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Celebrating James

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A Community event in honor of James Aschbacher

A free community celebration of the life of artist James Aschbacher will take place at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz on Saturday, August 25. The beloved local artist, who passed away unexpectedly in April, was known for his colorful downtown murals, art projects with local school children, and dedication to the arts and fellow artists in Santa Cruz County. 

The event will feature guest speakers, music, food, and a champagne toast, to uphold James’ tradition of celebrating every day. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with program at 6:30, followed by time to share fond memories and enjoy refreshments until 10 p.m.

The all-ages event is free thanks to contributors to a GoFundMe campaign established to bring James’ friends, family, and the arts community together to celebrate his life and work.

"There will be a huge hole in the heart of the Santa Cruz arts community without James, and an even more enormous hole in my heart,” said Lisa Jensen, James’ wife of 40 years. “But I want everyone to have a chance to remember him as he was — cracking jokes, making fabulous art (and pizza!), and toasting life with champagne! James thought every day should be a celebration. It certainly was for him!"

Event time: 6:00 PM
Tickets: FREE
Advance tickets:
Event website:

Earlier Event: August 21
Ry Cooder