NCArts receives grant |

NCArts receives grant

The California Arts Council has announced it plans to award $6,825 to Nevada County Arts as part of its Creating Places of Vitality program. This award will support NCArt’s collaboration with Nevada City’s First Friday Art Walks, providing the First Friday Art Walk Program with funding for entertainment, artist fees, documentation and other expenses.

The Creating Places of Vitality program supports small arts organizations in rural and underserved communities, proposing new and expanded partnerships to implement place-based projects furthering one or more of the following goals:

— Foster attractive and livable neighborhoods and communities;

— Encourage economic and community development;

— Offer greater access to the arts for individuals, families and communities;

— Provide safe, creative opportunities for youth.

The First Friday Art Walks were initiated last year by organizer Cynthia Levesque, and they were wildly popular and successful.

Nevada County Arts was a supporter of the event from the beginning, and when NCArts Executive Director Brian Buckley saw the grant announcement, he contacted Levesque and former NCArts Board Member Peggy Wright with an invitation to collaborate on a grant proposal.

“The First Friday Art Walks were a perfect fit for the goals of the grant program,” Buckley said. “Clearly, the CAC saw how First Friday Art Walks were exactly the kind of program they wanted to support. Thanks go to Peggy Wright, who was the lead author of the grant proposal. She did an excellent job communicating the economic and community building value of the art walks in Nevada City.”

First Friday Art Walks happen monthly from May through October, from 5-9 p.m. Featuring art installations in downtown Nevada City business, entertainment and a variety of booths, the event draws people from around the region. The participating businesses stay open late, and the streets are filled with both locals and tourists enjoying the ambiance of an artistic and historical community.

“The arts encourage creative innovation and engagement in meaningful cultural activities that transform our neighborhoods and communities,” said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. “We are pleased to invest in Nevada County Arts’ and First Friday Art Walk’s important work.

In total, the projects supported by our Creating Places of Vitality program will reach twenty-three California counties, including thirteen rural counties, further growing the impact of the arts across our state.” For a complete listing of projects supported by the Creating Places of Vitality program, visit the California Arts Council website at

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