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OFFSITE EVENT: Festival of Monsters

Friday, October 13, 2023 - 9:30am to 6:30pm

FREE PUBLIC DAY: Spend Friday the 13th of October exploring the many ways monsters stalk our society during this free public day of the Festival of Monsters, hosted by the UC Santa Cruz Center for Monster Studies.

Reserve a spot!

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.

On Friday, Oct. 13, the Festival begins at the 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.

All of the events Friday are free to the public, with the exception of the exhibit which is separately ticketed by the MAH. Exhibit tickets are $10, $8 for students/teachers/veterans and can be bought at the museum.

The Festival continues with a paid academic conference (free for UCSC students) on Saturday and Sunday. To register for that, please visit On Saturday, the academic conference features all-day panels on monstrous topics at UCSC's Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) capped by the evening Monsters Ball Costume Party at the Institute of the Arts & Sciences. The conference ends in the afternoon Sunday at the DARC with final panels and performances.

Sponsors include the Arts Research Institute of UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Cruz Arts Division, The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz, Porter College, the UC Santa Cruz Foundation Board and private donors. Plus support from Bookshop Santa Cruz.