.Best of Santa Cruz County 2022: Arts & Culture

The best author, mural, museum and more

Best Music Festival

Santa Cruz Mountain SOL Festival

1. Steven Wyman (Boulder Creek Brewery and Surfrider Cafe) and Michael Horne (Pulse Productions and Palookaville) are co-producers.
2. SOL debuted in 2014—the 2022 festival is set for September 17-18.
3. Michael Horne’s favorite Mountain SOL set featured Sheila E. (pictured below) and George Clinton performing together in 2016.


In 2016, renowned percussionist Sheila E. (above) and funk magistrate George Clinton sang each other’s songs together during an unforgettable set.

4. The festival has over 75 volunteers and paid staff.
5. “Roaring Camp is such a sweet venue, and to use it as a home base is magical,” says Horne. DNA

Best Theater Company

Jewel Theatre

1. Jewel Theatre’s first production was in 2005. It was Love Match, six one-act plays that followed the ups and downs of relationships. The set was a boxing ring.
2. In 2009, Artistic Director Julie James took over the Actors Theatre. In 2015, she moved the company to the Colligan Theatre at the Tannery.
3. The play, Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle, was ready to launch before the Covid quarantine—it was the first local production to hit the stage after things opened up again.
4. James thinks of theatre and the arts as “second responders” in a crisis like the pandemic, because they help people heal.


Art Event

Capitola Art & Wine Festival

RUNNERS-UP Open Studios Art Tour, First Friday

Art Gallery (Retail)

Curated by the Sea

703 Front St., Santa Cruz, 408-250-2224, curatedbythesea.com
RUNNERS-UP Radius Gallery, Artisans & agency

Artist (Local)

Brayton Furlong

RUNNERS-UP Yeshe Jackson, Maia Negre

Author (Local)

Jonathan Franzen

RUNNERS-UP Duncan McCollum, KM Rice

Dance Lessons (Studio) 

Pacific Arts Complex

1122 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 471-8142, pacificartscomplex.com
RUNNERS-UP Tannery World Dance & Culture Center, International Academy of Dance

Festival (Art/Film)

Capitola Art & Wine Festival

RUNNERS-UP Watsonville Film Festival, Banff Mountain Film Festival

Festival (Music)

Santa Cruz Mountain SOL Festival 

RUNNERS-UP Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Redwood Mountain Faire 

Festival (Street)

Greek Festival

RUNNERS-UP Capitola Art & Wine Festival, Dancing in the Streets

Kids’ Art Program

Studio Sprout 31

RUNNERS-UP Watershed Arts/Linda Cover, Mon Ami Art Studio

Movie Theater

Del Mar Theatre

1124 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 359-4447, landmarktheatres.com/santa-cruz
RUNNERS-UP Cinelux Theaters, Nickelodeon Theatre

Mural/Public Art

Mission Sea Walls

RUNNERS-UP Shopper’s Corner, Made Fresh Crew Murals


Museum of Art & History

705 Front St., Santa Cruz, 429-1964, santacruzmah.org
RUNNERS-UP Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, Seymour Marine Discovery Center

Photographer (Local) 

Devi Pride

RUNNERS-UP Shmuel Thaler, Alison Gamel

Poet (Local)

Ellen Bass 

RUNNERS-UP Danusha Lameris, Gary Young

Radio Personality (Local)

“Sleepy” John Sandidge 

RUNNERS-UP Rosemary Chalmers, “Ralph Anybody” Jeff Juliano

Radio Station

KPIG-FM 107.5


Theater Company

Jewel Theatre

RUNNERS-UP  Santa Cruz Shakespeare, All About Theater



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