As Santa Cruz becomes the second most expensive place to live in the US, artists are struggling to stay in town. And as living costs rise, women, teachers, artists and people of color are disproportionately affected. We come to you in hope, and are excited to share our giving catalog; you can now support working artists, and in so doing, share meaningful gifts with your own loved ones, creating memories that help and heal.
As you and your family turn the pages, know that the gifts you choose will help artists so they can create sustaining arts-based businesses, stay in Santa Cruz, and thrive. In turn, their work contributes to the economic and cultural vibrancy of Santa Cruz, ensuring our bright future together.
Our inclusive mission means we focus especially on artists from underserved groups, so your contribution not only supports local art but fosters diversity at the same time. Start a new tradition: choose your special holiday present from The 418 Project and give a gift to help an artist for years to come.
Support an artist at any amount that feels good to you, monthly or one-time options:
Creative Team Leader Yesenia "Miss Monsterra" Raya heard about The 418 Project while a student at UCSC. The 418 Project’s artist mentorship program was a cornerstone reason she stayed in Santa Cruz after graduation. Now as a working artist and Cabrillo College staff member, Yesenia brings her body-positive view to her teaching and performance production. Your donation pays for Yesenia’s continuing event production training, rehearsal and choreography space.
$25/month pays for 1 hour of rehearsal time
$35/month pays for 1 hour of teaching time
$1,000 gift pays for a weekend of tech training in theatrical lighting design
Aaron Stoetzel started volunteering at The 418 Project as a stagehand; now his original writing and directing brings 418 Project audiences to their feet. Your contribution ensures The 418 Project can pay Aaron, and provide low or no-cost working and performance space for him and the many other artists who flock to participate in his work.
$15/month pays for props, copies of scripts, and other invisible essentials
$50/month provides two hours of studio time for casting & artistic development
$500 pays for a custom-built set piece for Aaron’s next show
$2,500 pays for a single night of performance production (technicians, box office)
Army Veteran Gregory Speed, Sr. found The 418 Project through a public call for artists. Now a 418 Project Board Member and co-founder of Mic Drop, a monthly by-donation open mic, his work provides affordable space for hundreds of mostly BIPOC artists. Your generosity helps defray Mic Drop’s venue rental costs, keeping the space accessible so more and more artists from underserved groups get the chance to perform.
$12/month covers Mic Drop’s printing costs
$150 covers the cost of transportation of an incoming artist
$75/month pays an in-house tech to ensure everything runs smoothly
$997 pays for the heat & lights for one year of shows
Lead Artist Dandha Da Hora has been with The 418 Project since 2004. Dandha teaches dance all over the world, inspiring thousands and helping develop other instructors’ careers. Your gift defrays her studio costs, and helps her produce her annual festival, Moving Together.
$20/month an hour of rehearsal time
$55month pays a drummer
$325 covers the cost of one day of a workshop
$1,400 pays the cost of transportation for three guest artists
Javier Rivera found The 418 Project as a salsa dancer and has become a community leader, inspiring multiple groups to come together to dance, skate, perform and interact. Your support allows Javier to continue hosting our vibrant Salsa Parties at a very low cost.
$5/month sponsors one salsa dancer by covering their entrance fee
$10/month keeps dancers hydrated while they dance the night away (non-alcoholic beverage bar)
$25/month gets the word out! Poster design, printing flyers, social media shoutouts
$500 sponsors a salsa night!
When Frank Garcia (DJ Franky Helix) walked into The 418 Project to interview for a DJ position, he didn’t anticipate sharing the story of his Cuban-American heritage and what it meant to him. Now he and partner Rosalee Dayal produce events at The 418 Project designed to help people reduce stress and connect to themselves through movement, prayer, and multi-media art. Your donation pays for technical support for their events, equipment, and the venue needed to make their art accessible.
$10/month helps us promote their events
$100/month gives them a reduced cost for venue rental
$400 rents the projector for one night of visual multimedia art
$1,800 allows them to compensate three visiting artists, such as sound healers, video DJ’s, and musicians
ART CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE
Artistic expression can help us stay healthy, and feel connected even in challenging circumstances. Frank Garcia’s father used painting to foster an emotional connection to his son, even when he was far away and unable to speak with him. It also provided a safe place for him to retreat in difficult circumstances Your gift of art can make a connection with loved ones, no matter their location!
