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Hearts for the Arts silent auction benefits arts education across Santa Cruz County

H4A artist reception
A visitor bids on artwork at Hearts for the Arts silent auction, featuring over 100 pieces of art.
(Arts Council Santa Cruz County)

Love is in the air- and starting February 1st, it will be on the walls at Artisans & agency for the 13th annual Hearts for the Arts silent auction. Featuring 102 heart and love-themed works from local artists, Hearts for the Arts is a fundraiser for Arts Council Santa Cruz County’s arts education programs.

Love for arts education

For more than a decade, Artisans & agency owner Linnaea Holgers James has hosted this love-themed fundraiser in her shop, raising more than $50,000 over the years. Funds from events like these are critical to Arts Council Santa Cruz County, which provides arts education to 20,000 youth from across the county each year, with programs in more than 35 schools.

The Council’s Mariposa Arts after-school programs bring visual art, music, dance and theatre to 3,000 students in schools that have little or no funding for the arts during school hours. The program provides high school students with their first job - teaching art to elementary school students, alongside mentor artists after school.

“I find Mariposa Arts helpful because it gives me confidence in myself and it helps me to give confidence in others. I also like Mariposa Arts because it’s fun and I love art. It gives me a chance to speak my opinions and be expressive in my art.”

— Olivia, Mariposa Arts student

High school educators discover their creative gifts through training that steeps them in the arts and supports development of life skills like public speaking, lesson planning, and classroom management. Elementary school students get to take part in arts classes that they would not otherwise experience.

Isa Moreno, a Mariposa’s Art student teacher talks about the impact of the arts program on kids and the beauty of creativity. The video also features teaching artist Adrian Torres, from Drama TEACH.

It’s personal for Sarah Brothers, the Arts Council’s Arts Education Director and Hearts for the Arts donating artist who has been instrumental in successfully advocating for arts education in schools at the local and state level. “I am a firm believer that art saved my life,” says Brothers. “Art kept me in school and it gave me an opportunity to connect with others and gain a sense of myself, belonging, and purpose.”

First time Hearts for the Arts art contributor, Kate Roberts, reflects, “Getting kids engaged in art at a young age opens them up to all sorts of creativity that can help them in life. The arts were an important part of my early education, and it has served me in a myriad of ways my entire life. Also, I love hearts! Often I hide hearts in my art- a little subtle nod to the fact that love conquers all.”

Make it a date

For Joanna Doubleday, local mother, wife, and Principal of Doubleday Communications, Hearts for the Arts is a part of her Valentine tradition. “As a young couple we had no real art for our walls. Year after year, we’ve filled them up a piece or two at a time, collecting meaningful and memorable work by local artists we admire,” shared Doubleday.

“The silent auction punctuates the joy of our annual tradition - dropping in to check on our bids and battling it out for the pieces we want. It’s the perfect way to celebrate each other, our community, and the local artists who bring vibrance and beauty to us all.”

— Joanna Doubleday, Principal of Doubleday Communications

Hearts for the Arts will feature heart and love-themed works from over 90 artists.
(Arts Council Santa Cruz County)

Through Hearts for the Arts, you can do something good for others while getting something you love. Works are available from the artists such as Janet Allinger, Elizabeth Romanini, Nancy Howells, Hortensia Martin, John Poole and many others. All works are 12x12 and under, and most go for $150 or less. This year’s auction boasts 102 artworks - the most in the event’s history.

Hearts for the Arts opens on February 1st at Artisans & agency, located at 1368 Pacific Avenue in Downtown Santa Cruz. Bidding closes on February 13th at 5pm. It will be featured as part of the First Friday Art Tour on February 3rd. Meet participating artists at an artists’ reception, hosted by Arts Council Santa Cruz County, from 3-5pm on Sunday, February 5th.

About Arts Council Santa Cruz County

The Arts Council’s mission is to nurture and invest in artists, culture, and the arts. Through grants to artists and arts organizations, arts education programs that serve more than 20,000 youth across Santa Cruz County, and community initiatives such as Open Studios, the Tannery Arts Center and Watsonville Center for the Arts, we help Santa Cruz County thrive. Learn more:

About Artisans & agency

Artisans has been in downtown Santa Cruz since 1976. It carries a wide selection of the best of American made, local artwork and design inspired items. The products we carry are to be used and enjoyed – from preparing food on a beautiful wooden cutting board to sipping coffee in the perfect ceramic mug, or wearing a pair of one of a kind earrings. Artisans and agency is the place to find the perfect gift for anyone, including yourself!