Our Quest for Our New Home: A Call to Action!

mike_headshotNew Home 2016 Update from Mike Ryan, Artistic Director, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, Posted January 4, 2016

This is the fourth blog post in “The Quest for Our New Home” series.

This summer from the stage in the Glen, I told all of you to make sure to follow us so that I could let you know when the time was right to reach out to the City Council in support of our move to DeLaveaga. I am extremely excited to announce that now is that time. A few of you have already written to the Council or spoken at our community meetings, and for that I am grateful. It would be wonderful, however, if everyone who read this blog took a moment to do the same. The letters need not be long; a few simple sentences requesting the City Council approve the use of DeLaveaga by Santa Cruz Shakespeare is all that is needed. There is a single email address that will reach everyone on the City Council: citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com.

If you are interested and have the time to write a more detailed letter, all of us at Santa Cruz Shakespeare would be extremely grateful. Below, I have listed a number of questions that might help with crafting such a letter:

Why do you believe the city should provide space for arts organizations, and to Santa Cruz Shakespeare, specifically?

Why do you believe DeLaveaga is a great location for Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s performances?

DeLaveaga is designated a ‘community park.’ Would the Festival’s presence bring new faces to an old community space?

What has Santa Cruz Shakespeare meant to you or your family over the years?

Why does Santa Cruz Shakespeare improve the quality of life in Santa Cruz?

Do you believe that Santa Cruz Shakespeare provides other benefits to the city besides the obvious cultural/artistic ones?

delaveaga_model-800x721

Model of the proposed Festival Grove at DeLaveaga Park

These are, of course, merely jump-start questions. I’m sure each and every one of you has unique and articulate reasons for asking the City Council to support our move. Whether you use these questions, or write your own thoughts, or whether you write a long letter or a short one, please write! It is very easy to assume that someone else will write a letter, and it is sometimes more difficult to write in support of projects we love than against those we oppose. A groundswell of support for the festival and the move to DeLaveaga will remind the Council just how valuable Santa Cruz Shakespeare is to our entire Santa Cruz community.

I have been careful and conservative about asking for a deluge of support because I wanted to ensure that the community of Prospect Heights and others who live near the park knew that we were listening to their concerns. The Board and Staff of Santa Cruz Shakespeare have taken those concerns seriously; we want to be good neighbors. Listening to those who will be most affected by traffic heading to and from our productions has helped us to craft plans that will ease the traffic burden on Prospect Heights and, as a wonderful bonus, provide a variety of travel options for our patrons. We will be presenting these proposals to the Planning Commission and to the City Council later this month. In the interim, the City Council will continue hearing from concerned neighbors, many of whom have never been to the Festival and experienced what you have. That is where you shine, however; you know this festival and its value. Please help us make sure the City Council knows it, too, by taking five minutes to write an email: citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com.

Happy New Year, and PLAY ON!

More information and additional blog posts about our new home can be found here.