deaf and blind teens and as an after school coordinator for recreational and academic programs for children six to twelve in San Francisco. Serena was also a Program Analyst for the Aids Office at the Department of Public Health working with transgender and homeless young adults.
Shandra Gill
Shawn Cervantes The Smith Renaissance Society provides academic, social, and financial support to UCSC students who are current or former foster youth or who have had similar adverse childhood experiences.
Silvia Austerlic I bring a background of deep intercultural sensibility, healing grief and loss, and leadership and creativity in service of creating a safe artful space where the voices of the transition-age foster youth can be heard and appreciated, collaborating in the creation of the Foster Youth Museum, and tackling “big questions” in a participatory inclusive way.
Sophia Whaley
Spencer Little
Stacey Marie Garcia I’m an artist, community organizer and Director of Community Engagement at the MAH. I lead C3 and will coordinate with C3ers and MAH staff to create the exhibition, Lost Childhoods. I’m so excited to work with you all!
Steph Wolf I work as a social worker with children and youth in the foster care system. I enjoy exploring social justice issues and the importance of human connection in my art.
Steph Wolf I work as a social worker with children and youth in the foster care system. I enjoy exploring social justice issues and the importance of human connection in my art.
Stephanie Cervantez
Susan Paradise I manage Encompass Transition Age Youth Programs for current and former foster youth ages 15-25, and work towards a community where young people are thriving.
Theresa M. Cariño Theresa is the Co-founder and Volunteer Executive Director for Salud y Cariño and has nearly 20 years of experience working with youth in various capacities related to education, health and prevention.
Tiffany M. Smith
Trevor Davis I am the Licensing Supervisor for Family & Children’s Services here in Santa Cruz County. I have also fostered and adopted children out of the child welfare system.
Victor Garcia
Victoria Baca
William Cavallero
Yanet M Contrerav

