Series Highlights Culture and History of Local Native People
The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History announces its new program series, Amah Mutsun: Then and Now, a collection of events designed to explore the history and amplify the voices of the native people of Santa Cruz, the Amah Mutsun. The series is supported by the competitive Humanities for All Quick Grant, recently awarded to the Museum by California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The program offers several ways for the general public and educators to immerse themselves in the culture of the Amah Mutsun, from making native crafts to learning the ways in which ancestral tribes stewarded the Central Coast.
The series continues through November, including a collaborative discussion group aimed to connect local educators with tribal leaders and scholars, a basketry workshop where guests can take a behind-the-scenes look at the Museum’s basketry collection and craft their own pine needle basket, an evening lecture discussing the Amah Mutsun Land Trust’s efforts to restore indigenous stewardship to ancestral lands, and a final workshop where Eleanor Castro, Elder of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, will teach guests how to create beautiful jewelry and crafts using traditional materials under the guidance of Amah Mutsun artisans.
“Learning the culture and history of Santa Cruz’s native people is imperative for a healthy future,” said Heather Moffat McCoy, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, “and we’re delighted to build that future in partnership with the Amah Mutsun and California Humanities. Whether you enjoy creating, exploring, education or all the above, this series promises a way for everyone to connect with the rich culture of the Amah Mutsun.”
The Humanities for All Quick Grant is a competitive grant program of California Humanities that supports locally-developed projects that respond to the needs, interests and concerns of Californians, provide accessible learning experiences for the public, and promote understanding among our state’s diverse population.
“Everyone participates in the humanities in one way or another, and everyone has something to share to help us better understand and appreciate each other,” noted Tricia Wynne, chair of the board of California Humanities. “Our new Humanities for All Project Grants program is a way to make support for public humanities programs more accessible across the state of California, amplifying voices we may not often hear.”
The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, located at 1305 East Cliff Drive, is the oldest public museum in Santa Cruz, dating back to the early 1900s. The Museum’s life-size gray whale model, created in 1982 and commonly adorned with playing children, has become a cherished landmark to local residents.
Learn more about the Museum and plan your next visit at santacruzmuseum.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/SantaCruzMuseumOfNaturalHistory.
Saturday, September 22
9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Baskets: Then and Now, Basketry Workshop
Thursday, November 8
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Naturalist Night: Restoring Indigenous Stewardship
$12 general, $6 child, 50% off for Museum members.
Saturday, November 17
9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Native Crafts Workshop: Cultural Teachings of the Amah Mutsun