Monsters lurk in our culture. They rise in times of growing prejudice, discrimination and othering. The 2023 Festival of Monsters, hosted by the UC Santa Cruz Center for Monster Studies, explores the ways monsters and tropes of monstrosity both preserve and conflict with forms of social and cultural injustice.
The three-day festival begins at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH) with a full day of public events including a panel with Black Nerds Create, a talk with the creators of Theater of Terror, a reading by author Addie Tsai (Unwieldy Creatures), a Q&A and mask display by locally-owned Trick or Treat Studios, a keynote by Mallory O'Meara (The Lady from the Black Lagoon) and the opening of a MAH exhibit entitled Werewolf Hunters, Jungle Queens, and Space Commandos: The Lost Worlds of Women Comics Artists. (There is a charge to view the exhibition at the MAH.)
Sponsors include the Arts Research Institute of UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Cruz Arts Division, The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz, Porter College (UCSC), the UC Santa Cruz Foundation Board, the Institute of the Arts and Sciences, and private donors. Additional support provided by Bookshop Santa Cruz.
The Festival of Monsters is pleased to be part of National Arts & Humanities Month in October.