C3 2016 MEMBERS

Photo by Nopal Media

Photo by Nopal Media

First Name Last Name Bio
Antonia Franco, Ed.D. Dr. Antonia O. Franco serves as the Executive Director of SACNAS; a national nonprofit organization devoted to increasing diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. She leads a community of 20,000 students, scientists, and educators including 115 chapters nationwide in the movement to build a critical mass of diverse scientists with advanced degrees and in positions of leadership in STEM.
Bonny Hawley An emigrant from the Great Lakes region, Bonny is in love with Santa Cruz County and has focused her career on its enhancement through work in the public arena in state and local government and the nonprofit sector.
Carolyn Coleman Carolyn Coleman, Vive Oaxaca Board Treasurer, has lived in Santa Cruz since 1980 and retired as Executive Director of Encompass Community Services in 2014 after being active in a wide variety of community efforts, including serving on the Boards of United Way, Human Care Alliance, Criminal Justice Council, and Smart Solutions to Homelessness.
Cat Willis  I am the fearless leader of a dance and cultural center, driven to provide access, equity, and excellence through my work.
Christina Cuevas  A native Californian, I have experience in philanthropy, education, mental health and public media. I see art as a vehicle for promoting equity and social justice.
Consuelo Alba Award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Watsonville, Co-Founder and Director of the Watsonville Film Festival.Consuelo has extensive experience as a filmmaker, journalist, educator and cultural activist in Mexico and the US. Her documentary film El Andalón / The Healer screened in more than 30 film festivals around the world, received numerous awards and was broadcast on Mexican public television.
Diana Kapsner Diana Kapsner is the Visitor & Volunteer Services Manager at the MAH.
Doron Comerchero Dancing, organizing, youth empowering, nourishing food eating Santa Cruz County resident!
Dru Glover Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Dru is the founder and director of Project Pollinate, a community organizer and an outspoken advocate for human rights, social justice and environmental sustainability.
Edgar Ontiveros I am a UCSC graduate producing multimedia stories through Nopal Media and working in outreach and community advocacy at the Santa Cruz Community Health Centers.
Elise Granata Cheerleader for grassroots arts, works at MAH, founded GRASSTRONAUT.com– a site about DIY spaces.
Emily Hope Dobkin I am the Youth Programs Manager at the MAH. My background spans a hodgepodge of various creative arts experiences, all of which have inspired me to facilitate a range of engaging arts educational opportunities here in Santa Cruz.
Fe Silva-Robles I am a Oaxaqueña who has dedicated her life to serve the community and who loves to share the richness of her culture.
Irena Polic Irena Polic is the Associate Director of the Institute for Humanities Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz and a passionate advocate for the importance of the humanities in the public sphere.
Jacob Martinez Social entrepreneur looking to strengthen communities through innovative program design and building networks.
Jacquie Benetua-Rolens I’m the Executive Administrative Assistant/Communications Manager with Santa Cruz Community Health Centers and Santa Cruz native, with a background in education and journalism.
Jamie Keil I am passionate about working with youth in interactive ways and am interested in finding creative ways to look at and help issues in our wonderful Santa Cruz community.
Janis O’Driscoll I’m a printmaker/librarian who has spent her life making connections and building bridges.
Jeff Gaffney I have been working in parks and recreation for the last 25 years and love being able to give the community exactly what they are looking for to make each day another chance to get outside and play!
John Leopold John has served on the Board of Supervisors since 2008, previously serving on the Cabrillo College Board for eight years.
Jose Sandoval Director of the Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop
Justin Collins Justin Collins, is the Exhibition Manager at the MAH. He received a Masters degree in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University and a B.S. in Anthropology from UC Davis. He joined the MAH following several years at the Lake County Forest Preserve District and the Exploratorium.
Karen Bush Karen Bush is originally from Humboldt County and earned her B.A. in American Studies from Stanford University. She has over 13 years of non-profit and arts organization experience including work in Carmel galleries, Americorps programs, and ten years at the MAH.
Keisha Frost With over 15 years in the nonprofit sector as a fund development and strategic development professional, Keisha leads the funding for impact efforts to support youth success, family financial stability and health outcomes for Santa Cruz County by aligning both public and private sectors, government and community leaders to design a sustainable model for community transformation.
Kyle Lane-McKinley Kyle Lane-McKinley is an artist and educator in Santa Cruz, California, where he lives with his partner, Madeline Lane-McKinley, and their daughter Tuli. Kyle completed an MFA in the Digital Art and New Media program at UC Santa Cruz in 2010, where he continues to work as a lecturer, research associate and as coordinator of the Social Practice Arts Research Center (SPARC).
Lis DuBois I have a background in art history and nonprofit management, love to listen and help others, am a new-ish mom, and am happiest when swimming.
Louise Leong Louise Leong makes art to cultivate childhood mischief in all ages
