Cultural Arts & Diversity Board of Directors

Cultural Arts & Diversity Board of Directors

“We see that the community-building, support, and engagement our organization offers benefited us in our educational experience and can benefit those around us. We strive to always uplift those around us higher than ourselves.”

-Kayla Ybarra, CAD Board Representative


The Cultural Arts and Diversity (CAD) Fee is governed by an all-student Board of Directors. The CAD Board creates a space where dedicated, diverse students can collaborate in writing and producing plays and poetry for the campus. The Board also provides campus with hands-on technical theatre education and state-of-the-art equipment.

Measure 49
Cultural Arts and Diversity Fee
This student-governed measure brings widely recognized compelling and culturally relevant performances and speakers to UCSC. The measure supports cultural student organizations such as the award-winning Rainbow Theater and African American Theater Arts Troupe, which produce numerous student-directed cultural arts performances annually.


dance workshop
“Students have the say in what happens with these fees; if students are left out of the decision-making process, our voices, our needs will be left unheard, and there would be no way to guarantee that this money is really being allocated towards spaces that we feel are actually necessary. For me, CAD shows how student governance serves everyone the best.”
-Sherry Zhu, CAD Board Representative

CAD produces and invites programs highlighting the experience of marginalized communities. This establishes a space for the artistic expression of students from underrepresented backgrounds through Rainbow Theatre and the African American Theatre Arts Troupe. These two troupes also travel throughout California to offer high school students engaging workshops, theater performances, and resources to attend college. By serving as mentors for thousands of youth, students in the troupes experience CAD’s core mission: “Uplift someone higher than one’s self."

The CAD Board of Directors works in partnership with Stevenson College, researching and funding improvements to the Event Center such as a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system. In addition to improving the Center for all students, students are empowered to use professional theatre equipment through workshops, conferences, and hands-on experience.

COVID-19 Response: Rainbow Theater adapted by pivoting from live theatre to a podcast format with original content from student poets and actors. This empowers students with the opportunity to explore new media and reflect on new ways of delivering theatre to UCSC. Participants continue to learn about cultural presence and excellence in theatre while accessing their own voice in the podcasts.


Years as the ONLY African American Theater Troupe in the UC system


Unique cultural expression productions fully produced by students


Student scholarships awarded 


Percentage of CAD performers who have never acted before

Future Planning

"The main purpose of college is to serve the students and as the ones paying, we are proud to be able to determine how to best serve students and provide the richest experience possible." 

-August Stevens, CAD Board Representative


The CAD Board is dedicated to making sure UCSC students can experience outstanding diversity productions for years to come. Funds are set aside each year to invest in renovations, upgrades, and equipment replacements that are needed every 5 or 10 years.

The Board also sets aside funds so it can respond to new needs such as investing in training and equipment for its innovative podcast program, aiming for a year-round podcast series! What started as an experiment during the shelter-in-place generated creativity and excitement from participants to expand the program. This is providing new avenues for students to create art and bring diversity education to the campus.