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Members of the news media have access to press releases, brand assets and upcoming events. Contact Isabel Contreras at for further media inquiries.

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press releases





‘She’s a connector’: How Isabel Contreras is building an emerging arts culture for local people of color

“A lot of young folks, they’re just trying to find their way in the world,” one Santa Cruz County arts leader says of 25-year-old Isabel Contreras, who has made a splash with both her art and her community organizing, “but they don’t usually take the kind of leadership that Isabel has taken on. It’s very unusual.”

Santa Cruz Community Builder of the Year: Isabel Contreras, founder of Mi Gente CA

Isabel Contreras, a Stockton native and VCU Arts alumna, was named Community Builder of the Year for the 2023 NEXTies. The award recognizes her contribution to the Santa Cruz community through the establishment of  Mi Gente CA in January 2022.

Q&A with Isabel Contreras

We spoke with Isabel Contreras, founder of Mi Gente and 2023 Nexties Awardee for Community Builder of the Year, about upcoming events and what drives her to create spaces where Black and Brown people can connect, relax, and celebrate their cultures.

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