takepart | makeart: arte para todos


Launching in February 2017, takepart | makeart: arte para todos is a public art initiative that increases access to contemporary art by taking artists’ projects out of the Museum and into community parks and public spaces throughout Santa Barbara.

Led by Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB), takepart | makeart centers around a vibrant public art pavilion as it travels to several outdoor sites in three neighborhoods across Santa Barbara: the Westside, the Waterfront, and Isla Vista. At each site, the pavilion will offer free, temporary public art projects, workshops, and programming developed by three contemporary, socially-engaged artists in collaboration with local residents and community organizations.

Viewing the artists’ temporary projects as catalysts for long-term creativity, MCASB is partnering with local organizations and artists to activate the pavilion as an outdoor platform and gathering space for additional art workshops, performances, and public programs throughout the course of takepart | makeart. By engaging local residents and community organizations as co-creators in these projects, takepart | makeart aims to generate dialogue, connection, action, and exchange around critical social, environmental, and political issues facing Santa Barbara.

Open to the public, free to participate, and with bilingual programming in Spanish and English, takepart | makeart provides Santa Barbara’s diverse communities with new opportunities to explore contemporary art in the neighborhoods where we live, work, and play.

MCASB’s takepart | makeart initiative is funded by an Exploring Engagement Fund grant from The James Irvine Foundation and by a Creative Communities Grant from the California Arts Council. takepart | makeart is also supported by funds from the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture, the City of Santa Barbara, as well as local non-profit organizations, businesses, and private sources.


With funding sources for high-quality arts programming being cut at the national, state, and local levels (For example, see the recent closure of Santa Barbara’s Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN)), takepart | makeart developed out of the need to expand access and increase opportunities for engagement with contemporary art and artists, especially among Latinx, low-income, and youth communities. Specifically, takepart | makeart explores how MCASB can develop contemporary arts programming that is responsive to and inclusive of Santa Barbara’s complex sociocultural contexts and diverse communities. By inviting socially-engaged contemporary artists to work collaboratively with local residents and in partnership with community organizations, takepart | makeart aims to foster new forms of community visibility, representation, and creative problem-solving that address pressing issues in Santa Barbara.


As part of takepart | makeart, MCASB invited and commissioned new work from three innovative contemporary artists across the Southwest: Cruz Ortiz, of San Antonio, Texas; Matt Garcia and April Bojorquez of the Arizona- and Colorado-based collaborative desert ArtLAB; and Los Angeles-based Tanya Aguiñiga, from Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California.

The three artists featured in takepart | makeart were selected by MCASB’s curatorial team of arts professionals with experience in socially-engaged public art, working with the recommendations of a community-based Latino Arts Advisory committee. The projects commissioned for takepart | makeart were developed organically by the artists in response to site visits in Santa Barbara, along with conversations, feedback, and input from local community organizations.

Each invited artist for takepart | makeart demonstrates a strong, socially-engaged practice that challenges audiences into unfamiliar territories of thought and discourse surrounding the notion of contemporary public art. These artists’ status and perspectives as “outsiders” to Santa Barbara work to question the city’s status quo while simultaneously creating opportunities for fresh considerations, innovative approaches, and unique responses to the local context. With these artist projects, takepart | makeart provides a unparalleled platform for public engagement with the art of our time, sparking new perspectives on ourselves, the city we live in, and the issues we face together.


To create a central platform for takepart | makeart, MCASB hosted an architectural competition to commission the design and construction of a contemporary public art pavilion. Aiming to sustain takepart | makeart artists with exciting spatial and experimental possibilities in which to create work, the pavilion also serves as an outdoor gathering site for public workshops and programming in partnership with local artists and organizations.

Chosen for its bright, playful character, functional modularity, and thoughtful consideration of Santa Barbara’s local atmosphere, Runaway was designed by Molly Hunker and Greg Corso of SPORTS. Runaway invites communities to view and interact in unexpected ways with their surroundings, and in doing so, encourages residents as well as artists to consider how contemporary design can activate and energize public spaces.

By contributing bold, contemporary design to Santa Barbara - a tourist destination and location steeped in California Mission Style architecture and culture - Runaway serves as an aesthetic catalyst and physical platform for dynamic contemporary art projects and programming throughout the course of takepart | makeart.

In 2014, MCASB commissioned and featured new work from six innovative and contemporary Los Angeles-based practitioners trained in architecture, as part of our Almost Anything Goes: Architecture and Inclusivity exhibition. takepart | makeart’s public art pavilion, Runaway, builds upon this earlier engagement with contemporary architecture and design, and expands opportunities for MCASB to explore this interest in greater depth.

How can I get involved?

MCASB invites local community members, non-profit organizations, and businesses to get involved with takepart | makeart. For more information, please continue reading.

Are you a local high-school or university student who is passionate about contemporary art and your community?

  • Volunteer at an art workshop
  • Apply to be a takepart | makeart intern

Are you a local business?

  • Be a program sponsor
  • Donate materials, time, or other resources for artists’ projects
  • Donate food, drinks, and/or supplies for workshops and events

Are you a local community, non-profit, or arts organization?

  • Inquire about becoming a programming partner
  • Send in your proposal for workshops, film series, programs, performances, or other creatively-inspired events that you would like to host at the pavilion. If selected, it will be included on MCASB event calendar
  • MCASB may also be able to provide limited additional support for your event through staff and/or other resources

Are you a local artist, designer, curator, or creative individual with skills you’d like to teach others?

  • Send in your proposals for workshops, film series, programs, performances, or other creatively-inspired events that you would like to host at the pavilion. If selected, it will be included on MCASB event calendar
  • MCASB may also be able to provide limited additional support for your event through staff and/or other resources

To get involved and/or for more information about takepart | makeart: taking art outdoorsplease contact Audrey Lopez, MCASB Curator of Community Engagement at: alopez@mcasantabarbara.org or 805.966.5373 x108

[Press Release]
[Press Release]

805.966.5373 | 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101