In 2017, the California Arts Council selected 14 districts to serve as California’s inaugural state-designated Cultural Districts. Nevada County was bestowed the great honor of being home to 2 of the 14 districts – Grass Valley/Nevada City and Truckee.
Steeped in history and with the most famous gold-mining district in California, the District experienced a ‘cultural revolution’ from the mid-20th Century that has reshaped the local economy and which continues to influence the statewide arts scene. Starting in the ’60s, Beat Generation and deep ecology poet Gary Snyder, singer Utah Phillips and a host of authors and musicians settled here. Now, for over 50 high-tech companies – including a virtual and augmented reality hub – creativity occurs in peaceful, natural environments far from major urban centers.
Between them, Grass Valley and Nevada City are home to the Nevada Theatre, the oldest theater in California, and over 100 arts-related organizations producing upwards of a thousand events a year, scores of annual festivals, street fairs, art walks and studio tours, and a generous base of artists and makers.
As well as for their arts, Grass Valley and Nevada City are known for their expanding vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms, and a trail network of outstanding natural beauty. The Nisenan lived here for thousands of years before their incorporation as part of a perfectly balanced ecosystem thriving on the Yuba, Bear and American river watersheds – and, over time, their sacred places are being rediscovered and cherished. Click here to learn more about the Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District.