North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center |

North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center

What is your mission statement?

The mission of the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center is to inspire and educate the community by providing a venue for performance, art and educational gatherings that enrich and sustain our rural character and traditions.

What is your nonprofit’s history?

Located at 17894 Tyler Foote Crossing Rd., 20 miles north of Nevada City,

The North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center gives the rural San Juan Ridge community a local place to meet, to share its creativity, and to participate in a wide variety of enriching activities.

Located 20 miles north of Nevada City, the Schoolhouse was built by the mining community in 1875, and has a long tradition of serving the community as a school and public meeting hall.

In 1979, it was forced to shut down as a school by legislation requiring earthquake-proof construction.

It reopened as a community cultural center in 1982 after extensive restoration undertaken by two local architects, with the help of dedicated volunteers.

Who is your primary audience?

Everyone who enjoys the arts. We strive to produce a wide range of programming that enhances our rural life.

Some examples of our programming include: Balinese dance by Gamelan Sekar Jaya, the Autumn Shindig Harvest Festival, readings by Pulitzer-prize winning poet Gary Snyder, and the annual Sierra Storytelling Festival founded by Steve Sanfield in 1985.

List the biggest achievements in your nonprofit’s history:

The Schoolhouse has been recognized as a model rural arts organization and presenter of folk, traditional and contemporary art through grants from the California Arts Council, the Nevada County Arts Council, the L.J. and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation, Cal Humanities, Poets & Writers, the S.H. Cowell Foundation, the Rose Leo Memorial Philanthropic Fund, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest fund and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Innovative programming at the Schoolhouse has drawn attention from audiences and artists far beyond the San Juan Ridge.

List the biggest challenges you face:

Maintaining a healthy operating budget while upholding a standard of world-class programming at our historic venue.

What is the best way a person interested in your organization could help?

Visit and become a member, check out our events or donate to the organization. Call 530-265-2826.

North Columbia Schoolhouse is a member of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which provides the weekly Know Your Nonprofit feature. Online at The Center is on Facebook at NevadaCountyNonProfit Leadership.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User