Help Robin Rebuild after losing his home to fires

Our dear Robin Whitehouse is one of the many who lost everything in the CZU August Lightning Complex fire.

He lost the cabin he rented in Bonny Doon, which had been his home and creative space since moving to Santa Cruz in 2011. In that small studio he managed to fit a recording studio, rehearsal space (with his beloved instruments including a grand piano, two harpsichords, guitars, drum sets, and recorders), and project space where he had tens of thousands of dollars worth of audio engineering equipment.

Thankfully, before the evacuation he was able to collect a few items including one of his harpsichords, but nearly everything was lost.

This leaves him particularly vulnerable as he’d already taken a hit from the COVID-19 lockdown cancelling all of his work in the performing arts. He has built his home and networks, both personal and professional, in Santa Cruz. But re-establishing himself from nothing would be practically impossible. 

We want to help Robin acquire a provisional home, such as an RV or trailer, while he figures out his next steps for rebuilding. 

Seeing the loss is overwhelming and heartbreaking, compounded by the fact that this is someone whom we care about so deeply. And yet, despite this tragedy, what shines through most of all is Robin's grateful heart and steadfast optimism. He remains focused on expressing thanks for the friends and family who want to support him. Now is the time for each of us to help Robin rebuild and to have a hand in shaping his very bright future.

In fact, he is already considering how to turn this terrible blow into an opportunity to help create an affordable housing option not only for himself, but also to share with fellow creatives whom he has seen struggling with the prohibitive cost of living in Santa Cruz. Robin dreams of eventually buying a plot of land where he could design and build a small home and creative space for himself and others. He has all the skills, disposition, and inspiration to do exactly that.

We don’t want Robin to leave!! He lives modestly and is one of the most hard working, relentlessly generous, and inspired creatives that we have had the pleasure of knowing. He has a long record of giving back to his community; it’s what he does everywhere he goes. 

Anything that you can contribute would help greatly. Thank you so, so much!

Rebecca Jackson (friend & colleague) and Heidi Rivera-Whitehouse (sister)


More about Robin:

From Rebecca Jackson  (Founder/Artistic Director of Music in May ): He has supported me and Music in May in many capacities, but primarily as our audio engineer. This season after the pandemic shut everything down, he took on even more, making it possible for us to bring Music in May online which included a 10-episode Music E-ducation series, another 10-episode Offstage Series, and culminated in a livestream we cohosted. We co-hosted the event in his cabin which sadly is no longer. Livestream at Robin's cabin:

Robin is an incredibly creative autodidact who cares deeply about living in accordance with his values. His friends, family, and colleagues can attest to his incredible work ethic and generosity. He charms nearly everyone he meets with his sensitivity, kindness, sense of humor, humility, and profound inquisitiveness. He works and creates in his many arenas of expertise: as a sound engineer both for live events and recording, as an incredibly knowledgeable piano technician, and in many other capacities that reflect his lifelong love of music.

Robin had lived in his rental studio cabin for nearly a decade before it was destroyed. He lost the vast majority of his personal items (clothing, furniture, kitchenware, and the like) as well as at least $30,000 worth of equipment necessary for his profession: computing hardware and software, data, sound equipment, and many instruments including a harpsichord he built with his father.

Any funds raised will go directly to Robin to help him replace some of these essential items, and to help him acquire a new temporary home. An RV/trailer to live in as a sort of tiny home is one option that he is investigating.

Robin's blog:

You can also check out his YouTube channel , including this recent Joe Jackson cover that Robin recorded and filmed with his friend Janine up at the cabin.
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Fundraising team: Rebecca J. and Heidi R. W. (3)

Heidi Rivera-Whitehouse 
Raised $10,900 from 38 donations
Santa Cruz, CA
Robin Whitehouse 
Rebecca Jackson 
Team member
Raised $4,420 from 35 donations
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