Museum Camp

A project of the
Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

MuseumCamp 2016

powerhourMuseumCamp is an annual professional development event hosted by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). Each year we bring together diverse, passionate people for a sleep-away camp for adults where we learn together through active, creative workshops and activities.

The 2016 MuseumCamp theme is CHANGEMAKERS. We will spend 2.5 days together exploring the ways we make change in our work, our communities, and the world. Whether you are dreaming about change, making it happen, or have faded battle scars to share, we want you here this year.

This MuseumCamp will be challenging–but not in a frenetic, obstacle course way. It will challenge us to confront our fears about change, empower others, and create the future we seek.


What: A 2.5-day professional development experience that is part retreat, part unconference, part summer camp.

When: Wednesday August 31 – Friday September 2, 2016. Camp will start on Wednesday afternoon and conclude on Friday night.

Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH), Santa Cruz, CA

Who: 100 diverse, creative people who want to make positive change in their communities. MuseumCamp is AT a museum, but it is not specifically FOR museum practitioners. This camp is open to people with all types and levels of professional experience. Registration is based on a competitive application process. Attendees will be selected based on diversity of background, work, experience, and interests. We especially encourage people of color, non-female people, people over 50, and/or people working outside of traditional museums/visual arts to apply. Applications are now closed; applicants will be informed of decisions by the end of April.

Why: To learn and practice new ways of creating, resisting, and honoring change. To build community across our differences. To play. To be inspired. To have fun.

How it will work: MuseumCamp will offer hefty doses of both learning and doing, all focused on changemaking, mostly led by campers themselves. It will be facilitated by a team of counselors with diverse skills in change-making and group facilitation.

On Wednesday, August 31, there will be “unlearning” activities in the afternoon to ease into camp, followed by dinner together and an interactive game to learn more about our respective change challenges and opportunities.

On Thursday, September 1, there will be workshops and lightning talks on aspects of changemaking, and a small-group design sprint in which we will prototype tools for making change in response to campers’ personal goals around change. Followed by dinner together and a truly magical bonding experience: the Power Hour of Fun, presented by Elise Granata.

On Friday, September 2, there will be workshops, lightning talks, unconference sessions, and an opportunity to experience First Friday to see firsthand how the MAH hosts community engagement at its cultural events. Camp will end with a late night excursion/awards ceremony, possibly involving karaoke.

Please note that MuseumCamp is an “all in” experience. We ask all campers to commit themselves totally to MuseumCamp while here. Days start early and can end quite late. We ask you to check your devices at the door. To eat, play, stretch, learn, and grow together. There will be alone time, too — space you make for yourself to reflect on the experience as it’s happening.

Cost: We are trying to make camp as affordable as possible for participants. The registration fee this year will be a sliding scale from $150-$250, which includes dinner on Wednesday and Thursday and breakfast on Thursday and Friday. Participants are welcome to sleep over at the museum if desired – we will coordinate a shower option at a local gym a couple blocks from the museum. If the cost is an issue, we’ll work together to see if we can give you a full or partial scholarship. Please do not let cost be a limiting factor when you consider whether or not to apply.