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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

We now have open lab hours on

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 July 30th, Michael Hurley

Michael Hurley

The Sanctuary is proud to present one of our heros in concert, the folk musician and artist Michael Hurley. Many are the testimonials to this man's timeless songs and voice, but don't take anyone else's word for it. Come and hear for yourself on July 30th at the Sanctuary.

"With his cracked voice, skewed comic vision, and a ragtag musical sensibility that seems to span centuries, Hurley’s a vestige of the “old, weird America.” - Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

"To go to a Michael Hurley concert or listen to one of his records really is to enter another kind of universe where time moves a little more slowly, and narratives develop at their own pace." - Byron Coley

Hurley's debut album, First Songs, was recorded for Folkways Records in 1965 on the same reel-to-reel machine that taped Leadbelly's Last Sessions. He had been "discovered" in '64 by blues and jazz historian Frederick Ramsey III, and subsequently championed by his friend from teenage years Jesse Colin Young. Young released his second and third albums on the Youngbloods' Warner Brothers imprint Raccoon in the early 70s. In 1975, Hurley -- whod spent much of the prior decade living as a hobo, jumping and robbing trains and getting into trouble with the law -- moved in with Peter Stampfel of The Holy Modal Rounders, thus beginning 15 years of fruitful if fitfull collaborations. His 1976 LP Have Moicy, a collaboration with the Unholy Modal Rounders and Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones, was named "the greatest folk album of the rock era" by the Village Voice's Robert Christgau and one of the top 10 of the 70s by Rolling Stone magazine. Hurley went on to release three albums through the Rounder label in the late 70s and thereafter self-released consequent releases up until finding a comfy home and releasing his label debut, Ancestral Swamp, with Devandra Banhart's Gnomonsong in 2008. In recent years, Michael was invited to tour with alt-country heroes Son Volt and Lucinda Williams. He's also shared bills with Smog and Palace Brothers; played with the Giant Sand rhythm section; and has appeared with and played on and been covered by Vetiver on record and onstage. His songs have also been covered by indie stars Cat Power and Yo La Tengo among many others.

Play Sample ➤

To open the concert:

Sanctuary resident Daniel Nickerson will be performing Erik Satie's "Three Gymnopédies" on the Sanctuary's resident Steinway piano. These minimalist masterpieces are known to be some of Hurley's favorite music, and were written in the early 1900's in Paris, France. They're a whimsical and impressionistic meditation on melody and musical color.


Open Lab

We now have open lab hours on

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



Current Art Exhibit at the Sanctuary

9 Stories & Northern California Elegy

The Sanctuary is pleased to announce two new exhibitions. The main hall will feature “9 stories,” a series of woodblock prints by Patrick Vincent and Lauren Rose Kinney. The meeting room will feature “Northern California Elegy,” new works by Steuart Pittman. The exhibitions will be on view through the months of July and August, with an opening reception taking place 6-9pm on July 8th during Arts Arcata.

The opening celebration will also feature a temporary installation inspired by Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler's “Picture Out of Doors” from 1988, in which the Sanctuary will unhinge all of the interior doors from the building, encouraging visitors to experience a space without closed doors.

9 stories

In 9 Stories, Patrick Vincent and Lauren Kinney collaborate to present a narrative bestiary in black and white woodcut. The prints, which vary in scale according to the animal depicted, each address a single animal figure which is then filled with dream-like landscapes, folk tales, and hidden symbols. These works are ever-evolving as a hybrid of Vincent's investigation in animal symbolism and Kinney's surreal, graphic storytelling. Kinney is a native of Northern California, and a graduate of Humboldt State University with a long history of exhibiting her work in the area. Both Vincent and Kinney currently live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Northern California Elegy

Steuart Pittman makes paintings of familiar forms with meticulous precision. Informed by drawings and “improvisations” in his sketchbooks, each painting develops slowly and decisively. Approaching his painting practice as a spiritual pursuit, Pittmans compositions carry a sense of calm, as well as a confident grounding in the principles of color and balance. Pittman earned an MFA from Mills College in 2009, and currently resides in Oakland, California.

Picture Out of Doors

Inspired by Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler's Picture Out of Doors from 1988, the Sanctuary will unhinge all of the interior doors from the building, encourage visitors to experience a space without closed doors. Every nook and cranney will be exposed, giving visitors a unique opportunity to see the Sanctuary in its entirety. This re-creation of Ericson and Ziegler's work will take place for one night only, and is being hosted by the Sanctuary’s co-founders Solomon Lowenstein and Katie Belknap.

Eastern European Folk Music Meetup - Monday Nights

You are invited to play and sing a variety of Eastern European, Balkan, and international folk music with a new 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. Vocal emphasis from 7-7:30, vocals and instruments from 7:30-8 and instruments from 8-8:30.

Please bring a variety of instruments, your singing voice, and music you would like to try. Participants are welcome to read music or learn by ear. (A recording device may be helpful.) We will bring a number of tunes to the first session and choose among them when we see who attends.

A $1-5 donation per session is requested toward cost of the space, with thanks to the Humboldt Folklife Society for providing a grant to subsidize expenses.

We would love to hear from you if you plan to attend to gain a better idea of what kind of instruments we may have and how many copies to make (although an RSVP is not required.)

For more information about this meetup, please contact Linnea at 707-496-6784 or or Craig at 707-496-6734

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 the arts. We encourage people to teach, inspire and know each other.