New music December flyer
(Arts Council Santa Cruz County)
Promoted content

Celebrate local talent & tune in to New Music December

New Music December brings the gift of music to you every day this month. Discover local musicians, with 2-3 new videos released daily. A partnership between Event Santa Cruz, Speak for Change, and Arts Council Santa Cruz County, New Music December, puts the spotlight on local talent and raises funds for the Arts Council’s Grants Program.

New Music December supports and discovers local musicians from across Santa Cruz County by giving artists a platform to showcase their music. Every day in December, Event Santa Cruz will release 2-3 new music videos from local musicians. For musicians, “New” is defined as a new song, a new cover, or a new version of a song. Simply something new they want to get out into the world.

Launched on December 1st, the first six featured artists are Alwa Gordon featuring Alexandra The Author - HOME, Alecia Haselton - My Letter, Taylor Rae - Somebody That I Used To Know, Yaya’s Kitchen - Mr. Man, Wolf Jett - Help Me Out, and DannyV - Daylight. Visit the Event Santa Cruz website to meet and hear from the full lineup of featured artists as they’re released.

New Music December
(Arts Council Santa Cruz County)

The brainchild of Matthew Swinnerton of Event Santa Cruz, New Music December is a natural evolution of his work in the community. Last year he, along with others, raised over $110K for people who lost their homes and livelihoods to the CZU fire through the Love You Madly campaign.

“Local music is a big part of what makes Event Santa Cruz. It has not been an easy time for local musicians. I wanted to find a way to bring brand spanking new music to the community, give local musicians a platform, and to support an organization that invests in them.”

— Matthew Swinnerton, Event Santa Cruz

“The timing of this was perfect. New Music December was presented to me and I said, ‘Yes!’ Yes to me, yes to my music, and yes to help. I need exposure,” says Alexandra The Author who has a new album dropping on January 1, 2022. Entitled Heavy, she’ll release Chapter One of this multi-chaptered body of work over the course of the year. As a self-described storyteller, Alexandra’s work is an expression of her experiences and the connections forged between people and communities when they create and experience music together.

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    Make Art Happen by Funding Grants for Community Artists
    Help foster local creativity by supporting artistic dreams and donating to fund grants available for local artists. Every year, Arts Council Santa Cruz County distributes $200,000+ directly back into our community’s artists, arts organizations, and creative projects in Santa Cruz County.

“This first chapter of Heavy invites us to calm down for a minute. To resonate on our resonance,” says Alexandra. A sneak peek from Heavy will stream across most platforms on December 18th.

December flyer New Music
(Arts Council Santa Cruz County)

Event Santa Cruz approached Arts Council Santa Cruz County with the idea of New Music December. Swinnerton wanted to make New Music December a fundraiser for the Council’s Grants Program, which offers critical dollars to artists in Santa Cruz county. Last year, the Arts Council’s Grants Program awarded over $380,000 in grants to dozens of artists and organizations, prioritizing COVID relief and recovery and balancing a historic lack of investment in BIPOC communities by awarding a more significant portion of its funding there.

The Arts Council reached out to partner with Thomas Sage Pedersen of the Speak for Change Podcast to expand New Music’s reach, deepen thought, and increase relevance.

“Over coffee and straight talk, we joined forces to provide a platform to reach musicians who might have been left out. By engaging with new artists, we hope that we can connect them to more resources to support their art through our Grants Program. And, we always encourage the community to support artists directly by going to shows, donating to crowdfunding campaigns, and sharing local music they love with others.”

— Sally Green, Arts Council Santa Cruz County

“The intent of this collaboration is to bridge the diversity of artists within our often divided Santa Cruz County community,” says Pedersen of Speak for Change. “There are so many great artists across the county. I’m as interested in connecting musicians to the community as I am in connecting them to each other.”

“There is an incredible wealth of creative talent in our community, and the Arts Council has been supporting that creativity through grants and other programs for more than 43 years. Partnering with Event Santa Cruz to bring more attention to local musicians is a beautiful extension of our work!”

— Jim Brown, Executive Director of Arts Council Santa Cruz County

“We hope that New Music December highlights what makes Santa Cruz County such an amazing and innovative place to live,” says Swinnerton. “Funds raised through New Music December go directly back into the artistic community. Donations to Arts Council Santa Cruz’s Grants Program are an investment in the artists who make your life better through music!”

Promotional partners include Santa Cruz Waves, Streetlight Records, KPIG, The Starving Musician, Everyone’s Music School, Off The Lip Radio Show, and the City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Department.

Check out the six artists featured in New Music December below!

Alwa Gordon featuring Alexandra The Author - “HOME”


Alecia Haselton - “My Letter”


Taylor Rae - “Somebody That I Used To Know”


Yaya’s Kitchen - “Mr Man”


Wolf Jett - “Help Me Out”


DannyV - “Daylight”


About Event Santa Cruz

It started in 2013 as a monthly lightning-talk event series featuring local entrepreneurs and community leaders. Event Santa Cruz grew swiftly beyond the bounds of your typical event-hosting company and now serves as a multimedia outpost for all things local. In 2015, Event Santa Cruz adopted The NEXTies awards from Santa Cruz NEXT, bringing a whole new community and big new energy to Event Santa Cruz. Through social media, email engagement, collaborative partnerships, video interviews, radio—and, yes, live events!—Event Santa Cruz keeps turning up the volume on how we celebrate Santa Cruz innovation and entrepreneurship.

About Speak for Change

A podcast and a cultural hub, host Thomas Sage Pedersen finds ways to explore, uplift, and innovate around wellness, exploration, the outdoors, the arts, culture, politics, and business. Its mission, to inspire and create positive and lasting change in our local & global communities, specifically around Health/Wellness, Exploration, The Outdoors, The Arts, Culture, Politics & Business.

About Arts Council Santa Cruz

The Arts Council’s mission is to generate creativity, vibrancy, and connection in Santa Cruz County. For 40 years, they have supported our creative community, supporting individual and collective artistic expression and building bridges and bonds between people throughout our county. Arts Council Santa Cruz County stands for equity, self-expression, and wholeness for all people in our community. Its next grants cycle opens in early 2022.