The Center for the Arts hosts new gallery; opening reception Friday, July 31 |

The Center for the Arts hosts new gallery; opening reception Friday, July 31

Submitted to The Union


What: Opening reception for “Unfolding,” a gallery by artist Erin Noel

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: The Center for the Arts, Granucci Gallery, 314 W, Main St., Grass Valley

Reservations: Free, but reservation required —

Despite suffering from the economic effects of the coronavirus, The Center for the Arts has scheduled a new gallery and method of reserving space to view it.

“Unfolding,” an exhibit by artist Erin Noel, runs through Aug. 22 at the Granucci Gallery, 314 W, Main St., Grass Valley. A free opening reception is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, though reservations are required, said Melissa Clark, the Center’s marketing manager, in an email.

Noel is a visual artist and attorney who lives in the Sierra Nevada.

“We know there aren’t a lot of options for folks to get out and enjoy the arts these days, but we are happy to announce a new gallery opening, and a new appointment based way to see the exhibit,” Clark said.

Reservations for the reception can be made in 30-minute increments. Reservations can be made at

Reservations are 45 minutes during regular gallery hours, and are booked on the hour. People can make reservations for regular hours by emailing:

Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Up to 10 people can visit the gallery at a time.


The Center for the Arts is committed to bringing a wide variety of arts and cultural experiences to Nevada County through performances, art exhibits, and through California WorldFest, its annual world music festival. Even as mass gatherings and events continue to be put on hold, The Center is determined to hold true to its mission while being advocates for public safety, but it won’t be able continue this pace without income from ticketed events.

“Without more funding we will have to close at the end of the year,” said Executive Director Amber Jo Manuel. “We were hopeful that we might be able to resume shows with live audiences in the fall, but in reality that may not happen until fall of 2021.”

The Center relies on revenue from performances, events, and venue rentals that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was fortunate enough to receive a Paycheck Protection Program loan, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and $150,000 from the Economic Disaster Relief Fund. Manuel went on to say, “Every dollar helps us to retain administrative staff, and to continue to offer programs to our community at a time when people really need creative experiences. However, many of our programs such as education programs and open studios are performed as a benefit to the community. Without operations revenue from event income we will not be able to sustain these programs after 2020.”

Its “From The Center” broadcast series strives to make the arts accessible to everyone and brings live music into the homes of the community. These shows also provide local bands and emerging artists with a stage and platform to connect with online audiences and earn money when gigs are mostly unavailable. They also provide jobs for local sound techs and video crews.

The Center is also a launch pad and connecting point for visual artists. Each year it coordinates open studio tours for up to 80 local artists in addition to curated exhibits in the newly renovated gallery. While The Center’s gallery space is retail and not currently subject to restrictions, it made the decision early on to limit capacity and require masks. Now, with cases in the county on the rise, it’s again taking a proactive approach and shifting to a reservation model so that anyone in the community can come in, enjoy the art, and not be concerned about sharing the space with people outside their household.

Summer camps have been modified, too. Manuel said: “Right now we have summer camp kids learning new skills, including how to social distance in a class setting. They are wearing masks, washing hands often, and getting daily temperature checks. We want to be able to do it again in the fall, providing small classes that are safe for the students and safe for the teachers.”

The Center’s youth arts education programs directly support the local school district, stepping in to provide a creative curriculum through the summer, and after school, and this year it will continue camps through the school year to support families struggling with reduced school schedules. It’s also expanded its education programs to include workshops for adults to provide a creative outlet during this challenging time.

Source: The Center for the Arts

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