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Other Voices: Secure the future of the arts with financial support

Hello again, this is Jon Blinder, past president of the board of directors of the Center for the Arts, with some thoughts on the importance of the arts in Nevada County. All the arts.

Outside the front door at the Center for the Arts is a plaque that reads: “It’s the arts that make a community.” This quote, spoken by my father, put in simple words the need for us, as a community, to think deeply about who we are and who we want to be. He believed, as I do, that the arts are the heart and soul of any vibrant lifestyle.

These are difficult times for many and the arts feel the strain like every business does. But there is something fundamentally different about how the arts feed our community. It’s not just the economic engine we talk about often. This, I believe, people have come to accept. But, the arts feed our souls and define our quality of life in Nevada County.



This county is truly unique. In it live world-famous talent, regionally known talent, emerging talent and an astonishing number of people who appreciate what our neighbors and the many visiting guest performers do. Many here extol the virtues of the influence of the arts on their lives in Nevada County. And, of utmost importance, our children are exposed to a variety and depth of experience that is rare anywhere except for large urban areas.

This is a major part of how we explain our choice to move here in the first place – how we explain to our friends in larger urban areas why we left the city or suburbia in order to live here.




This community has always embraced the arts. And surely this is the time to maintain that embrace. What do we want to have in place as the cycle of the economy turns for the better? Are we going to be able to attract new businesses to a community that has abandoned its heart and soul? We have a significant number of arts organizations in Nevada County, large and small.

I believe it is our obligation, those that can, to ensure the future of the arts in Nevada County or we will have lost an essential component of what makes this a truly unique and remarkable place to live. And that would be bad for business and the essential health of our community.

Remember why we came here in the first place, or why we stayed? It is absolutely true that this small community has a remarkable legacy and resource in the arts. There are very few areas in the entire nation that can boast of the quality of the arts that are on display here every day. I have done the research.

It’s what makes it possible to stay here on the weekends and conserve energy. There’s enough to do most of the year to be content right here at home. Our arts organizations keep us greener by giving us good reasons to stay local. Not many small towns in America can say that.

So, as you consider how you can best participate in preserving the future of your community and how you can invest in something of value that will help your region maintain its appeal to newcomers and visitors, please consider how the arts have added to your life in Nevada County. Consider how they contribute to the economy here and how they feed our hearts and our souls every day.

Please give more generously than you ever have to your favorite local arts organization, keep Nevada County vibrant, exciting and filled with the kinds of experiences that enrich our children, our businesses, and our quality of life. Thank you for supporting the arts in the past; it’s a big piece of what has made this a place we all cherish.

Jon Blinder is a resident of Nevada City and has lived in Nevada County for more than 20 years.


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