What is your mission statement?
Since 1984, our mission has been to provide the opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities to grow to the best of their ability through the arts and community integration. Our programs promote creativity, independence and dignity.
What is your yearly budget (optional), and how many paid employees do you have?
We have 15 full-time paid staff and approximately six part-time/on-call paid staff
What is your nonprofit’s history?
1966: A program called Nevada County Community Workshop was founded.
1973: Gillian Hodge commences an art program at the Community Workshop.
1983: The Everett Davis Memorial Gallery opens at the Community Workshop. Everett Davis was a workshop artists, gold miner and local raconteur whose colorful tales were reflected in his artwork. The gallery closes the same year and the Community Workshop’s art program ends due to projected government cutbacks. The supporters group, the Friends of Everett Davis Gallery, remains active.
1984: Neighborhood Center of the Arts is founded by Gillian Hodge, Matt and Robin Rhoades and the Friends of Evereet Davis Gallery (including Aimee Gill and Ethel Marquart) as a new program to provide art-based training and education. Parents, including Beatrice Thrathen and Rose Bybee, are also pivotal.
1985: Neighborhood Center of the Arts opens its doors off Richardson Street with Gillian Hodge as program manager. The Everett Davis Memorial Gallery reopens at this location.
1987: Don Bornstein purchases and renovates the former First Baptist Church as a new nonprofit center. NCA and the Everett Davis Gallery relocate to the Center for Human Services off West Main Street, quadrupling the space.
1988: “The Year of the Rabbit” — Grass Valley City Council determines NCA has violated the zoning ordinance for keeping livestock following a complaint from a neighbor, the livestock in question being four angora rabbits kept for the previous three years for the Fiber Production Unit of NCA’s weaving program. Despite petitions, NCA is charged a $330 filing fee for a livestock permit. John Deaderick receives an artists-in-residence grant from the California Arts Council to teach theater arts at NCA.
1989: John Deaderick produces “Oedipus the King” with NCA actors, starring Spencer McClay as the king. A ceramic mural by NCA artists is installed at the Bowman-Solinsky pool at Champion Mine School, and a Spencer McClay wall-hanging is commissioned by the Nevada County Arts Council for display at the Eric Rood Administrative Center.
1995: NCA moves into its current home at the top of Litton Hill
2001: Gillian Hodge passes away. The juried Gillian Hodge Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition at Sierra College is now an annual reminder of her contribution to the local arts community.
2002: State budget delays lead NCA to close its doors temporarily. Thanks to the Songs of Support fundraiser, loan guarantees form Coldwell Banker and donations form our supporters, the doors reopen less than a week later …
2006: Then Director Glen Baird successfully pulls NCA out of debit.
2006-2013: NCA has a new group of leaders and continues to function as a local nonprofit continuing with its mission.
Who is your primary audience?
We serve adults with disabilities; however, we hope that our audience is the entire community and surrounding communities when it comes to selling the art created by our clients.
Each day, up to 45 artists ranging in age from 22 to 75 attend the studio.
List the biggest achievements in your nonprofit’s history.
1. We continue to keep our doors open even in hard times. Such as when the budget gets cut and our funding then gets cut. Somehow we continue to pay our bills, our rent and our staff.
2. What we provide for our clients — we are like a family here for those who may not have a lot of support.
3. Helping those who can’t speak create art that speaks for them.
List the biggest challenges you face (up to three).
1. Finding donors who have a passion to support and give to the disabled population.
2. Affording the cost of health care for our staff.
3. Having an effective board.
What is your No. 1 short-term goal for the next year?
Build a stronger relationship with the local paper so we don’t get forgotten. We have already introduced ourselves to The Union’s new publisher as well as invited him to visit us so he can learn more.
What is your No. 1 long-term goal for the next three years?
Continue to work on building our donor database … as the majority of our income comes from the state, as this state money slowly goes away, we will need more donors in order to keep our doors open.
What are your major fundraisers and dates?
May 17 is our Spring Fling Talent Show and BBQ here at the Litton building.
Nov. 1 is ‘For the Birds’ which is hosted at the Miners Foundry
December is our Holiday Sale, where we offer great gifts at great prices here at the Litton building.
What is the best way a person interested in your organization could help?
The simple task of getting to know us and then sharing your story with others … Since we can’t always take on volunteers due to our license we are always in need of high quality art supplies, Apple computers or other Apple products, cash donations, plants for our Spring plant sale, garden tools and supplies for our garden, special snacks for our staff, miscellaneous musical instruments, vending machines we can turn into art displays … (We order a lot of our supplies from Dick Blick.)
Neighborhood Center is a member of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which provides the weekly Know Your Nonprofit feature. You can learn more about The Center for Nonprofit Leadership online at www.CNLSierra.org. The Center is on Facebook http://facebook.com/NevadaCountyNonProfitLeadership and Twitter @NevCoNonprofits.