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Collaborate on arts regionally, panelists say

Area artists and governments must collaborate and take a regional approach to promoting the arts to see growth in the sector, panelists said at a historic meeting in Grass Valley today.

Grass Valley and Nevada City’s historic competition should be scrapped to create a regional arts festival, suggested Julie Baker, who operates Julie Baker Fine Arts in Nevada City.

“We’re five minutes apart. It seems to me we should be working together,” Baker said. “Collaboration is the key, and we can’t only depend on locals. We need to have a festival of the arts.”



About 60 people are attending the gathering, including representatives from area business and government in Nevada County, Nevada City, Grass Valley and Truckee. It will continue until 5 p.m.

The Union has published a series of articles showing the enormous impact the arts has on the area’s economy, including payroll and the money spent by tourists on lodging, restaurants and recreation services.




The mood at the gathering was somewhat somber, despite the entertainment provided at the beginning by the Touched By a Child Foundation, AirAligned and singers from the recent local production of “The World Goes ‘Round.”

Some people complained about the lack of government support for spending $65,000 on a study to look at building a performing arts center in the area.

But Nevada County Fair CEO Ed Scofield said the Amaral Family Center at the fairgrounds can seat 1,000 people.

“We’re already struggling to get our smaller venues filled over 60 percent,” said Jon Blinder, a member of the Center for the Arts board of directors.

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For more on this story, see Saturday’s edition of The Union.


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