Something Borrowed: Founder Wants to Spark Creativity with Lending Library

Photo credit: John Gilhooley

Marytza Rubio, founder of Makara Center for the Arts in Santa Ana, fosters creativity with her nonprofit lending library and community space.

What was the impetus behind launching Makara in 2016?
I was born and raised in Santa Ana. I have always loved books, and I wanted people here to have access to free educational resources. We only have one full-service public library in Santa Ana. For comparison, Anaheim, which has a similar population, has 10. It’s just not seen as a priority to fund them in this city, and that’s a shame. I think libraries are vital; they’re places that people can get together and not feel pressured to buy anything. They can hang out, interact with others, have their imaginations triggered. We provide tools that allow the community to enrich itself.

Tell us about Makara’s arts programming.
All of our programs are free except for a few fundraising events. We have volunteers come in and host workshops such as flower arranging, podcasting, and writing. We have a monthly event called Tarot and Tea. We have lectures on Santa Ana history hosted by one of our board members, Manny Escamilla, who is an archivist.

What are some of your goals?
We are working on establishing a Library of Things. It’s an exciting chance to offer new resources, including musical instruments, handheld tools, and museum passes. And we’d really love to see more libraries in Santa Ana. That includes appealing to our city’s leaders to invest in library services, especially on the south side of the city, seeding libraries in partner nonprofit organizations, and reminding people that libraries are more than a place for books. They are a place to feed your imagination and connect with yourself and your communities.

Check it out!
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