Arts council moves to new GV office |

Arts council moves to new GV office

Dan BurkhartNevada County Arts Council Executive Director Penelope Curtis (center), her assistant Michelle Schaefer (right) and volunteer Martin Butler prepare the NCAC's new, larger office on South Auburn Street in Grass Valley.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

For the first time in almost six years, the Nevada County Arts Council will sport a Grass Valley address starting Wednesday.

That’s when the arts organization will open its doors at 251-C S. Auburn St., located between Hennessy School and the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building.

The arts council office was at the Miners’ Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City since March 1996, after a two-year stay at St. Joseph’s Cultural Center in Grass Valley.

“We’ve now outgrown the office space at the Foundry. It was so crowded,” said Penelope Curtis, NCAC executive director. “We have around 800 square feet now (compared to) I think 300 square feet at the Foundry.”

Since Nov. 15, the council has temporarily worked out of a staff member’s house because the Foundry space had water leaks.

The larger office space in Grass Valley will enable the organization to maintain a boutique and micro-gallery in the two front rooms.

The boutique will feature T-shirts, CDs and posters related to Arts Council-sponsored events, art books and art.

Every six weeks, micro-gallery exhibits of NCAC members will be changed.

“I think the arts council will be able to provide for our artists a little better now,” Curtis said. “We can showcase our artists with the micro-gallery, we’ll be able to have more receptions, and have workshops for artists in a variety of media.”

Curtis also hopes to sponsor more events at the Veterans Building next door. The council held its successful Jazz in Nevada County! festival on Thanksgiving weekend at that venue.

“The proximity of the vets’ hall makes it a lot easier. We will not have to spend a lot of time driving,” Curtis explained.

The executive director also plans to collaborate with suite neighbor Gold Country Community Center, especially through the art workshops. The community center is multi-generational.

“The art workshops will be a way for the community center to recruit individuals,” Curtis said. “The center will be a major asset to the area over the years. For the past number of years, the focus has been on seniors, and youth got lost in the fray. In a healthy community, you have to look at all generations helping each other.”

The Gold Country Community Center already considers this collaboration a done deal.

“We offered our space as a green room during the Wynton Marsalis concerts (Jazz in Nevada County! festival) and a lot of people flowed through,” said Robert Choate, president of the community center.

“We’re delighted the council is here,” Choate added. “If one is trying to mix generations and we tell the younger generation to work with the older generation, it doesn’t just happen. They have to find a common ground with the arts – through painting, music, dancing.”

The Nevada County Arts Council’s new phone number is 271-5955. Office hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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