Portrait by Devi Pride Photography.
Stacey Marie Garcia
I come from a bicultural family, composed of teachers, Cuban immigrants, environmentalists, athletes, organizers, and poets. They taught me how to lead with love, and they inspire the heart of my work: building bridges of connection between people of different backgrounds and experiences.
As the Engagement Officer at the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, I design experiences that invite people to learn, give, and take action together for the benefit of our community. My role is to strengthen relationships across partners, advance racial equity in partnerships with leaders of color, and ignite a love for and joy in giving.
I’ve worked internationally in nonprofits, education, museums, and cultural organizations. I received a BFA in Photography & Art History at the University of Florida and a Masters of Science in International Museum Studies from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Most recently, I led the transformation of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History’s community engagement. We built community through exhibitions, events, programs and projects that connected people to art, history, culture, and each other. We did this by collaborating with thousands of Santa Cruz County residents to share their stories, creativity, and ideas. While designing and facilitating hundreds of local collaborative projects, I fell in love with our Santa Cruz County community.
As an artist and social justice advocate, I believe together we can creatively reimagine and transform systems to be equitable and just. For me, that starts right here at home in Santa Cruz County. It will take all of us - learning from and with each other while working collaboratively together to build a community that truly does thrive for all.