Arts & Entertainment

From time to time, ocean science runs squarely into art, literature, film, and more. From film previews to book signings, these activities are a relaxed and informative way to experience ocean and nature-inspired art and media.

Past activities include spectacular photographic shows, film previews, book signings and talks from authors, mixed media work as well as presentations. Join us for formal presentations or informal meet-and-greets with artists and authors throughout the year.


Film Screening, Discussion, and Presentation

Straws, a Film by Linda Booker

Sunday, September 9, 2018
2:30-4:30 PM

1:30-2:30 Master Recyclers Outreach Table and Crafts – Exhibit Hall
2:30 Film Screening – La Feliz Room
3:10 Q&A with Jackie Nuñez – La Feliz Room
3:30 Presentation by Mary Simmons – La Feliz Room

Join us for a special film screening followed by an engaging discussion and lecture. The film, Straws, tells the story of the problems caused by plastic pollution and empowers individuals to be part of the solution. Every day in the United States alone, hundreds of millions of plastic straws are used once and tossed. Straws are non-recyclable, wind up in landfills, litter streets, and add to the estimated 8.5 million metric tons of plastic debris that head into the oceans each year. Jackie Nuñez, founder of The Last Plastic Straw, will host a question and answer session following the film. Mary Simmons, Waste Reduction Manager for the City of Santa Cruz, will present a program about straws and other single-use plastics and share how local ordinances and outreach efforts are addressing these problems.

Screening and lecture passes available at the Admissions counter at 1:30 PM
Doors to the La Feliz Room open at 2:00 PM



Sea Otter Awareness Week Special Presentation

In the Crosshairs:
An Update on the Sea Otter Survival Story

Sunday, September 30, 2018
4:00-5:00 PM


Kim Steinhardt
Writer and Photographer
Former Administrative Law Judge

Join Kim Steinhardt, former administrative law judge turned environmental writer and marine wildlife photographer, for a photo journey through the fascinating life of the southern sea otter—as well as a look into the evolving legal policy side of this story. This unfinished saga of the sometimes-complex relationship between humans and nature reveals as much about us as it does about this keystone species.

The iconic southern sea otter has been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1977, but today that groundbreaking law is itself endangered by powerful political challenges. Plus, the small number of remaining southern sea otters along our coast face human-made obstacles to their survival, including legal threats, that rival any natural environmental concerns.

Event is included with admission to the Seymour Center.


2019 Presentation by
Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom

African elephant at dawn, Chobe National Park, Botswana

© Frans Lanting /

The above photo is from Lanting and Eckstrom’s 2018 Into Africa presentation.

The 2019 date will be announced soon! Please check back for details.
Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz, CA

Below are examples of past events.

Artwork, photography, or exhibit openings

  • Sunflower StarA Perfect Day for an Albatross, Caren Loebel-Fried (illustrated children’s book)
  • Running the Numbers, Chris Jordan (mixed media, traveling exhibit)
  • Tiny Drifters, Laura Beach (educational and graphic presentation of diatoms)
  • Sea Otters from Bryant Austin (photography)
  • Radiographs from the California Academy of Science
  • Peregrine Falcons from Glen Nevill (photography)
  • Underwater in Black and White, Art Hazeltine (photography)
  • Whimsical Visions of Undersea Life, Ket Tom-Conway (watercolor paintings)

Film screenings, openings, or sneak previews

Book signings

Other special events

Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom present: Into Africa
UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef Crochet Circles
Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom present: Journeys to the Ends of the Earth
Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake

Please check our calendar for current offerings.

Days & Hours

Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM


September 22–30, 2018
Join us for this annual recognition of the vital role that sea otters play in the nearshore ecosystem.

September 30, 2018
4:00 – 5:00 PM
Join us for a Sea Otter Awareness Week special presentation, In the Crosshairs: An Update on the Sea Otter Survival Story.

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