Nevada County looks ahead at cultural district designation |

Nevada County looks ahead at cultural district designation

Nevada City (pictured) and Grass Valley were designated a combined cultural district last year by the California Arts Council, part of a new pilot program. The five-year designation recognizes "well-defined geographic areas with high concentrations of cultural resources and activities," according to the Arts Council's website.
Elias Funez/ |

The future of the Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District, a designation the California Arts Council presented to the area earlier this year, is now in the hands of its community members.

Representatives from the Nevada County Arts Council, along with city leaders from both Grass Valley and Nevada City, have been working on a plan to honor the designation, which is part of a new statewide pilot program, and are inviting the community to join in the conversation.

On Jan. 25, a public stakeholder meeting will be held at the Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chambers from 5 to 7 p.m. The discussion will focus on shaping the future of the cultural district.

The Nevada County Arts Council secured funding for an economic impact study, which will measure the total amount of money that the arts bring to the county, the organization said in a news release.

“This will be an incredible opportunity for us to shine a light on our cultural assets — our beautiful mountain home and the artists, producers and presenters who bring it to life …”— Eliza TudorNevada County Arts Council executive director

Americans for the Arts will begin the study in January and will continue to measure economic impacts throughout the year.

Truckee, which was named separately as one of the state’s 14 cultural districts, will also be included in the study.

“Data from each of our cities will lend a compelling case for support for the arts, which prospective funders will find hard to ignore, and which all our arts organizations will have access to,” said John Blinder, president of the Arts Council, in the release.

The cultural district designation lasts for five years, and Eliza Tudor, executive director of the Arts Council, said community leaders are looking for any efforts toward honoring the designation to come “from the bottom up.” The process won’t be rushed, she said.

The Grass Valley-Nevada City district plans to take its time to ensure a successful five years, which Tudor hopes will help put Nevada County on the map as a cultural hub, she said.

According to Tudor, the California Arts Council plans to host one of its five yearly public meetings in Nevada County next summer.

“This means that artists and arts leaders from across the state … will be converging on Nevada County for two days of conversations connected with state subsidies, cultural policies and opportunities for the arts community broadly,” Tudor said. “This will be an incredible opportunity for us to shine a light on our cultural assets — our beautiful mountain home and the artists, producers and presenters who bring it to life — as well as leveraging conversations locally with future supporters of the arts.”

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email or call 530-477-4231.

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