St. Joseph’s annual open house Sunday |

St. Joseph’s annual open house Sunday


Each year in the first week of December, St. Joseph’s Cultural Center opens every door in this State of California Historic Landmark to the community. This is the opportunity to go in almost every room of the 146-year-old building. There will be refreshments, live performances and many things to see. The open house is from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

St. Joseph’s Cultural Center is at 410 South Church St. in Grass Valley. The Open House is free to the public with donations gladly accepted but not necessary.

While people may think the Cultural Center is a place for concerts, a museum and artist studios, it is also an educational center with weekly classes for Inyengar Yoga, Shodakan Karate, Taiko drumming, West African dance and drumming and T’ai Chi Ch’uan. All the teachers of these classes are either certified or from West Africa or have studied practiced and taught for more than 25 years.

St. Joseph’s Hall

This magnificent 118-year-old wood building with a remarkable stained-glass window that is 16 feet high and 8 feet across will host a brief talk on the history of the buildings at 1:45 p.m., and at 2 p.m. Troupe Al Ama performs traditional belly dancing.

The Grass Valley Museum

The Grass Valley Museum depicts the rich history of the Gold Rush days to 1930 with displays of furniture, art, objects d’art, clothing, musical instruments and artifacts of the Victorian era. The museum also features a Victorian bedroom, a lace-making exhibit, Lola Montez’s wrought-iron stove, and a hall of photographs from the turn of the century, a table used for the signing of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco in 1945 and much more.

Artist Studios

Meet the artists and tour their studios. There are 10 artist studios and a gallery on the third floor and Grass Valley Taiko on the ground floor. Most of the artists are painters, and they work in oil, acrylic, watercolor and mixed media. Some of the artists on the third floor are Menlo Macfarlane, Brook Caballero, Ben Vierling, Marni Marshall and Jessica Henry. Other artists work with music; Aaron Ross and Keith Dailey

Moving Ground Dance Studio

The Moving Ground Dance Studio will have demonstrations of Iyengar Yoga at 1 and 2:45 p.m.

Earth Planet Museum

Local conservationist, John Olmstead, began this museum project decades ago. It tells the story of our planet through natural-history displays and a collection of man-made objects from the late 1700s though the 1950s. This is an opportunity to visit a little-known gem of a museum that is rarely open for tours. The Mendo-Tahoe Conservancy is now the curator of the Olmstead Museum. This is another legacy John Olmstead gave to this community.

The Grass Valley Taiko Dojo

See dozens of Taiko drums all hand-made by sensei Mitzi Garnett and her students. Enjoy Taiko drum demonstrations at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

For information, visit

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