Our quick guide to several local creative portals that encourage you to use your brain, learn stuff and get things done.
Santa Cruz Rehearsal Studios
An affordable and beautiful space, SCRS is the place where you can be loud and amplified, practice with your band and jam hard without the fear of being evicted. Outfitted with four streamlined rooms, each complete with a PA and mics, SCRS is a musicians dream. 118 Coral St., Santa Cruz, (831) 425-7277, santacruzrehearsalstudios.com.
The Bike Church
This nonprofit tool co-op is a gold-mine of information and support for those who desire to “DO IT YOURSLEF.” The bike church offers affordable classes, parts and service and it’s also a safe place. Whether you’re a veteran bike rider or still have training wheels, The Bike Church is all about supporting and sustaining the bike community. It’s also a great place to volunteer. 703 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, (831) 425-2453, bikechurch.santacruzhub.org.
Community Television of Santa Cruz County
What a marvel this place is. Become a member, take some classes—anything from learning camera work, to working behind the scenes with editing—and you’ll bask in a great deal of learning. You’ll also have some fun, too, and become part of an interesting group of communicators and broadcasters here. 816 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 425-8848, communitytv.org.
The Computer Kitchen
This kitchen is leading the new wave of digital sustainability by reducing the e-waste and narrowing the “digital divide.” Living in a high-tech world, it can be easy to miss out on the rapid technological advances and get left in a cloud of megabytes and pixels. But the Computer Kitchen has your back, they offer affordable technologic-related education opportunities and even a computer “thrift store” where you can find useful parts. 703 Pacific Ave. (831) 406 1394 computerkitchen.org.
Free Skool Santa Cruz
This Grassroots collective is dedicated to offering a radically different option for the education experience. Giving you control of where and what you lean, FSSC is truly a free school of thinkers and learners. Classes may be held anywhere from the park, the beach or someone’s bungalow. Whether you are interested in learning about lichen, basket weaving, foraging or music theory, there is something for everyone, and everyone is invited. Find out more here: Santacruz.freeskool.org
For those with an itch to stitch and would like a community of craft-minded people, The Fabrica is a textile cooperative collective operated by volunteers and funded by participants. Share your skills or learn some new ones in the comfortable setting of this workshop. The Fabrica is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Located at 703 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz. Check the website for times: thefabrica.wordpress.com
Food Not Lawns
Another brilliant co-op, FNL is taking gardening to the next level. Focusing on eco-regeneration and sustainability, these folks are all about transforming lawns into gardens where food can be grown and eaten. If you’d like to learn more about gardening or sustainable culture FNL often has multiple classes a season through Free Skool Santa Cruz. 1145 Laurel St., Santa Cruz, scfoodnotlawns.weebly.com.
Free Radio 101.1 FM
These pirates have been sailing the air on a crusade to preserve free speech and good jams for over a decade now and encourage you and everyone to join the movement. Free Radio is a traveling station, and has been dodging the FCC’s ! These guys are legit, and they offer the opportunity for you to be either a DJ and host your own show, or a correspondent and if being on the radio isn’t for you, it’s still a rocking free time. See freakradio.org.
Constant commerce can be a bore and GDI is on a mission to provide the SC community with fun, entertainment free of cost. GDI hosts monthly screenings of movies in creative public spaces free of charge. Sometimes a bridge, other times a roof or a large brick wall, the place is always different and so are the movies. For a schedule of screenings check out more at its website, guerilladrivein.org.
This facility is housing a groundbreaking “physical and virtual infrastructure” designed to support freelancers, entrepreneurs and creative class professionals, giving them a space and to work in solidarity alongside each other. Melding community and self-employment together to create a new step in the evolution of the workplace. 101 Cooper St. (831 ) 420 0710, nextspace.us.
Santa Cruz Indymedia
This site reports on the local less covered news, providing it’s readers with an alternative view and sometimes opinion of the local underground scene. There also updates on DIY events and forums in the area. indybay.org/santacruz.
Subrosa Anarchist Café
This place is about as DIY as it gets. A nonprofit, volunteer-run establishment, Subrosa has become a staple in Santa Cruz’s DIY culture. The only of it’s kind in Santa Cruz; this cafe is home to weekly open mics, host’s craft days and even has an anarchist library. Subrosa is a laid-back community space, and a free-thought promoting environment, open to all. All you need to bring is respect and please no cameras. 703 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 426 5242, subrosaprogect.org.