Pop Up Museum

We’ve all got fascinating things, but not everyone gets to show them off in a museum. Thanks to the Pop Up Museum, that’s all about to change. The Pop Up Museum is a temporary exhibit created by the people who show up to participate. It works by choosing a theme and venue and then inviting people to bring an object on-topic to share. Participants write a label for their object and leave it on display. A Pop Up Museum usually lasts a few hours on one day. Popping up in unorthodox arts spaces, like libraries or arboretums, Pop Up Museums focus on bringing people together in conversation through stories, art, and objects. They can happen anytime, anywhere, and with any community.

Check out some of the past Pop Up Museums held in Santa Cruz and around the world our Pop Up Museum website. This project is being directed by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). With the support of the James Irvine Foundation, the MAH hosts Pop Up Museums throughout Santa Cruz County in partnership with community organizations, businesses, and schools. This toolkit is available for free via the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History.

Pop Up Museum At-A-Glance

  • Over 450 people have exhibited objects at Pop Up Museums
  • Over 2,750 people have attended Pop Up Museums in 35 cities, including the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival
  • You can make a Pop Up Museum happen anywhere and on any theme!

If you’re having issues with the form or have other questions, click here to request the free toolkit, or email Carl at creativeexchange@springboardforthearts.org with questions.


What is a Pop Up Museum? from Santa Cruz MAH on Vimeo.