Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 Capitola Art & Wine Festival

Best Of Santa Cruz County 2018: Arts & Culture

The best festivals, art galleries, performers, artists and more

Capitola Art & Wine Festival is the Best Festival (Art/Film)


Best Dance Lessons (Studio)

Pacific Arts Complex

  1. It’s the largest studio in the area, with more than 150 classes a week at two locations—one in Watsonville and one in Santa Cruz—and more than 500 kids.
  2. Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 dance studioOn the first and third Monday of the month, students can sign up for the advanced hip-hop class “Monday Madness,” where a rotating cast of distinguished guest instructors teach choreography.
  3. Many of the teachers are still in high school, as Pacific Arts Complex will pay kids that have the skills to teach other kids. For some students, this can be one of their first jobs in dance.
  4. In 2016, PAC students won the highest score overall and became the grand champions at the Starbound National Dance Competition in Lake Tahoe for their piece “Crazy.”
  5. Pacific Arts Complex alumnus Shane Bruce has appeared on TV’s Modern Family, and in the film Chocolate City 2, among other projects, as well as teaching dance in L.A. AARON CARNES


Best Festival (Art/Film)

Capitola Art & Wine Festival

  1. Just two artists and one winery participated in the first Capitola Art & Wine Festival in 1982.
  2. The festival now boasts more than 160 artists, 22 wineries, an artisans marketplace, food vendors, a children’s play area, and live entertainment, and is held in the Capitola Village on the Esplanade, Capitola and Monterey avenues. This year’s festival takes place Sept. 8-9.
  3. The children’s play area is dubbed the Children’s Art & Juice Festival. Held in a quiet area in the center of the festival, kids can create art and taste different juices.
  4. Each year the poster for the festival features art from a different artist who’s been part of the festival in the past. The 2018 poster will be done by Santa Cruz artist Taylor Reinhold.
  5. The festival offers free shuttle rides to and from the Capitola Mall parking lot. LILY STOICHEFF


Best Radio Station


  1. KPIG put many successful musicians on the map before anyone else would play their music—Robert Earl Keen, Todd Snider, James McMurtry, Devil Makes Three, and John Craigie, among others.
  2. Best of Santa Cruz County best radio station KPIGLaura Ellen Hopper, who created the quirky country station 30 years ago as the spiritual successor to KFAT, was among the recipients of the first-ever Gail Rich Awards in 1997. Hopper is credited with popularizing the Americana genre.
  3. Legend has it that KPIG was the first station ever to stream online—a tidbit that is impossible to verify, because most people weren’t tracking the growth of the internet very closely in 1995.
  4. Host “Sleepy” John Sandidge celebrated the 1,100th episode of KPIG’s Please Stand By live music show on Sunday, March 13.
  5. John F. Johnson of Santa Cruz’s Teapot Graphics designed KPIG’s logo in 1995, crafting a visual identity for KPIG that lives on today. Johnson passed away in January of 2017. JACOB PIERCE



Art Event

First Friday

RUNNERS-UP Capitola Art & Wine Festival, Open Studios Art Tour


Art Gallery (Retail)

Artisans Gallery

1368 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP R. Blitzer Gallery, Felix Kulpa Gallery, Many Hands Gallery


Artist (Local)

Marie Gabrielle

RUNNERS-UP Brayton Furlong, Yeshe Jackson


Author (Local)

K.M. Rice

RUNNERS-UP  Laurie R. King, Duncan McCollum


Dance Studio

Pacific Arts Complex

1122 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Agape Dance Academy, Tannery World Dance


Festival (Art/Film)

Capitola Art & Wine Festival

RUNNERS-UP Santa Cruz Film Festival, Watsonville Film Festival


Festival (Music)

Santa Cruz Music Festival

RUNNERS-UP Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Mountain Sol, Redwood Mountain Faire


Festival (Street)

Greek Festival

RUNNERS-UP Church Street Fair, Earth Day Santa Cruz, Pleasure Point Street Fair


Kids’ Art Program

Studio Sprout

RUNNERS-UP Kaiwa Art and Play Space, Seven Directions    


Movie Theater


210 Lincoln St., Santa Cruz


RUNNERS-UP Capitola Cinelux, Del Mar Theater


Mural/Public Art

Capitola Wharf

RUNNERS-UP Bill’s Wheels, Shopper’s Corner



Museum of Art & History

705 Front St., Santa Cruz


RUNNERS-UP Capitola Historical Museum, Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History



Devi Pride

RUNNERS-UP Alexandra Rice, Shmuel Thaler


Poet (Local)

Ellen Bass

RUNNERS-UP Max Goodwin, Gary Young


Radio Personality (Local)

Rosemary Chalmers, KSCO

RUNNERS-UP Laurie Roberts, “Sleepy” John Sandidge


Radio Station

KPIG-FM 107.5



Television Personality (Local)

Dan Green, KSBW

RUNNERS-UP Lee Solomon, Phil Gomez


Television Newscast (Local)




Theater Company

Jewel Theatre

RUNNERS-UP CYT Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Shakespeare




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