Members of Oakland's Bandaloop dance troupe practice in downtown Santa Cruz ahead of the MAH's CommonGround festival.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: MAH’s high-flying festival, UCSC’s gaming prowess and a nonprofit hub

What’s up, Santa Cruz County? It is Thursday, Sept. 15, and a mostly sunny day is ahead, with highs in the 70s and 80s.

Plenty of news as usual, so if you’d prefer to scope it out at your own pace, head this way.
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If you’re still with me, great! Wallace Baine starts us off with preview of a new festival at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History — and, he writes, CommonGround is so ambitious that it’s spilling over onto walls downtown, into farmers markets across the county and Soquel Creek.

Equally ambitious is UCSC’s computer design program, which has grown by leaps and bounds since the major was established in 2006. Hillary Ojeda talked with professor Jim Whitehead about the program, recently ranked No. 5 nationally by U.S. News and World Report.

And if you’ve wondered about the developments sprouting up along Delaware Avenue on the Westside, CEO Pamela Davis takes us inside the headquarters of her Nonprofits Insurance Alliance in a Community Voices opinion piece — and offers the climate-responsive, net-zero building as a gathering space for local nonprofits.

Plenty cooking on this Thursday, so without further delay, headlines:

MAH’s ‘CommonGround’ traverses Santa Cruz County — and the globe

Members of Oakland's Bandaloop dance troupe practice in downtown Santa Cruz ahead of the MAH's CommonGround festival.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

From aerial dancers on the walls around Abbott Square downtown to performances at Evergreen Cemetery and installations at local farmers markets, on Soquel Creek in Capitola and in the Davenport Jail, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History is going the extra mile to introduce its new biennial festival. Wallace Baine has a preview.

MORE FROM WALLACE AND HAPPENING NOW: Rides, pigs, monster trucks and a ‘zucchini in a bikini’: It’s time for the Santa Cruz County Fair

UCSC’s groundbreaking computer game program, top 5 nationally, charts ‘astonishing’ path

Professor Jim Whitehead discusses projects in the undergraduate computer game design lab at UCSC
(Hillary Ojeda / Lookout Santa Cruz)

U.S. News and World Report ranked the UC Santa Cruz undergraduate game design program among the top five in the nation, tying with programs at MIT and Rochester Institute of Technology, according to its 2022-23 analysis. UCSC Computational Media professor Jim Whitehead told Lookout about the program’s history, how gaming studies have changed over time at UCSC and what some of his favorite games are. Read his Q&A with Hillary Ojeda.

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Don’t look now — the weekend is right around the corner, and that means we’re mere hours away from the latest Weekender, Wallace Baine’s recommendation-packed check-in on the Santa Cruz County arts and culture scene. If you want that or any of our other newsletters delivered right to your inbox, click right here; bookmarking Lookout and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram would also be a good idea.

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OK ... deep breath, and blast off into Thursday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz