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Welcome to the Sanctuary

We are committed to creative growth through the arts and engendering a spirit of community. This is a grassroots experiment in sharing. Follow the link below to read more about us.

About Us
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Check out the link to the calendar below to see upcoming shows, workshops and events happening at the Sanctuary.

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Sewing Night

Come the second Sunday of the month from 6pm to 9pm for sewing & mending night.

Suggested donation of $5 - $20

Call Debbie with questions

See you there!

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Open Lab

Our open lab hours are

12 pm to 7 pm
11 am to 4:30 pm.
11 am to 4:30 pm.

See the link below for more information.

Open Lab Brochure

Upcoming Events at the Sanctuary

Saturday, February 25th - Meredith Axelrod & Belles of the Levee

Help us welcome back San Francisco-based old time singer Meredith Axelrod, who first came to the Sanctuary in 2015 with Frank Fairfield. She will be joined our favorite local interpreters of vintage jazz, Belles of the Levee.

Meredith Axelrod

Delightfully engaging and unassumingly comic, Meredith Axelrod envisions the limitless potential of early twentieth century music, whether it be Ragtime, Music Hall, Pop Standard, Boogie Woogie, Tin Pan Alley, String band, Jazz, Country, Blues or even Jug Band music, and embodies the spirit that brought the music into existence in the first place. Her vocal style is unusual, probably because she learned to sing by listening to how folks did it a century ago – through the medium of cylinders and 78-rpm records.

The dominant theme throughout her expansive repertoire, is that, whatever the genre, these are songs she learns from the original sources (records and / or sheet music) which were released between the 1890s and the 1930s. Part of the allure of old time music, indeed any music throughout the history of recorded music, is hearing the original recordings as played and sung by the original performers in their heyday, loving what they’re doing and doing it because it means something to them in that moment, never because of nostalgia, and Meredith brings the same unbridled passion, earnest devotion and candid vitality to all of her music; she has found possibility and joy in the treasures of cultural folklore.

Website ➤

Belles of the Levee

These Jazz Sirens navigate the banks of Americana's deep muddy rivers. From slow, bluesy bends in the river to wild jazzy rapids, Belles of the Levee will take you on a musical cruise into the past on a swift, modern current. Dive in and don't forget to wear your best vintage hat!

Website ➤

Thursday, March 16th - MaMuse - Tickets $20 at door

Presenting MaMuse, an enchanting acoustic duo from Chico, who will be sharing their unique and varied musical vision for the first time at the Sanctuary. Take a listen to their heartfelt music and don't miss out on this special performance.

With deep roots in the folk and gospel traditions, and their hearts in the present, MaMuse (Sarah Nutting and Karisha Longaker) create uplifting music for the next seven generations to thrive on. Interweaving brilliant and haunting harmony with lyrics born of honed emotional intelligence, MaMuse invokes a musical presence that inspires the opening of the heart. Playing a family of varied acoustic instruments including upright bass, guitar, mandolins, ukulele, and flutes, these two powerful women embody a love for all of life. The synergy that is created through this musical connection is palpable and truly moving to witness.

With nine delicious years of co-creating and four full length albums under their belts, MaMuse keep their hearts tuned to the creation of music for the health of all beings.

Play Sample ➤

Current Art Exhibit at the Sanctuary

Nothingness is Like an Empty Egg Without a Shell & New Works on Paper

The Sanctuary is pleased to announce two new exhibitions. The main hall will feature a collection of new paintings by Luke Forsyth entitled “Nothingness is Like an Empty Egg Without a Shell.” The meeting room will feature “New Works on Paper” by Molly Scheffer. The exhibitions will be on view through the month of February with an opening reception taking place 6-9pm on February 10th during Arts Arcata.

The opening will feature a reading by Molly Schaeffer from the periodical Big Big Wednesday, an annual print journal featuring work by literary and visual artists of which Schaeffer is a co-founding editor. For further information on Big Big Wednesday visit here:

Luke Forsyth - Nothingness is Like an Empty Egg Without a Shell

A native of Arcata, Luke Forsyth’s paintings are truly Californian. Now residing in Los Angeles, Forsyth returns to the area with an array of geometric abstractions in booming color. With his new exhibition, Forsyth clearly shows that he is a proponent of the West Coast brand of art history, where “funk” is a compliment rather than a derogatory, and where Wayne Thiebaud wrote the book on color theory.

Forsyth’s exhibition was initially inspired by a publication titled "The Seed's Journey" by Una Szeeman with Peter Hain, Dr. Phil and Olaf Knellessen. The authors describe a train “...speeding past with a different image in each window; ever changing landscape...protector of the landscapes of the subconscious." And so, central to the exhibition is a large mural of a train, with 12 landscapes within, representing each month of the passing year, and the changing landscape of the subconscious within each frame.

Developed over many months, each image is drawn and re-drawn, obliterating all details, and reducing imagery to its simplest forms. Mountains, palm trees, and simplified human figures ground your eye as you explore the radiant color fields. In Forsyth’s own words:

“The train imagery and corresponding landscapes are befitting to a transitory studio practice that I have adopted from time to time. Enjoying the shifting perspectives that travel gives, I seek the flattened sense of reality that a train, plane, or bus voyage can give to an artist. There is a lapse of rationality when putting oneself into this void.”

Molly Schaeffer- New Works on Paper

Molly Schaeffer’s delicate drawings hold power in their words. Crafted as open-letters, Schaeffer shares stories, fears, and remembrances that transport the viewer to unknown realms. Those who have been lucky enough to have been Schaeffer’s pen-pal have long known the intricacy of her craft. More recently, she has begun to share these intimate creations through publication and exhibition. The works themselves feel like a secret, whispered in your ear by a trusting friend.

Eastern European Folk Music Meetup - Mondays at 7pm

You are invited to play and sing a variety of Eastern European, Balkan, and international folk music with a community music group (hosted by members of Chubritza) meeting on Monday evenings at the Sanctuary at 1301 J Street in Arcata!

All instruments and levels are welcome. The first meeting for the spring session will be Feb 13 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. Here is the current schedule:

7:00 – 7:30 focus on singing

7:30 – 8:00 singing and instruments together

8:00 – 8:30 focus on instrumental parts

You are welcome to attend all, or any specific part of the evening.

Please bring a variety of instruments, your singing voice, and music you might like to try. Participants are welcome to read music or learn by ear. (A recording device may be helpful.)

A $1-3 donation per session is requested toward cost of the space, with thanks to the Humboldt Folklife Society for providing a grant to subsidize expenses.

If you have questions, or would like any additional information about this Meetup, please contact Linnea at 707-496-6784 or or Craig at

click for past event info >>

© Creative Sanctuary • 1301 J Street Arcata, CA 95521 • 707-822-0898 • Closed Thursdays
the Sanctuary is dedicated to creative growth through artful living. We encourage people to teach, inspire and know each other.