The Miners Foundry Cultural Center is a living historic treasure serving Nevada County as a cultural arts and community events center.

More than a venue, the nonprofit’s mission is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational and social activities in Nevada County.

It is a symbol of California’s rich historical heritage, providing an educational and social bridge from our past to the present and future.


We believe history is important AND cool!

We believe you cannot forge a positive, bright future without paying homage and respect to the past.

We believe Cultural Centers create smarter kids, happier adults, and stronger economic and social communities.

We believe Art, Music, Theatre, and Dance matter.

We believe supporting other non-profits in our community is not only the right thing to do, it’s THE thing to do.

We believe your wedding should be one of the happiest days of your life.

We believe there is magic between our Stone Walls.

We believe we are in honorable competition with our ancestors to preserve and keep this great building intact to hand down to the next generation.

Our Staff

Gretchen Bond

Gretchen Bond

Executive Director

Gretchen Bond has over 15 years of progressive experience in the nonprofit arts arena. Ms. Bond has held influential and leadership roles with the School of the Arts Educational Foundation, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Literature Alive and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. Gretchen was instrumental in the founding of the Bitney Springs Charter High School; the first Charter High School in Nevada County, as well as one of the original organizers of “Moms on the Mountains”; a unique fundraising event which has raised over $400,000 for the Nevada City Schools arts programs. She is also a Board Member of Nevada County Arts, the official Arts Council of Nevada County.

Gretchen moved to Nevada County, from Connecticut, in the mid 1980’s to make it her home. At that time, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center was the American Victorian Museum, as she recalls the AVM was “the place for entertainment in Nevada County.” With an Art History degree from the University of Richmond, VA, Gretchen has an appreciation for art, historic preservation and culture. Gretchen understands the essential role the arts play in the lives of the people and their community.

Hired by the Board of Trustees in 2005, Gretchen recognizes the unique place the Miners Foundry holds in the community; a cultural center that presents music and theatrical events while offering an elegant venue for weddings and private parties. The venue hosts art shows in the newly established Box Office Gallery, and is a perfect location for nonprofit fundraisers and an historic treasure to be preserved.

When asked what she loves most about the Miners Foundry, she said, “The Foundry has captured the spirit of the community, past and present. When you walk in to this building you get a sense that wonderful things happen here, it’s as if the walls of these great halls have absorbed everything that has taken place here and are holding these feelings to share with all of us”.

Kat Kress

Kat Kress

Events Coordinator

Kat Kress joined the staff of the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in 2011 as the Event Coordinator. She graduated in 2000 from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and a Minor in English.

Kat moved to Nevada County in 2005 after searching for a unique place with the perfect blend of arts, culture, recreation, and the outdoors.

“For me, the Foundry is the perfect blend of history, the arts, and community. It’s truly a joy to share in something bigger than myself and to use my skills to contribute to our community.”

Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District

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.

Photo by Kial James for the Nevada City Film Festival.