Luz Fuentes Born in Mexico city , raised in Pescadero California, mother of three beautiful girls . I have been employed at CAB for the past 15 yrs working with the Davenport Resource Service Center . I enjoy   being able to help provide services to others. I feel blessed to be part of the Davenport Community for the past 22 yrs.
Marcus Frost Marcus began his career as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and has continued working in the non profit sector fundraising for organizations big and small, national and international. Prior to becoming the MAH’s Director of Development and Communication, Marcus was the Associate Director of Development for Social Sciences at UC Santa Cruz where he was the primary fundraiser for the Environmental Studies Department plus the Center of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and UCSC Farm. Marcus also spent a year working on organic farms on the North Shore of Kauai.
Marla Novo Marla Novo earned a Master of Arts in Art History from San Jose State University and a Bachelors of Arts in Art History from UC Santa Cruz. She has over 15 years of experience preserving and cataloging cultural artifacts. She’s curated many exhibitions at the MAH and other venues. Marla loves working at a museum that puts community first. On most days you can find Marla working alongside volunteers in the archives. She enjoys when people visit with an experience or an artifact to share. Marla knows everyone has a story to tell—all you need is a safe space and compassion.
Monica Martinez I am committed to building collaborative solutions to complex social issues so that everyone has an opportunity to live with dignity and justice.
Myriam Scally Myriam Scally has worked with minority populations on issues of health, social justice and environmental protection, for the past 15 years. She is currently the Program Director for the Child and Adult Care Food Program for Community Bridges in Santa Cruz, California.
Natalie Baloy An anthropologist and educator, Natalie is always looking to learn through/from anti-racist, decolonizing, and feminist critical inquiry and to enact radical love in work toward social justice.
Nicole Zahm Nicole Zahm is the Education and Events Coordinator for the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets. She sees food systems as a powerful vehicle for community and individual health. Her mom taught her to samba at age 15 and she’s danced ever since. Her dad showed her that a river is never too cold to jump in and she continues to jump.
Nina Simon I’m in charge of the MAH. My passion is for building a stronger, more connected community through creative and cultural projects.
Nora Grant I am a visual artist, writer, and community organizer who makes space for people to connect with people,   stories, and interdisciplinary art forms.
Pedro Castillo I taught Latino/Mexican American/United States history for 35 years at the University of California, Santa Cruz and retired in 2012. I am an academic/community activist who lives in Watsonville.
Raphael Arar I am an artist, designer and educator splitting my time running design for the Apple+IBM partnership, teaching in the Media Arts program at USC and exhibiting artwork that explores the trajectories of interpersonal and intrapersonal interaction in light of progress.
Rebecca Hernandez Rosser I am Director of the American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) at UCSC. The AIRC is dedicated to increasing Native visibility on campus with programs and special events. The center also offers a variety of support services that includes advising, advocacy and leadership development. Art and museums are of special interest to me both personally and professionally. I hold an MFA in Exhibition Design/Museum Studies, MA in American Indian Studies and PhD in American Studies.
Reyna Ruiz Latina working towards having a more inclusive, compassionate and just community. Love the arts, the energy of youth, the wisdom of our elders and the resilient spirit of those most vulnerable amongst us.
Rick Flores Rick Flores is a graduate student in the Environmental Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz, where his research focuses on the efforts of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band to relearn traditional ecological knowledge and become active stewards in their traditional territory once again after a period of colonial dispossession.
Salvador Lua Since 1992 I have been a member of this community that I work hard to support and transform.
Sandino Gomez Sandino is OBSESSED with building community, causing laughter, and breaking out of dominant and antiquated paradigms of how we should live and relate to each other.
Stacey Garcia I’m the Director of Community Engagement at the MAH, Vice-Chair of the City of Santa Cruz Arts Commission, and a social practice artist. I believe creative collaboration is essential in making our community stronger.
Tawn Kennedy Artist, cyclist, instigator, organizer, beat boxer.
Vance Landis-Carey Leader of a Northern California health care consulting firm that provides expert management of catastrophic industrial injuries. Moved to Santa Cruz in 1977 because of the beauty of the region and the specialness of the community. Honored to serve on the board of the MAH from 2009 and to have played a part in supporting the MAH’s exciting journey under Nina’s leadership. Love to travel and sail and play with baby grandson Chase.
Wes Modes Wes Modes is a Santa Cruz artist who holds an MFA from the University of California Santa Cruz Digital Art and New Media program. He has exhibited his performance, sculpture, and social practice work regionally since 1996.
Zachary Wolinsky I am a bicyclist who is actively seeking ways that people may live and work for the mutual benefit of each other democratically.

