Art & Culture

Entertainment has been part of Nevada County life since the Gold Rush!

Art & Culture In Nevada County

By: Jon Blinder, President of the Board of Directors Nevada County Arts Council

Many who live here or have spent time here know the rich history of the Arts in Nevada County, but it is still something of a mystery to those unfamiliar with our past and present. I first visited Nevada County over 35 years ago and moved here almost 30 years ago. It was quickly apparent to this New Yorker that I had arrived in a community for which simple descriptions were not adequate. Had I come to a historical and remarkably well-preserved Gold Rush community? Or was it for the abundance of natural beauty? Or, had I come upon a small Foothills destination that was as hip and interested in the Arts as my recent home in NYC? Through the years I have found my answer.

In 1976, Governor Jerry Brown founded the California Arts Council with the help of his friend, Gary Snyder. An internationally renowned Beat Poet, Pulitzer Prize winner and Nevada County resident, Snyder became its first Executive Director. California was beginning to recognize the value of supporting the Arts, and with the founding of arts organizations, the community coalesced and in earnest began the recent clarion call for Nevada County’s recognition as an Arts destination. Artists have long been the pioneers who move to lesser-known communities or neighborhoods both in cities and rural areas. They have been coming to Nevada County since the 1800’s, and they are still arriving.

As the community has come together to support the Arts, a striking new development has occurred to up the ante. Throughout this magazine, you will see the logo of the California Arts Council’s most recent statewide program that designates California Cultural Districts. Nevada County is one of only 14 communities (urban, suburban and rural) selected for this distinctive honor and both Grass Valley/Nevada City and the Town of Truckee have won a Rural Designation.

The application process required the collaboration of elected officials, Chambers of Commerce, Arts Organizations, and the support of artists in each community. Nevada City and Grass Valley joined forces, and the Town of Truckee applied separately as the representative of the Eastern Slope. Securing a cultural district designation was the result of an exhaustive application process. The districts that demonstrated a sincere dedication to integrating Arts and Culture into the fabric of their community and that also acknowledged the vital impact of the Arts on their local economies won the award.  These California Cultural District designations will enable the Nevada County Arts Council to further brand and market Nevada County as an arts destination and lead our arts community into the future.

I have concluded that Nevada County is a stunning example of a Gold Rush community and one of the most beautiful places on Earth; but, to be honest, it’s the Arts and Culture of this area that has kept me genuinely excited to stay.

Welcome to the Arts in Nevada County!

Nevada County is proud to be a part of the

California Cultural Districts

In July 2017, the California Arts Council announced a new state program, California Cultural Districts. Nevada County was the only rural county to have two districts designated: Nevada City-Grass Valley and Truckee.

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Theater, Music & Entertainment.

The community generously supports the arts. Throughout the year, a number of theater groups delight local audiences.You will find a wide variety of random fun things to do in a small town steeped in rich history and a vibrant arts community!

Event Calendar

Center for the Arts

The Center for the Arts is a cultural and educational organization that promotes and presents the literary, visual, & performing arts for the enrichment of our community.

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The Nevada Theatre is the oldest existing theatre building on the west coast that continues to operate as a theatre. We are now celebrating 150 years of history, live performances, music, movies and art in Nevada County.

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Miners Foundry
Cultural Center

The Miners Foundry is more than a venue, the nonprofit’s mission is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational and social activities in Nevada County.

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The beautifully forested

Nevada County Fairgrounds

Home to a series of unique events which draw attendees from miles around year round.  The popular Draft Horse Classic and Nevada County Fair and KVMR's Celtic Festival are local classics.

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Learn more about Nevada County Arts & Culture

Destination NC

Destination Nevada County features arts & culture, planning events, outdoor recreation, visitor information, and small businesses doing big things in Nevada County. Published by the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Arts & Culture in Nevada County, Page 10