Georgia Perry

Staff Writer

Innovator Drives Museum’s Success

The author of what is becoming the
cutting-edge bible for museum administrators, Nina Simon is being
hailed nationally as a visionary.

Called a “museum visionary” by Smithsonian magazine, Nina Simon and her staff—one of whom moved here from Sweden solely for the chance to learn from her—have transformed downtown’s Museum of Art and History (MAH) from a traditional and largely unknown museum into a thriving, active hub for the entire city of Santa Cruz by asking one question: “How do we take what makes participation work on the web and embed it into a physical space?”

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Artisan Santa Cruz: Meat

Chris LaVeque, owner of El Salchichero butcher shop. (Photo by Chip Scheuer)

When Chris LaVeque says the word “artisan,” he says it like that—with quotation marks around it, as in, “I don’t really consider what we’re doing [finger quote] ‘artisan.’” The owner of El Salchichero butcher shop, 28-year-old LaVeque has a round, rosy-cheeked face, but a voice as deep and authoritative as a professional athlete.

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Songwriter Contest Kicks Off Another Year

Ben Lomond Americana songwriter Jay Lingo got a big boost from entering the Songwriter's Showcase.

On evenings throughout February and March, dozens of fans will flood the pub, just as they do every year. They will erupt into raucous applause when their favorite player does well, and grumble and drink another beer when the score isn’t in their favor. Over the course of several weeks, they will witness wins, losses, and wild upsets. They will watch the pool of competitors narrow from damn near 100 down to 24, and then 16. And then the elite eight, the finalists who will battle it out for the win, the title…

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A Night With Mycologist Henry Young

In the multipurpose room at Bonny Doon Elementary School—a gymnasium-meets-theater-meets-conference-room complete with basketball hoops, a piano, gymnastics mats and a stage built into the wall—local mushroom expert Henry Young is knee-deep in his talk, “Mushrooms 101.” The Rural Bonny Doon Association recruited him to teach them how to identify the mushrooms they’ve seen popping up in extra abundance around their properties lately thanks to the heavy rains. Forty-five of the Association’s members have shown up and are listening intently.

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