We have two fabulous interns joining us this year:

Alma Villa, a UCSC student passionate about community building and social justice. Anastasia Leopold, a senior at Pacific Collegiate School. She is passionate about math, art, and science, as well as making a difference in her school and community.

C3 2014-2015 MEMBERS

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Here’s a list of 2014-2015 C3 members. If you are a C3 member looking for contact information for other participants, please consult the private Google doc that Stacey and Nina emailed out (or contact us to get access to it again).

First Name Last Name Bio
Aaron Becker I manage capital improvement projects for the City of Santa Cruz in the Public Works Department and I am responsible for all of the private and commercial development review projects that come in to the City. I am an artist and have a background in design and architecture. I incorporate and apply my design skills and artistic talent into all of my projects.
Alex Jackson Alex is a freshman at Pacific Collegiate School, and was part of MAH’s first cohort of Subjects to Change (teen program), as well as currently serving as a Teen & Youth Programs intern. Additionally, Alex is a devoted journalist, researcher, and scuba diver.
Anandi Heinrich Born and raised in Santa Cruz, co-owner of Pacific Trading Co., floral designer at Botanical, and Mom!
Ann Simonton I am a media literacy teacher and activist, a long-time resident, and always seeking ways to give voice to most marginalized and ignored members of our community.
Beth Ragel As the Arts Program Manager for the City of Santa Cruz, I translate the creativity and passion of artists and community members into city programs and policies that bring lasting and positive change.
Brian Laschkewitsch I am one of 2 co-founders of a local nonprofit, Learn to Discover, whose mission is to develop and offer technology-based, hands-on classes to kids from pre-school through high school in areas such as Making, Electronics, Robotics, Electronics, Digital Art, Computer Programming, and much more.
Carmen Palacios Carmen is a first year student studying psychology at Cabrillo College, focusing on arts therapy and helping people who suffer from chronic illness, and was part of MAH’s first cohort of Subjects to Change (teen program).
Cid Pearlman Cid Pearlman’s choreography subtly disrupts traditional notions of desire, gender, and friendship. Her work has been presented by numerous venues, including Joyce SoHo, Kanuti Gildi SAAL in Estonia, the Getty Center, ODC Theater, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Claudio Schnier My personal and professional interests focus on effective social profit organizations, especially in the social justice arena; I’m currently board president of Diversity Center/Santa Cruz County.
Consuelo Alba Award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Wasonville, co-founder and director of the Watsonville Film Festival.
Diana Kapsner Diana runs the volunteer program, says hello to you at the front desk, coordinates facility rentals and buys “stuff and things” for the MAH’s store.
Doron Comerchero Founder and Director of “Food, What?!” a Santa Cruz County youth empowerment and food justice program.
Edgar Landeros I currently work at the Beach Flats Community Center, a program of Community Bridges., as the Youth Coordinator. As the Youth Coordinator I am responsible for coordinating the afterschool homework support programs for Elementary and Middle School Children.
Elise Granata In addition to handling Marketing & Engagement at the MAH, Elise writes about DIY arts spaces in her blog called Grasstronaut. She also loves bagels, Batman, and vegan breakfast burritos.
Elizabeth Evans A native of California’s San Joaquin Valley, and graduate of UC Santa Cruz, I spent the last ten years as park ranger and the last four of those years 6500 feet above sea level managing programs for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ Division of Interpretation, Education, and Outreach before returning to Santa Cruz last winter to start a new job at as the program manager for the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.
Emily Hope Dobkin I am the Youth Programs Manager at the MAH. My
background spans a hodgepodge of various creative arts experiences, all of which have inspired me to facilitate a range of engaging arts educational opportunities here in Santa Cruz.
Grant Wilson Community Activist, Artist, Arts-Advocate & Publicist in Santa Cruz & UCSC- since the last Millenium
Howard Heevner I have lived in Santa Cruz for the past 3 years and work at the UC Santa Cruz in University Relations.
Jacob Martinez Social entrepreneur focused on developing innovative initiatives to address issues of inequality.
Janis Odriscoll I am Manager of Programs & Partnerships for the Santa Cruz Public Libraries and a member of the Executive Board for Printmakers at the Tannery at Tannery Arts in Santa Cruz.
