Expanding The Museum's Horizons

This is not your typical museum expansion. When the construction is complete, we will have added zero square feet of gallery space. No new classrooms. Not an ounce of storage space, office space, nor exhibit prep space.


This caught my eye earlier; a museum that’s expanding, but not in the way we might expect. As Nina Simon, Executive Director notes below, the Santa Cruz MAH hasn’t added any exhibition or gallery space, but instead is extending its reach in a different way. 

The museum has transformed a downtown plaza into a ‘creative town square’, including performance spaces, eateries, and new art. The goal is for it to become a creative heart of the community, bringing together ‘art, history, food, play, and community’. 

I think this sounds fab – it elevates the MAH from the preserver of culture, to its creator. Now, I’m not for a second saying that this is a direction all museums should suddenly move in, but here it sounds like a positive and participatory enterprise for the local community. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. 

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