Blue Sky Center

New Cuyama, CA

We are a rural, place-based nonprofit with the mission to strengthen our rural communities within the Cuyama Valley by supporting entrepreneurs and building our regional creative and economic resources.

Established in 1950, the rural townsite of New Cuyama was a vibrant mid-century company town with a high standard of living. Formed in 2015, the Blue Sky Center is developing as place-based non-profit owning 330 acres of land and adaptability repurposed buildings, working to facilitate key physical and cultural infrastructure improvements in our community and supporting the rural-urban continuum and exchange. We view rural communities as places of abundance and investment, not scarcity and extraction and through engagement with mission-aligned individuals and groups are working across the fields of housing, agriculture, arts, and social enterprises to demonstrate, share, and scale what is possible.

In January 2017, we launched Explore Cuyama, a placemaking and tourism project featuring 5 unique design-built dwellings that have generated new economic and creative opportunities for our citizens by uncovering the hidden gems and potential of the Cuyama Valley. In May 0f 2017 we hosted an inaugural Rural Summit featuring community storytelling and a one-day convening of stakeholders ranging from policymakers to academia and agribusiness to discuss rural affairs. In July 2017, we began our partnership with Americorps VISTA to build capacity in our organization and community. In 2018, we piloted our first rural residency program and began an institutional partnership with USC Roski School of Art and Design around public interest design and placemaking along the rural landscape.