Jessica Vargas Co-founder of Unicorn Maps for Rejects, Delinquents, & Other Healers, a recovery consulting and empowerment center for young adults. Former teacher at Y.E.S. Recovery High School, recreational writer, and mother of two boys.
Jim Brown I’m always excited by the possibility of changing the world for the better, whether that be changing an individual’s life or a changing a structure or system that has the potential to create change for many, and I have worked to have some impact over the past 10 years at the 418 Project, the Diversity Center, and now Arts Council Santa Cruz County.
Jim Dupre I have lived in Santa Cruz for 12 years. For work I am the Supervisor of Maintenance, Operations and Transportation for the Soquel Elementary School District.
Julia Brownstein MAH intern
Kathy DeWild Program Coordinator for the County of Santa Cruz Dept. of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services and staff to the County Arts Commission – also and artist and teacher.
Laurie Egan Laurie is the Stewardship Coordinator at the Coastal Watershed Council and works to reconnect the Santa Cruz community to the San Lorenzo River.
Linda Wilshusen Linda is a member of the MAH Board of Trustees, former executive director of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, & founder/steering committee member of Live Oak Neighbors.
Maggie McKay I have provided services to seriously mentally ill and homeless for 35 years and am currently on the board of directors for the Homeless Services Center and on the Steering Committee for Project Homeless Connect.
Marcus Frost I am the Director of Development and Communications at the MAH, building excitement and enthusiasm for donor-founded projects and fundraising for social justice and other community development initiatives.
Maria Rosila Mares MAH intern
Mariah Roberts I teach, make things and organize community projects.
Marla Novo I am the Curator of Collections at the MAH. I’m interested in how artifacts encourage people to share stories and connect experiences. The ordinary is extraordinary in our community.
Martin Rizzo Martin Rizzo, who moved to Santa Cruz from Southern California in 1998, is a UCSC PhD candidate who researches the history of the local Indigenous community.
Megan Joseph As the Director of Community Organizing for the United Way of Santa Cruz County, Megan works to design and implement social change projects that address some of the most pressing issues facing our community, as well as building the capacity of leaders at all levels to create the impact they wish to see.
Miguel Zavala I’m a very colorful individual with an animated sense of self with a very quirky and lovable presence. I enjoy the little things and life and the connections I make with people whether big or small.
Myriam Scally Myriam has worked internationally with vulnerable populations targeting improved access to quality healthcare, social justice, environmental protection, and education.
Nina Simon I am the Executive Director of the MAH, working to build a stronger, more connected community through art and history.
Nora Grant Nora Grant is a visual artist, writer, and the Community Programs Coordinator for the MAH. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Nora wants to provide opportunities for social, ecological, and personal growth through stories, art, collaboration, and magic.
Pat Dellin A resident of Santa Cruz for close to four decades, I have served as the Executive Director of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission dealing with all modes of transportation, participated in Open Studios as a fused glass artist, and currently serve on the Board of Directors of the Diversity Center, the LGBTQ center for Santa Cruz County.
Robyn McKeen Robyn McKeen is a Community Organizer at United Way of Santa Cruz County and coordinates work with the Children’s Network, Community Prevention Partners, 211 Santa Cruz County, and the Community Assessment Project.
Sandino Gomez Sandino Gomez is an increasingly rare indigenous Banana Slug who is OBSESSED with building community, causing laughter, and breaking out of dominant and antiquated paradigms of how we should live and relate to each other.
Sheila McLaughlin Burke Sheila Burke is the director of The Borina Foundation.
Silvia Austerlic Native from Argentina, living in Santa Cruz CA since 1999, USA citizen since May 2014.
I bring to the conversation a designerly background (www.silvia-austerlic.com) and the past 9 years serving the Latino community with direct bilingual bicultural services (providing end of life care for Hospice of Santa Cruz County).
Stacey Marie Garcia I’m the Director of Community Engagement at the MAH, a member of the City of Santa Cruz Arts Commission and a social practice artist. I believe creative collaboration, magic and kindness are essential in making our community stronger.
Wes Modes Wes Modes is a Santa Cruz artist and art researcher working in the Digital Art and New Media program at the University of California Santa Cruz. In various lives, he is a sculptor, writer, performer, artist, community organizer, geek, and mischief-maker.

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