"Raul Garcia, my father, was incarcerated for over 18 years In Barbados for political activism. Of that 7 and a half years were spent in maximum security lockdown; this is a 24-hour solitary lockup in a tiny cell the size of a walk-in closet in a prison built in Colonial times. After a 30-day hunger strike in protest of the unjust and severe conditions Raul managed to get the attention of an international Civil Liberties group, they intervened, forcing the Barbadian prison system to change their policy on how they treated foreign prisoners. He was released from solitary confinement into the general prison population. At this point, he was granted access to special programs and work opportunities.
After hearing the news of the death of his eldest son, he took up oil painting to feel more connected with me, the son he knew was already an artist: my father felt that engaging in the art process would help him relate to his second son since we were so far apart and hadn't seen each other in decades. He was 50 years old when he started. After falling in love with the process for its therapeutic benefits he developed a passion that helped him evolve his technique at a rapid rate, and after a few years was considered one of the best artists in the prison. Through the art program, Raul spent many years counseling and mentoring his fellow inmates. He helped them find healing and purpose through the act of creating. Raul is out of prison now still painting."
Dual Demons’ Devon Oksen and Cassandra Powell discovered The 418 Project as guest performers. As queer artists, they have a special interest in cultivating LGTBQ+ safe spaces. Your gift makes sure Dual Demons has full lighting, sound, and streaming, as well as low or no-cost performance space, and also supports their Queer-friendly curated conversations and classes.
$45/month pays for performance pieces - pasties, fake nails, hoop skirts, mustaches
$50/month covers the cost of one queer munch gathering or $25/month share
$750 pays for one photography session to create media for shows, social media flyers & posters
$1,200 pays for one year's worth of shibari rope
Amanda Quillen and William Givens put their skates on at The 418 Project in 2021. Together with our Jedi Skate Council, they have taken a leadership role, working hard to raise funds and build our new floor. Your generous contribution makes roller skating a reality at The 418 Project, covering the costs of insurance and providing a home for new programming serving people of all ages and ability levels.
$50/month pays for a guest teacher
$120/month covers insurance to keep our skaters safe
$275 pays for a disco ball or food to keep skaters well-fed while they roll
$750 covers the cost of two hours of skating in the large theater - host, tech, DJ & security
Rui Li, who produces our Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn festivals, believes the San Lorenzo River, right outside our doors, needs our support to feel safe and welcoming. Your support allows her to organize helpers to clean up and beautify our riverfront.
$30/month helps cover the cost to maintain the Chinatown Gate garden
$45/month buys trash bags, hand sanitizer, and gloves for safe river cleanup
$500 covers the cost of buying and planting a tree
$1,200 gets a year of Volunteer lunches for work parties
Important Note: Thank you for giving the gift of artistic support. Each artist needs more than one supporter: your donation will be used in accordance with your direction to the best of our abilities, and processed to help all the artists in our care.
$869 purchases 20 tiny tables so we can increase VIP seating and make more money at our performance fundraisers
$6,978 buys 150 padded folding theater chairs so we can sell out shows in our large theater
$15,000 gets us a fully integrated website with accounting, event, and relationship management capacity, including new video media
$19,000 provides a Scissors Lift so we can safely do building maintenance on our 24’ ceilings
$20,000 keeps the lights on in our building for one year
$25,000 offers a feasibility study for our green roof and open-air performance cafe deck
$48,000 builds our upstairs offices and creates working studios for micro businesses
$10,000 pays all 20 of our contributing artists for our New Year's Gathering in Gratitude
$12,000 funds a three-month artistic residency where an ensemble of artists develops, rehearses, produces, and performs its work, including live-stream, multimedia equipment, mentorship, technicians, and promotion
Artist Focused Support
“Art helps us stay connected to ourselves, our families, and our communities, providing meaning that can make the difference between hope and despair. When people from marginalized groups are given the chance to create art in a safe environment, our whole region benefits.”
- Kathy Mintz, City of Santa Cruz Arts Manager
New Holiday Tradition: Share the Gift of Art
One of my family’s most treasured holiday traditions is being together and choosing gifts with meaning for those we love and choosing a cause we can support together as well. My daughter Grace, who is 9, and I, and now my husband Jose, choose gifts for people in our lives who have everything—this is something we look forward to every year. It’s been a way for me to share my values, and teach my daughter the importance of giving back. For Grace, it is an important reminder not only of the community she is a part of but to learn the joy of giving. As a 418 Project supporter, I’m so happy to see this new way for me and my family to pass on the legacy of helping others, and sharing our values of compassion and generosity.
- Laura K.