It’s been a rough couple of years for California schools. Often it seems as though it’s just bad news piling on top of bad news: $1.4 billion slashed from the University of California, California State University and community college systems, tuition hikes, layoffs, eliminated majors … And considering the state’s sorry financial situation, it’s likely to just get more grim. But what does it all actually mean? What will become of education in the Golden State? And what is it like to be at the helm of a university or college and presiding over these damaging cuts? We sought these answers and more from the leaders of two treasured local institutes of higher education—UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal and Cabrillo College President Brian King.
“I’m gonna break you in half, toothpick!” shouts Golden Boy, an oiled-up 6-foot-2 Bradley Cooper look-alike in gold spandex. A curly-haired Bullet braces himself for his opponent’s signature move: the “Bay to Breaker.”
“You’ll be able to point it out when he’s tapping out and starts crying,” says Golden Boy of his infamous leg lock. “It’s nice to have a reminder that you’re better than everyone else.”
Recently, GT launched its first screenwriting contest, Take One. We asked locals to write scripts no more than two pages and submit them for a chance to have their short film produced and directed by a local production company, and later have it debut at the 2012 Santa Cruz Film Festival. We received a fine selection of entries, even more than we hoped for, and an arduous judging process ensued. Writers touched on topics including love, loss, murder, proselytizing, racism in America, gay bullying, and much more. Seven professionals went through several rounds of voting on the screenplays—judges from GT, Impact Media Group and the Santa Cruz Film Festival. Amongst the judging team were an actress, a film critic, a producer, a director/cinematographer, a film festival programmer and several professional writers. Winners were judged on writing ability, creativity/originality, story, and production value—did people follow the rules to make scripts that could be made on a low-budget and easily produced in Santa Cruz?
Man. Woman. Masculine. Feminine.
Eight years ago, if you asked local photographer Jana Marcus to reflect upon those words and deliver an explanation of how we identify ourselves and relate to each another, she would have been game to play along, but may have not have been prepared to truly elaborate on the subject matter and retrieve an esoteric summation.
But she is now.
Somebody smart and savvy once quipped, “Drive into the sea of thought, and find there pearls beyond the price.” That’s something Rose Sellery would appreciate at the moment. The local artist and artist coordinator for the upcoming, bold and lush FashionArt Santa Cruz, has been delving deep into the nether regions of her mind to come up with enterprising ideas that will make the area’s quintessential fashion showcase even more spectacular than last year.
Fittingly, she’s doing her part by designing her own piece—with pearls of course. A lot of pearls. We’re talking thousands and thousands of pearls, all of which will collect themselves on a wearable art piece that, like the others in the show, is bound to capture interest.
Why? Two words: Wearable art.
All the World’s a Stage
An unmarked warehouse currently serves as the epicenter of the underground music scene in Santa Cruz. But to divulge the site’s name and location would be to betray the very fundamentals of underground music: word-of-mouth marketing and (sometimes) sidestepping the law, all in the name of music that operates outside of mainstream culture and challenges the listener to question the creative boundaries set forth by profit-driven labels and venues.
Local DIY music promoter Nick Bane, of Bane Shows—a production collective that has been hosting all-ages, alcohol- and drug-free shows in Santa Cruz since 2007—is one of a handful of underground music advocates responsible for the scene today.
Particularly in the summer months, when there were waves, sun, warm sand and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s Giant Dipper twisting and dropping into the darkness of night, a Santa Cruz summer provided a nonpareil setting as we local Baby Boomers came of age in the so-called American Century.
Can internationally renowned museum dynamo Nina Simon take the Museum of Art & History into the new millennium? Geoffrey Dunn engages her in an interactive discussion
In April of this year, the Museum of Art & History issued a press release announcing that then 29-year-old Nina Simon, who Smithsonian magazine had dubbed a “museum visionary,” had been hired to serve as the new executive director of the Downtown Santa Cruz institution that, at least in recent years, had never quite fulfilled the vision of its early founders of being a cauldron for cultural activity in the community.
A local family’s experience with the disorder
River Robbins didn’t make eye contact for the first 10 years of his life. Not even his mother, father, grandmother and grandfather—all of whom help to raise him and his twin brother, Bodhi—knew the joy of looking into his beautiful blue eyes. Until recently.
“River had not made any eye contact with anybody, ever. His eyes might have, in passing, grazed over a person but there was no connection,” recalls River and Bodhi’s grandfather, John Robbins. “This particular time, about five months ago, something happened. Our faces were close to each other’s, and we found each other’s eyes and just stared. For about a minute. It hadn’t happened for even two seconds before.”
The boys’ grandmother, Deo, watched in amazement. “I remember watching it happening and I didn’t want to talk or even breathe because I didn’t want to break the spell,” she says. The “soul to soul” contact John remembers making with his grandson a few months ago was a breakthrough for the Santa Cruz County family.