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Art offerings heat up this summer

Nevada County Arts
Special to Prospector

As summer stretches out before us and we revel in its long, warm, sunny days, we can take pleasure in the natural and cultural wonders that surround us in Nevada County. Experiencing at least a bit of the great outdoors is on everybody’s list, but additional treasures await those seeking the inspiration, excitement and beauty of the arts. What better way to cap a day surrounded by our incredible forests, lakes and rivers than to take in some of the equally breathtaking arts that grace our community? Nevada County Arts’ members are in “full flower,” making the most of this wonderful summer season.

A June favorite has been Music In the Mountains’ Summerfest. The festival kicks-off Tuesday and again June 14 with a performance of new works from the amazing Young Composers Project, a local program that was highlighted as a subject of a public television documentary.

Summerfest continues with a variety of concerts, ranging from Gyan Riley on classical guitar to passionate piano to a full orchestral and choir tribute to Queen, to Beethoven’s “9th.” There is also the Family Music Fair June 22 and the Wet Ink Concert July 1, featuring new works by a variety of local composers with a focus on percussion. And don’t forget the Happy Birthday USA concert July 3! For schedules, tickets and information, visit musicinthemountains.org. Other best bets for June include several offerings from Sierra Stages (sierrastages.org), Quest Theaterworks (questtheaterworks.com) and LeGacy Productions (legacypresents.com).



July is famous for the annual Sierra Storytelling Festival at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center. Bringing the best storytellers from around the world to the woodsy amphitheater on the Ridge, this unique and captivating event goes from July 19-21. Whether you come for an evening or stay for the entire festival, the tall tales and true stories will entrance people of all ages. For tickets and information, visit sierrastorytellingfestival.org.

Also in July, the Center for the Arts will be bringing Bill Cosby, Marc Cohn and Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Zoe Keating to Grass Valley (thecenterforthearts.org).




Another option, particularly if you want to beat the heat in July, is to check out the Tahoe-Truckee ARTour on two successive weekends (July 12-14 and 19-21). You will see amazing art and artists in this self-guided, self-paced open studio tour. (northtahoearts.com).

August brings more abundance to the table. Sierra Stages presents the last of its performances of the musical “Avenue Q” (July 10 – Aug. 3). Grammy Award-winning Asleep at the Wheel will perform at the Miners Foundry Aug. 2, and the world-famous Preservation Hall Jazz Band comes to Grass Valley Aug. 10. And of course, there’s the fair …

Plenty of opportunities await young people now that school is out. In addition to local theater productions like PAG’s “Tom Sawyer,” various arts-related camps flourish during the summer. The Miners Foundry is hosting a Youth Summer Theater Camp for students age 6-13 from June 17 to 21. The Center for the Arts is also sponsoring several camps, including Circus Camp, Visual Art Camp (Paint Like the Masters), Teen Writing Workshop and Teen Songwriting and Performance Camp. ASiF Studios is also offering a number of Art Camps for kids (asifstudios.com).

Nevada County Arts, in partnership with The Magic Lantern Film Society, will have two summer offerings in the Pages to Reel series; in June they will present “A River Runs Through It,” and in August, they will present “Life of Pi.”

All the events listed above are only a fraction of what is available by perusing the calendar section of the Nevada County Arts website (nevadacountyarts.org). Check it out and be part of the vibrant arts community in our area by joining NCArts.

NCArts is a member-supported organization facilitating collaborative efforts that promote and sustain the visual, literary and performing arts of Nevada County in order to advance the cultural, social, and economic life of our community.


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