💕Community over Competition

Dear Creative Collaborators,

Thank you for your presence in person and in spirit at the Grand Opening of All Hands last Friday. It felt amazing to be seen and supported. And my most heartfelt thanks for your compassionate responses to last week’s letter about my brother Evan. This week I want to remove myself from the spotlight and shine it on this wonderful town of ours. But first a quick story!

When I was in the 4th grade, I decided to run for student council. My mother supported the idea, as long as I made campaign posters for everyone else running as well. So I did. And the lesson that stuck with me from that experience is that we rise by lifting others. Oh, and that polarizing contests for power are inherently flawed approaches to governance. George Washington tried to warn us… 😅

Capitalism, not unlike partisan politics, has an unsettling tendency to reduce complex human beings into mere consumers and promote a scarcity mindset that pits similar businesses (or candidates) against each other. This anxiety-inducing, competitive survival mode creates the stressful pace of life that so many of us turn to art or meditation or nature just to recover from and stay afloat. So it's needless to say been very heartening to witness a sincere striving among Santa Cruz small businesses to place community over competition. All Hands, in name and in practice, stands for a culture of mutual support, and it feels timely to acknowledge and celebrate the impressive ecosystem of handcraft and art education businesses and organizations across Santa Cruz County that we have the privilege to be a part of. We are more because of each other, not less.

Below is a list of an awesome variety of local venues that provide opportunities for creating by hand, either regularly or on occasion.

[*-offers classes for youth and/or children]


<<Santa Cruz City>>


Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History*  

The Fabrica  

Yarn Shop Santa Cruz

Kaiwa Art and Play Space

Lenz Arts

Little Giant Collective

Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation*

Santa Cruz Studio School*

Glow Candle Lounge




Harts Fabric

Studio Sprout*

Clay Creation  

The Painted Cork


Hold Fast Studio School

Idea Fab Labs Santa Cruz    

Knit Sew Make  


Sanctuary Exploration Center*

Tannery Arts Center

Santa Cruz Art League

Dig Gardens


<<North County>>

Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center*  

Dream Maker Collective*

Tiny House Productions

Wild Iris  

Santa Cruz Public Libraries  


<<Pleasure Point/Capitola>>

Capitola Parks and Recreation*  

Palace Arts  

Good Life Ceramics  

Mini Mint

Home Depot*  


<<South County>>

Blue Apple Art

The Craftsmen Collective

Cabrillo College Extension*  

Annie Glass  

The Art Factory*


In community,



PS. If you know of any workshop spaces that I’ve left out, please let me know!

PPS. Congratulations to Vanessa Sacoto for winning a year’s worth of workshops at All Hands!!! You can find her at @nuestracosa on Instagram.